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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 APRIL 2015 15 FEATURE and Beyond Koutali in 1847. He toured throughout Europe and America in the late 19th century with his wrestling exhibitions, defeating wrestling champions and tackling wild animals. There are many posters advertising his appearances, including in Uruguay. As the fighting came to the Dardanelles in 1915, Koutali would bear witness to the war. Not only are its waters where Australia's famous submarine - the AE2 - was scuttled to avoid capture but it was near here that another and more successful Allied submarine - the Scottish Captain Naismith's E11 - would hide after its many raids into the Marmara. The E11 sank many Ottoman vessels and even sailed into Constantinople's harbour itself in 1915, and as a result earn its captain a Victoria Cross. But the war would bring the Greek population the first of their forced removals by the Ottoman authorities. And in 1922 they would be forced to flee their homeland again - this time permanently, many of the survivors making their way to Lemnos. Joined by other Greek refugees from Asia Minor - from Reis Dere, Gallipoli, Cesme and beyond - they established the new village of Nea Koutali in 1926. One of the experienced sponge diving families from Koutali to arrive on Lemnos were the Galimitis. Familiar with the waters of Lemnos, they had dived and fished here before 1922. The museum at Nea Koutali showcases the pride of this village in its seafaring and Asia Minor origins. Before too long the new arrivals would marry into the other families in the villages nearby. The Galimitis family, whose origins lay in Koutali and Asia Minor, would marry into the Karamaloudis of Tsimandria, linking them with the Tarlamis Akgariones. These families can still be found living in Nea Koutali, Tsimandria and Akgariones today. A Greek Australian odyssey comes together In 1953, Kon and Fanoula Tarlamis left Tsimandria with their young baby Sam on a migration journey that would take them to Uruguay (following in the footsteps of the great Koutilianos) and eventually to Australia. It was here that Sam would meet a young woman, Glenda Barber from Burwood. Her great-uncle was the young digger Edward Tozer who had walked on Lemnos in 1915. Sam and his wife would have a son, Lee, who would go on to become a member of parliament and champion the recognition of Lemnos' role in Australia's Anzac story. His name resonates with both the Profitis Ilias on Lemnos and far away Koutali. Reflecting on Edward's voyage to Lemnos and Gallipoli in 1915, Lee has visited Lemnos many times and walked in the footsteps of his forebears. The link embodied in Lee's connections to both the villagers of Lemnos and the diggers of 1915 is one of the inspirations driving him to gain more recognition for Lemnos' role in Australia's Anzac story. It has driven his work to mark the centenary with the major new memorial commemorating the role of Lemnos to be unveiled in Albert Park in August and a major commemorative publication in January next year. The discovery of Lee's story shows how the Centenary of Anzac can reveal the depths of the links between Australians and Greeks. Of how the tragedy of war can link peoples and give new life in distant shores. Lest we forget. In April Lee and other members of Melbourne's Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee will be taking part in the major commemorative events taking place on Lemnos. They have assisted in coordinating events on the island, liaising with the Australian and Canadian embassies, the Lemnian authorities and both the Hellenic and Royal Australian Navies. The events include a visit by HMAS Success, services at both Commonwealth Military Cemeteries on Lemnos, a football match recreating that played by the Anzacs in 1915 on Lemnos - amongst other events. The committee hopes that this year’s events on Lemnos are only the beginning of refreshing the links between Greece and Australia through the Anzac story. * Jim Claven is a freelance writer, historian and secretary of the Melbourne-based Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. He is researching the Anzac trail on Lemnos and Greece, and has led commemorative tours throughout Greece. Jim can be contacted by email at jimclaven@ yahoo.com.au Commemorative photograph with sponges. Nick Galimitis is on the left at the front. At the back one of the sacks can be seen, in which the sponges were packed for storage or sale. PHOTO: REPRODUCED FROM NEA KOUTALI MUSEUM OF MARITIME TRADITION AND SPONGE FISHING. View of a ferry from the deck of HMAT Euripides (A14) as the troopship leaves Sydney Harbour. PHOTO: MERCHANT SEAMAN ENGINEER DENVER WOOD WANSEY, DENVER WOOD AWM. Men of Edward’s 4th Battalion at the top of Shrapnel Gully, having breakfast from their dixies just behind the battalion lines. PHOTO: AWM. Enlistment form for Private Edward Tozer, NAA.
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