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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 Aug 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 AUGUST 2019 9 PEOPLE & PLACES But Claven didn't only see these pictures, he lived them. He traveled to Lemnos along with John Pandazopoulos, Lee Tarlamis (who was an MP at the time) and Alan Griffin, who was the Federal Minister for Veteran's Affairs. "That was a revelation because what I loved about it, was there. In a lot of places where the soldiers were, there was not a lot of development or over development with tourists, and you could see where it all was. I wondered what the local Lemnians think of the fact that there were photographs of their land, their ancestors sitting in libraries in Australia. Showing them the photos, they were laughing, getting excited they couldn't really believe it. That for me was so exciting, exposing people to this piece of history and seeing their reaction," he says. While his objective was to bring to the fore the story of historical ties through time, space and history between Australia and Greece, he soon realised that by publishing individual stories of nurses and soldiers in Lemnos, he was creating a greater connection between Lemnos and the world. "I like finding connections, expanding the story within the Greek community or within the wider community. Fundamentally it is an Australian story in Greece," he says. After publishing articles in Neos Kosmos, descendants of the ANZACs and the nurses from every corner of the world started to contact him. "People read them online. I got contacted from two parts of the same family. They didn't know each other, the one side of the fam- ily was from South Gippsland, the other from the UK. These people knew that their ancestor was buried in Lemnos. I sent them a photo of his gravestone. You know what? They reinvented their ancestor, their shared history. Hundreds of those stories happened. They are not just here, they are everywhere." Jim Claven is not only a ferociously dedicated historical researcher, he is also a social scientist who approaches his 'subjects' with great sensitivity and the utmost respect for the suffering they endured. Connections and the expansion of them become a theme once again when talking about his own family's connection to this book. You see, he dedicates it to his mother Margaret Brownlee Dunnion Claven and his grandfather John Dunnion who fought in the West front. "I remember my grandfather as a child, old. He was very dear to my mother, but sadly his war records and photos were lost. While travelling to Ireland I tried to find out what his experiences would have been. I didn't manage to. I have written a book about soldiers and their experiences; I want him remembered, that's why I dedicated the book to him but also about remembering my mother." 'Lemnos & Gallipoli Re- vealed' is undoubtedly an important historical work, which while an amazing scientific endeavour, elevates Greece and its contribution to the ANZAC story where it always deserved to be, opening new avenues to the relations of these two countries. * To obtain a copy of the book, email Committee President, Lee Tarlamis OAM at firstname.lastname@example.org GACL 50 Years: Founding members with current GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos. Greek-inspired events around Australia From Mt Gravatt to Oakleigh, near and far, Greeks were busy yet again this week with a plethora of events and cultural opportunities. MT GRAVATT: Volunteers receive recognition for a job well done. MT GRAVATT: Greek hospitality with Greek cuisine. MT GRAVATT: Volunteers were recognised for their contribution to the community during activities honouring the feast of Virgin Mary. MT GRAVATT: The Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary took place at Mt Gravatt and other areas around Queensland. OAKLEIGH GRAMMAR: Students of Oakleigh Grammar wave their flags around. Historian and philhellene Jim Claven. BOOK LAUNCH: A book presentation, titled ‘Vlachs: History-Art-Culture’ was presented at Kefalovriso. VIRTUAL REALITY: Pedia School’s Christos Vatranis believes that ImmerseME is a great way to learn language and has become the first school to adopt the programme.
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