The soundtrack is of Michael Mangos being interviewed for ABC Radio National in 1978.

The Castellorizian Newsletter, No 8, july/august 1983.



Michael Mangos arrived in Australia at the age of 12. He came to Australia with his uncle P. Pitsikas who was In business in Kalgoolie W.A. His uncle had a cafe and Michael worked for him for seven years.

michael mangos 1910 kalgoorlie with chryssa pitsikas After seven years Michael decided to open his own shop close to the Kalgoolie Town Hall. This shop, a fruit sweet shop, was forced to close after three months because of the outbreak of war.
michael mangos 1910 kalgoorlie postcard textSoldiers from the first AIF, who had come from just outside Perth (Black Boy Hill) incited local citizens to riot and In so doing they broke alI the windows and door of the non-Australlan shops. The Kalgoolie Council through the Western Australia Government, promised to pay for the losses, but no money was ever given to the victims.

Michael decided to go to Perth, so in 1915 he arrived and went      to  work for the Manolas family at Athenaeum Cafe for 30/- a week. Kanis fruit stall Perth 1910s

However, after three months, Michael decided that there was more opportunity in Darwin.

Darwin 1918On arrival he went to work for the Vesty Bros. There were many CastellorIzlans In Darwin at the time, including Elias Boyatsls. They were employed at Vesty's and at the Catherine River, where railway lines were being constructed.

Most Castellorizians had come via Gaza to where they had been evacuated from Castellorizo. When contracts to Vesty had finished, Michael left for Queensland where he worked for one year as a cane and wood cutter. The work as a ganger was hard and the pay was 6 shillings for cutting and loading one ton of cane. Most farms were owned by Italians and the gangs consisted of most nationalities (Cyprlots Maltese).

innisfail cane cuttingcane cutting

The cane fields were Infested with snakes and also many cutters lost thumbs and

fingers during the cutting. In 1919 Michael carne to Melbourne and worked as a waiter in a cafe owned by the Metaxis Bros. In 1922 he returned to Castellorizo where his mother, father, sister and one brother were still living. After a short stay he. In 1922, sailed In a boat captained by Boyatsis to Port Said, accompanied by his family.

In Port Said he met and married Anastasia Amonis, best man was his brother John (1922). They left Port Said for Melbourne, a trip which took 40 days by Cargo Ship. marriageThe Amonis family was a well known Castellorlzlan Family, members were Rena (Paltoglou) Mina(Kanis) Elengo (Lazarakis) and Costos.

arthur elefterios johnOn arrival In Melbourne he and John joined his two other brothers Arthur and Elefterios, in a cafe in Clarendon Street South Melbourne. In 1924 he took over the Oriental cafe in Chapel Street Windsor, at a rental of 3 pounds a week. The shop was to be occupied by him for 47 years.

Michael Mangos had three brothers and one sister Thesplna (Miriklis). Tragically Thesplna was killed in a car accident in Victoria. Michael has six children -Mary (Symons) Cherry (Mastro Banayoti) Con and Chrissy (Zervos) Peter, Jack and seventeen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

family 1940s

His wife died In 1978. He has many memories including being appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1958. He sat regularly on the bench at Prahran for ten years. Michael was made a member of the American Grand-dad club on 3rd July 1974. His memories Include one of Port Said, where he stayed In the same building with Mr. Greg Gregory, the father of the late Harry Gregory. Mrs. A. Mangos, who was a seamstress, made Mrs. H. Gregory's troussea for her wedding!

He remembers the first Castellorizian Committee. PRESIDENT; Mr. Michael Economides (Conos); SECRETARY: Mr. John Hatzlyiankis;

TREASURER: Mr. Steve Coufos.

He has been president of the Castellorlzlan Brotherhood, a member of the Greek

Community Committee of Victoria and a member of The Orpheus Club.

He looks back on his early days with mixed feelings. Greeks in those days were called "Dagoes". Today as he walks down Chapel Street or at his favourite Bowling Club (Melbourne Bowling Club) where he has been a member for many years, they call him "Mate".


Clarion, 23/2/1983

Reflections on a pioneering past

MICHAEL Mangos was 12 when he arrived in Australia from Kas-tellorizo, one of the Greek Islands.

That was back in 1908 when there were only about 1000 Greeks in Australia.

Today, 75 years and about 145,000 Greek migrants later, Michael looks back with mixed sentiments on that era.

He has run a milk bar in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, worked for Vestey Brothers' Meatworks in Darwin and cut wood and cane in Queensland.

Michael came to Melbourne in 1919 and five years later took over the Oriental Cafe at 54"Chapei Street. Today it is a pizza parlor.

He retired 12 years ago when he was 75.


Now he lives quietly' in Windsor, proud of his 37 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

One of the Justice of the Peace's most-prized posses­sions is a letter from Malcolm Fraser wishing him a speedy recovery from an arthritic hip operation last October The let­ter is framed and sitting on his mantelpiece.

Michael talks freely about some of his experiences as a pioneer European migrant to Australia:

"When people come here from Greece today they can go to the many Greek people here for help

"I regard myself as a Greek by birth but an Australian-because I've lived here for such a long time," he said.

"Most of my friends are Australian. I am a member of the Melbourne Bowling Club in Windsor and I go there some­times for a drink with the boys.

"I went back home to Greece three years ago. I felt more Australian than Greek there.

"I always wanted my chil­dren to speak Greek. You never forget your old language. Your mother put it in you. If you don't teach your child your language, you get lost, don't you?


"Two of my sons married Australian girls. Naturally, you want your children to marry their own kind, but you can't slop them if they want to marry someone else."

Michael has seen some changes in Prahran since 1924, but he still believes there is a lot about Chapel Street that has stayed the same.

"But when I came here, I had nobody to help me out and 1 had to do it on my own.

"The Australians looked at Greeks badly years ago. They called us foreigners and dagos and they always shouted out 'go back to your own country'.

"I remember a bunch of Australians getting very drunk one Christmas in Kalgoorlie during the First World War. They smashed up my milkbar and all the other shops owned by foreigners.

"When I was in Chapel Street, they'd sometimes come

in and cause trouble. My God,

there were some wild buggers

"1 think people have changed a lot here. They're more civil to Greeks these days.

"They call you 'mate' now instead of 'dago'.

"I think it's because Austra­lians have gone off to fight overseas in two big wars. They saw there is a world out there and that Australia isn't the only country under the sun,"

Perhaps not surprisingly, Michae! admits to mixed feel­ings about his own identity af­ter 75 years in Australia.

"I think the hardest time I had in Chapel Street was during the depression,

"People used !u come into the cafe and beg for food. 1 used to give them a feed.

"I got through those years because I had to. I had a family to support.



"Sure Prahran is a cos­mopolitan place now. Greeks come here to establish them­ selves. I think they pick the area because there are a lot of other Greeks here

"Bui Chapel Street has al­ways been a busy place because there are so many people here.

"The shops always did well here although they don't say that these days because the rents are so high. When I first came here. I only paid three

pounds rent a week. These days if you pay $100 a week, you're getting it cheap."

Michael smiled when he was asked if he would live away from Prahran in, for example, a place like Brighton.

"I'd live there — if I had to. I don't really want to live any­where else. My home is here."





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