A Very Warm Welcome in Wellington

Wellington's Lesvians Welcome Syndesmos

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Mytilenian Association of New Zealand gave Vasilios Vasilas a rousing welcome at their afternoon tea, as he proposed to begin archiving New Zealand's Lesvian migrants on Syndesmos and to include what is researched in New Zealand in future publications. 

The Association's President, George Moutzouris, got the afternoon proceedings underway with the opening speech, as he stated how important Vasilas' work is and was very pleased that he would like begin this work in New Zealand too. "Over the last couple of days, I have been taking Vasilis around Wellington to visit homes, where he films migrants saying their stories, and then he scans their photographs. In a couple of days, people have realised just how important the documentation process is and he has generated so much interest. This is just fantastic for our community here," explained President, George Moutzouris. 


Above: Vasilis Vasilas (left) and President, George Moutzouris- with Greg Lagoutaris (right) address members and guests.  

In a warm and hospitable atmosphere, dozens of Wellington's Lesvian community packed their local Greek Orthodox Church Hall to listen to Vasilas' recount the hard work and success behind the Lesvian migration website, Syndesmos, and his publications, Journeys of Uncertainty and Hope and Our Homeland: Lesvos.  


Above: A lot of interest was generated throughout the afternoon. 

As he continued with his speech, Vasilas proposed to expand the documentation and archiving the life stories of New Zealand's Lesvian community, " Documenting information and photographs from Lesvian migrants of Australia has now generated an important on-line archive and- with your help- I would like to do the same in New Zealand," stated Vasilas, "We are in a very crucial phase in our respective communities; if we do not get the information and stories down now, they will disappear with the passing of post-War generation of our migrants. Our opportunity to do this, in New Zealand, is now."

It is anticipated Vasilas will visit Wellington, New Zealand, in September (2011) to continue the documentation.

For more photographs: Photo Gallery