Members and guests celebrate the 60 year anniversary of Ithaca House

On Sunday 14 October, the Ithacan Philanthropic Society celebrated the 60th anniversary of opening of Ithaca House at our clubrooms.

Our 'home away from home' was filled to the brim with members and guests dressed in 60s inspired outfits sipping retro cocktails and enjoying delicious canapes as they reminisced about all the wonderful events they attended at Ithaca House over many decades.

Executive Committee member, Andrew Raftopoulos, paid tribute to the late Nick Sofarnos, the architect who designed Ithaca House and we were delighted that members of Nick's family could attend this special celebration.

Guests learnt about the five generous Ithacans who acted as Guarantors in the 50s, to the tune of 5000 pounds each, to start the process of building Ithaca House (which was recently heritage listed). To illustrate the enormous commitment by each Guarantor, 5,000 pounds represented the cost of a house at that time.

Congratulations to Andrea Scotis, who won best dressed, wearing an original, full length 60s gown in a beautiful brocade.

There are so many people to thank for making the 60 year anniversary event possible including the Executive, Historical and Events Committees.

A special thank you to our members, our friends from AHEPA, and Pano Apostolou from SBS for joining us to make it a sensational day. Click here to listen to Pano's report of our event on SBS radio - 'This is Ithaca': The 60th Anniversary of Melbourne's Ithaca House.

Please continue to support our events so that we may continue to provide the same high level of support for our community here and in Greece, and to ensure that our Ithacan roots are celebrated by generations well into the future.

Greece’s PM Tsipras hails end of bailout era from Ithaca

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed Greece’s exit from its bailout program on Tuesday 21 August in a televised address from Ithaca.

“Today a new day is dawning in our country, a historic day. The bailouts of recession, austerity, recession and social desertification are finally over,” Tsipras said.

“Ithaca is only the beginning,” he added. “We will never forget the causes and the faces that led the country to the memorandums,” he said, warning that “new battles lie ahead.”

Tsipras said that the modern “Odyssey” that Greece went through since 2010 has come to an end, that “the era of bailouts has finally ended” and “our country regains its right to define its future.”

The Greek PM's choice of Ithaca had a symbolic meaning. It is the very island where Odysseus returned home from the Trojan war after the 10-year voyage recounted by Greek classical poet Homer.

“Ithaca will once again be identified with the end of a modern-day Odyssey (that was) very difficult for the Greek people,” he said after arriving on the island.


Members learn to make tiropites and taramosalata in second series of cooking classes

On Sunday 17 June, a group of enthusiastic participants gathered at the Ithacan Club rooms for the second cooking class of the year. Even though the rain was pouring outside, members of various ages enjoyed learning how to make tiropites and authentic tarama. Loula Coutsvouelis was our rustic tiropita Masterchef, Anna Vlass demonstrated how to make filo pastry triangles while Genia Vlass-Tsilikis showed us how to make her mother’s taramosalata from scratch. It was a great opportunity to pass on family recipes and to enjoy a lovely lunch together at the end of the session. We are looking forward to the last cooking class of the year in October where we will teach you how to make Kourambiedes. The first session is almost sold out, so jump in before both sessions are full. Contact Peter Raftopoulos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thanks to the members who supported the day and see you at the next one!

IPS FaceBook Group meet at Dona Lefki for kafethaki

Congratulations to Debbie Argyropoulos, IPS Facebook Administrator, for organising the successful gathering of some eighty people, many from Australia, at Dona Lefki on July 19 2018.

The IPS Facebook group welcomes people of Ithacan descent and all people who love Ithaca. The aim of the event was to get FB members, who regularly post and comment, to meet fellow members from all around the world.

Katerina Grigoriou, President of Enosi Ithakision Greece summed up the general feeling amongst the people who attended at Dona Lefki when she said, "I congratulate Debbie Argyropoulos for this wonderful day. I believe this meeting was a great opportunity for old friends to get together again, and most importantantly, for younger Ithacans to meet each other and make new friendships, thereby ensuring that family traditions are passed on to the next generation. Great meeting! Great day for us all!"

You can view the buzzing atmosphere and some familiar faces on Youtube on the following link:

Photos labelled Kafethaki on Ithaca, courtesy of Erika Bach.


Australia's Biggest Morning Tea raises close to $5,000

What a fantastic "Biggest Morning Tea" we had on Thursday 17 May. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped raise close to $5,000 for the Cancer Council which inlcuded a generous donation by the Ithacan Phianthropic Society. We would also like to thank Anna Vlass who, once again, did an amazing job organising this fundraising event.

This year, we invited guests to bring along their traditional handicrafts where they were displayed for all to admire. Some of our members brought along precious, family heirlooms, others brought handicrafts that they had proudly made themselves. The intricate detail of the works was indeed phenomenal and reminded us of a much simpler time in our history where women were taught to sew, crochet and embroider by their mothers and grandmothers. It was wonderful to talk to the owners and makers of these exquisite works and learn more about how they were created.
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