On Sunday 6 March, the Ithacan Philanthropic Society launched its centenary celebrations by paying tribute to the life and achievements of its founding President A J J Lucas with a documentary and a retrospective exhibition. The opening, held at the Melbourne Town Hall, also included a moving commemorative presentation to past presidents of the Society since A J J Lucas.
The afternoon’s Master of Ceremonies, Angela Pippos, being of Ithacan descent herself, added a humorous and spontaneous touch to the afternoon’s proceedings.
The documentary on A J J Lucas’ life, beautifully shot and directed by his great grand-daughter, Katrina Lucas, was definitely a highlight of the opening. To many of us in the audience, it was also a history lesson about the life of a penniless migrant who became one of the most successful businessmen in Melbourne, running high end cafes in the city; commissioning the famed architect, Walter Burley Griffin, to design the Capital Theatre on Swanston Street; founded the Ithacan Philanthropic Society; co-founded the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and became an important philanthropist.
The Society would like to acknowledge and congratulate the wonderful work of Andrew and Kay Raftopoulos, convenors of the opening, who worked tirelessly for years on this labour of love, with meticulous attention to detail, to ensure our Centenary Opening, will be remembered for a long time to come.
For photos of the Centenary Opening, click here.