Book launch of 'The Ithacans' a great success

IPS Centenary COVER SINGLE 051016 1The centenary publication 'The Ithacans' was launched on Sunday 16 October in front of a full house by acclaimed political journalist and author George Megalogenis. 

'The Ithacans' is a culmination of many years of work by the publication group and the result is nothing short of spectacular. The Society extends its congratulations to the group for their vision, perseverance and tireless efforts in producing a volume of work that makes us all very proud. The publication group consisted of:


Anna Vlass - Convenor
George Paxinos - Writer  
Alkmini Paxinos - Editor
Alkmini Paxinos and Anna Vlass - Layout and proofing 
James Raftopoulos - Designer
Andrew Raftopoulos - Design consultant
Andrew and Kay Raftopoulos - Printer liaison


MCed by Executive Committee member Elly Symons, the audience listened to speeches by the publication group who gave us an appreciation of the enormity of this literary undertaking as well as some insight into what inspired the words and design.

Feedback has been very positive, with members saying it provided them with an emotional trip down memory lane as they reminisced about their lives of those of their loved ones.

If you were unable to attend the book launch but wish to purchase a copy/ies of THE ITHACANS, books will be available for purchase at our upcoming functions including the:

Children's Christmas Party on 4/12 and

Members' Christmas Luncheon at Merrimu Receptions on 18/12


Alternatively, you can order your copy/ies of THE ITHACANS by completing the ORDER FORM, indicating your preferred method of payment and collection.


'Out of the Earth' screening at the 23rd Greek Film Festival

The annual Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival which commences on 12th October is one of Melbourne's most eagerly anticipated events for the many Greek Australians interested in film and culture.

As we celebrate our 100 years as a society in Melbourne, this year's Festival is especially significant for the Ithacans of Melbourne. As part of the Festival, the Greek Australian Short Films Festival (GASFF) will feature the film documentary,'Out of the Earth' The Life and Times of A J J Lucas, produced for the IPS Centenary Opening event in March this year. The documentary chronicles the extraordinary life and times of A J J Lucas, our founding president, a businessman, philanthropist and prominent member of the Greek community in Victoria.

The short film, directed by Katrina Lucas, the great granddaughter of A J J Lucas, will be screened on two dates: Thursday 13 October and Sunday 16 October, which coincide with our centenary week.

For those entertaining interstate guests, it’s a perfect opportunity to take them along to view this outstanding and moving documentary film.

For more information and to view the full festival program visit Select the GASFF tab for the short film festival program.


Join us at the Panayias Katharon & Centenary Memorial Service

FlyerPanayiasGra phicJoin us at the Greek Orthodox Church Presentation of Our Lady to the Temple
7 Macedon Avenue, North Balwyn
to celebrate Panayias Katharon with Artoklasia - the blessing of the loaves - and to honour, in our Centenary Year, the memory of our Ithacan forefathers and loved ones.

After the service lunch will be served at the Sunset Bistro,
The Manningham, 1 Thompson’s Road Bulleen from 12.30 pm
RSVP for lunch essential: DONATION: $25
Kristalenia Collins 0409 357 747
Helen Vlass 9857 6716

We look forward to seeing you there.

Saving Jim

It was heartening news to hear that Jim Vlassopoulos underwent a successful kidney transplant on July 25, 2016 at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Centre in the US. Jim was suffering from a genetic kidney disease which had him on dialysis on a daily basis. A Facebook page was launched to raise awareness of Jim’s condition and to seek an organ donation. The outcome was positive with a suitable donor found in Israeli Yogev Azulay, a total stranger to Jim, who generously and altruistically gave Jim the gift of life.

Kathy (Nina) Vlassopoulos, Jim’s second cousin, here in Melbourne, relates Jim’s dream prior to the transplant: “I want to wake up in my house in Platrithia and feel the sense of security my family gave me growing up. I need that familiarity so much, that feeling of belonging. Spring and summer, with its warmth and smells”.  Jim will now have the opportunity to do this.

Jim is the son of the late Anastasi and Louisa Vlassopoulos (Kioukiouris). Anastasi was a member of the Society, living in Melbourne for a number of years before returning to live permanently in Ithaca.

The Ithacan community in Melbourne and Ithaca have been supportive in promoting the Saving Jim Facebook page and fundraising events to assist with expenses related to the transplant totalling around $US200 000. You can still donate to this cause. For details go to

Extract of a message recently posted on Facebook by Jim’s wife Galit:

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to you our dear friends, for your kind words of support, for your generous donations and for everything you have done for us. It is extremely heartwarming and we are humbled by your gestures. We can assure you that your support has given us the strength and courage to overcome this challenging period and we are now looking forward to what lays ahead, full of optimism and a strong zeal for life and all it has to offer. The experience has touched our lives in so many ways and we will be forever grateful for the miraculous outcome”.


Jim is pictured centre in the photo above. To the left is his family, wife Galit and five children from oldest to youngest – Kaili, Kleon, Naeli, Anjel and Yvie. To the right is the kidney donor Yogev with his wife Liora and their child Yehuda.

"Greek Cafés & Milk Bars of Australia" book launch

Remember when each suburb and every country town had a Greek café or milk bar – open all hours, 7 days a week?

Documentary photographer Effy Alexakis, and historian, Leonard Janiszewski, have been researching the Greek-Australian historical and contemporary presence in both Australia and Greece since 1982.

In their latest book, Greek Cafés & Milk Bars of Australia, the era of Australia’s Greek cafés and milk bars is vividly brought to life.

With Ithacans forming a large part of the cafe culture, particularly in Melbourne, this book will be relevant to many of our members.

Leonard and Effy will be in Melbourne to present a lecture at the launch on their 30 years of research culled from travels within four continents, selected from over 1,800 interviews and innumerable contemporary and historical photographs. A selection of Melbourne and Victorian Greek-run cafés and milk bars will be included in their presentation.

Wednesday 10 August, 7pm
Delphi Bank Mez, Greek Centre
168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Light refreshments will be served and the book will be available for purchase.
RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday 8 August.

If you cannot make it to the official launch at the Greek Centre, Effie and Leonard will be at the Brunswick Library on Thursday 11 August at 7.30pm. Register online at or phone 9389 8600. 

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