Did you know that our Church services a large geographical area from Liverpool to Moss Vale and is home to the first documented Greek Australian?
In July 1827, during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire Andonis Manolis captained the Hercules, a Greek ship which looted the cargo of a British owned Maltese ship in Mediterranean to replenish their own supplies.
Manolis and the six other Greek sailors were convicted of piracy by a British Court in Malta, transported to England and later Australia upon a convict ship. All seven sailors were pardoned after 6 years of being in Australia but only Manolis and Ghikas Boulgaris decided to stay in Australia.
They are recognised as Australia's first Greek settlers and Manolis settled within our Church district.
Manolis worked for Mr William Macarthur of Camden Park, who was the son of John and Elizabeth Macarthur, the pioneers and founders of the Australian Wool industry. He established himself as a gardener and vine dresser in the Camden and Picton area.
Andonis Manolis was buried in Picton in 1880 at the Picton Cemetery and you can visit his grave today.
The epitaph inscribed upon his tomb reads ‘In a strange land, the stranger finds a grave, far from his home, beyond the rolling wave’.
Fr Nicholas Stavropoulos from St Basils visited Antonis Manolis' grave accompanied by the Evzones - the Hellenic Presidential Guard on Saturday, 28 April 2018.
Photos courtesy of the Early Greek Australians Facebook page.