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Minas Aronis - born 1902 to Kosmas and Erini

Minas Aronis (Kavopoulos and Sotirakos), also known as Minas Aroney, was born on 25 January, 1902 in Aroniadika, Kythera, Greece. He was the youngest of two sons of Kosmas Aronis and Erini Sofiou and had dark hair, dark eyes, and a mole on his left cheek.

Photo found on a tombstone that is likely to be Minas Aronis

He attended school in Potamos, Kythera from 1914 to 1917. During this time, he studied a variety of subjects including Greek, mathematics, religion, history, geography, natural history, French, physics, and calligraphy and iconography. In the school year ending 1916, Aronis received an overall mark of 6, which was considered good, while in the other years, he received an overall mark of 3.50 (average) or 5.50 (good).

On 15 August, 1931, Aronis married Fotini Aroni, the third child and eldest daughter of Theodoros Papadopulos (Aronis) and Chrisanthi Aroni (Tsitsilios).

Photo found on tombstone likely to be Minas' wife Fotini

In March 1938, Minas immigrated to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the S.S. Romolo and S.S. Esperence Bay, leaving his wife behind. Upon his arrival, he worked as a café assistant with Aroney Brothers in Mackay for about a year. He then opened his own business, Ideal Dry Cleaner, in Bundaberg, but it was not successful due to his limited English language skills. Aronis subsequently worked for Peter Locos in Paris Café in Charleville for about 18 months before moving to Hobart, Tasmania. In Hobart, he worked for Cassimatis Brothers in their fish shop at 21 Arthur Street and later at Pinnacle Dry Cleaners as a dry cleaner at 64 Park Street. In 1947, he returned to Bundaberg and worked as a presser at Ideal Dry Cleaner, his old business.

Aronis registered as an alien in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia on 22 January, 1940, stating that his wife had undergone a major operation in Greece and was unable to travel for three years. He came to Australia on the understanding that she would follow him later, but WWII broke out and she was stranded in Greece. Aronis had not heard from his wife or son since the German occupation and was not sure if they were alive. His application was rejected because it was believed that he did not care enough about his family to leave his wife behind if she was so sick. Aronis applied for Australian naturalisation on 28 April, 1944 in Hobart, Tasmania and again on 23 February, 1948 in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. On 6 September 1948, he took the Oath of Allegiance and his naturalisation was approved on 13 September, 1948.

No more is known about Minas. There is a tombstone in Aroniadika cemetery for a Minas Kosmas Aronis who died on 3 April, 1964 at the age of 62. According to our research there are no other possible Kosmas Aronis born about 1902, so it can be assumed he did return to his wife and family in Kythera.

May his memory be eternal.

Probable grave of Minas in Aroniadika cemetery


National Archives of Australia

Church of Latter Day Saints - Kytherian birth certificates

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