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Peter Flaskas 1879-1945

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Peter Flaskas was born on 22 October 1879 in Christoforianika to Haralambos Christoforos (Flaskas) of Andrea, a cooper, and his second wife Gligoria Magoula (Paschalis) of Ioanni, both of Christoforianika. He was the sixth of their 12 children. He was baptised in Agios Vasilios church in Christoforianika on 4 November 1879.

Nothing more is known about his life in Kythera.

He sailed to Sydney via England onboard the S.S. Sophia and arrived in October 1902, aged 23. Here he was known as Peter Flaskas. He spent only three months in Sydney before moving to Brisbane where he stayed for three years.

In Brisbane, Peter met and married Hannah Conroy, daughter of William Conroy and Hanora Brown, on 7 February 1905. Four and a half months later, on 23 Jun 1905, their first child, Mirriam (according to her birth record) or Gladys (according to her death record) was born. Unfortunately, she died on 27 November 1905, only five months old. Their second daughter, Eileen, was born on 15 January 1907.

Towards the end of 1907 Peter, Hannah and Eileen move to Casino where Peter spent 10 months working for his cousins George and Kerry Cordato in their refreshment rooms.

About July or August, 1908 the Flaskas family moved to Woodlark Street, Lismore where Peter worked as a waiter or refreshment room attendant. It is here on the 27 October 1908 that Peter applied for naturalization, claiming he wished to buy some property in Australia.

Signature of Peter Flaskas as signed on his Australian naturalisation documents NAA: A1, 1908/12731

His naturalization was approved on 22 December 1908 after he took the Oath of Allegiance on 10 November. Not long after, on 5 February 1909, Peter bought refreshment rooms in Richmond Terrace Coraki, NSW from S. Comino & Co. These refreshment rooms were only opened by Comino five months previously.

Raymond Terrace, Coraki, 1912 Francis Richard (Frank) Moore (1878-1964) Collection and University of Newcastle Library

1909 was not a good year for Peter and Hannah. On 23 July 1909 Peter was in court after a rug he owned was stolen. He did not press charges.

On 2 November 1909, their daughter Eileen showed signs of illness and on 5 November 1909 she passed away from acute gastritis after severe suffering. She was only 2 years and 9 months old and their only surviving child.

It is unsure when Peter left Coraki, but between 1913 and 1925 Peter and Hannah lived either at Maryborough Street or Branyan Street, Maryborough. Peter passed his examination in cream grading in May 1913 and found work as a butter maker. He was to stay in Queensland for the rest of his life.

Peter and Hannah did have more children. Their son Harold Francis was born on 11 February 1911 in Queensland. Another daughter, Mary Noreen, was born in 1915, and a daughter Mary Lenore was born in about 1919. Noreen and Lenore were very good singers, with Lenore competing in many eisteddfods in the 1930’s. There is also a son, Peter whose birth date is unknown, but he passed away on 20 October 1917 as a baby or young child. Hannah’s death certificate says there were 3 deceased children but Peter’s says there were 4 deceased children. It is possible there was another son who passed away after his mother but before his father, but no records for a birth or death have been found.

By 1930 Peter was the founder/proprietor of the Gaynor Ice Works in Brisbane. On 2 August 1930 a man applied for a job in the ice works but Peter does not give him one. While there, the man put his hand in an engine and had to have 2 fingers amputated. He tries to claim compensation but Peter refused, as he was not an employee.

Peter’s wife Hannah passed away on 3 February 1937 aged 60 from intra-peritoneal (intra-abdominal) abscess. They were married for 32 years. She was a keen music lover and needleworker.

Peter had an accident on 15 Jan 1939. He was employed at Fresh Food & Ice Company, South Brisbane when he fell 3 feet while removing ice from an ice tank. It was found he suffered a paralytic stroke. His condition was serious. It is unsure how much permanent damage was done by the stroke.

Peter died 24 April 1945 from cerebral haemorrhage and hypertensive vascular disease. He was 65 years old, of which he’d spent 47 years in Queensland. He left behind three surviving children.

Peter and Hannah were both buried in Toowong Cemetery, Queensland.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,, Kythera Council Marriage Records

National Archives of Austrtalia

Queensland Births, Deaths and Marriages

New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages

National Library of Austrtalia: Trove

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