ABOUT US

The Kastellorizian Association of Queensland was founded in 1946.

 

The pioneers of our now Association came together as a group to keep the memories of their life on Kastellorizo alive. The aim of the Association was to provide the opportunity for people to meet and enjoy the company of other Kassies. In the early days their goals were simple; to discuss the old country, organise outings, preserve our traditions and help other Kassies in need.  These basic ideals are still the foundation of our great Association today.

Kastellorizo, a major trading port.
Kastellorizo, a major trading port.

This photo was taken in 1921. The Island's history includes being occupied by the Knights of St John, the Sultan of Egypt, the King of Naples, Venetians, Ottomans, and more recently by the Italians in WW1. In ancient times, the island was called Megisti after its founder, a Cretan Prince called Megisteas. Its present name – Kastellorizo was given by the medieval Crusaders and was inspired by the red rocks on which the Knights’ Castle, Castel Rosso, was built. The island came under Turkish rule in 1522. Kastellorizo was occupied by the French during the First World War. The island was ceded to Italy in 1921. When the Italians surrendered to the allies in 1943, the British ruled the island until 1944 when the Germans took control. After the war, the British military forces reigned on the island. Kastellorizo was returned to Greece in 1948.

Cathedral of St Giorgis
Cathedral of St Giorgis

This is the cathedral of St. Constantine and St. Helen. It was built circa 1835 in honour of the patron saints. The Church has a three-nave basilica, beautifully painted icons, marble icon screens and a tall marble bell tower. Granite pillars brought from Patara (Lycea) in 1835 are believed to be from the Temple of Pythius Apollo.

St Constantine
St Constantine

Constantine was born in the year 273A.D. The son of Constantius Chlorus, Ruler of Gaul, and Saint Helene. Constantine became an army officer and won many battles. Much later he became sole ruler of the Roman Empire. He showed great tolerance for Christianity, primarily because of his mother, Saint Helene, and because he had seen the Sign of the Cross in the sky prior to his battle with Maxentius. Saint Helene at the age of eighty, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Her mission was to discover the cross on which Christ was crucified. She had seen the place where she would find the cross in her dreams. Tradition claims that on her way to the Holy Land, she sought shelter from the heavy seas and storms on Kastellorizo. To thank the Lord for protecting her, Saint Helene built the original church where the church of Saints Constantine and Helene now stands. Later, to honour her visit, a gold coin was minted, showing Saints Constantine and Helene holding the cross. Many of these coins are still in circulation all over the world. The feast day of Saint Constantine and Saint Helene is celebrated on 21 May.

Lycian rock-cut tomb
Lycian rock-cut tomb

The Lycian rock-cut tomb dates back to the 4th century BC. With its Doric facade carved out of the rockface, it is located below the Knights' Castle. It is believed to be the only one in Greece.