1961 Main topics and work of the Team



1961 By-weekly reports: A summary of main topics, events, visitors, etc.

The 2nd year of the Team being on Kythira.

A successful year for all kinds of possible activities that were discussed and have been finished, or could have been, in the coming years. Also manifest came the ages old controversy between the north (exo) and the south (mesa) of the island. Why did the Bishop not want to schedule a visit to the main church of Potamos for the Archbishop from Australia on his visit to Kythira? And why was the Bishop opposed to the Sunday market in Potamos? This was again queried by Mr. Stratis Theodorokakis at a commemoration evening for Bishop Meletios in 2009! Mr. Koksma in the beginning agreed on this matter with the Bishop but changed his mind later: the Sunday market served the need for socializing/meeting of people from all over the island! Also, people could sell and buy all kinds of their own local grown agricultural products. Fortunately, the Sunday market thus survived for these reasons over the years. Especially from Potamos in discussions with Mr. George Koksma came a strong opposition against the Bishop. George always tried to explain and defend the Bishop’s reasons. Many, many years later he confessed that it would have been much better if he had only listened to the opponents, in this way he might have gained a better credibility for the Team’s proposed activities in those years.



1961 Koksma & Keimpe Jellema in Chora office


1961: January 1 / 14

About Mr. Hicks, a rich Australian in search to do something otherwise than with his money; discussions on stables; farmer Kostas pigs all died; about hot houses in Mitata; handing out letters to all the children of the gymnasium and the 18 other schools; Charley making use of this opportunity for the sociological review; the planting of 500 trees by scholars at Myrtidia; about a possible reconstruction of the English school at Potamos

1961 January 15 / 28

About Mr. Gilbert Hicks, could he do something for the island; Bishop again leaves the island; drafting island water system finished: discussions now can start; the promised bulldozer will be shipped January 27; Mr. Theocharopoulos asks for cooperation with the team on agricultural matters; for 120 cows there is no bull; sheep grazing inside the for young trees fenced area at Myrtidia; some 2500 trees have been planted up till now; forester Yiannis Zerlendes wants to stay at Kythera, as will Mr. Althanius, both like to improve conditions at Kythera; Frits van der Hoeven advocates in Holland about Kythera

1961 January 29 / February 11

The possibility to start a chicken and poultry farm in Livadi; about the rented garden at Agios Theodoros; a visit to the dam site at Myrtidia; the growing of locally used grain costs more than it yields; Miss Evangelista, governmental home economist regrettably leaves Kythera; what would construction of sewerage for Mylopotamos cost; hotel project Agia Pelagia finished; about two new roads to Paleopolis; the renting of a garage for 150 drachms a month in Potamos for Panayiotis Pasgalis; a hotel for Karavas; Mr. Althanius has to go immediately to Macedonia; the burning of a field not withstanding an article in the Kythiraïki Drasis; 1st meeting with Mr. Sinis, German speaking chief engineer of the Nomarchy; a preliminary design for the required changes for the hospital

1961: February 12 / 25

Lengthy discussions with opposition in Potamos concerning the Bishop; probabilities for Mr. Hicks to stay at Kythera; in Mitata things do not seem to develop; a promised vacation to Holland; again investigating the possibility of a road around Chora; Mr. Tsitsilias and his idea of building a town in Diakofti; the first stable in Logothetianika for farmer Kostas; meeting pappas Nikolaos (former bank employee)  in Aroniadika who lives in poor conditions, he had received a cable that his mother died and was going to be buried next day in Kalamata, money was provided for the boat trip to Neapolis and the further trip to Kalamata; discussions with exacting newspaper owner, who is difficult to handle; Mr. Theocharopoulos is back at Kythera and seems to have changed his attitude

1961: February 26 / March 9

Mr. Hicks will stay for 3 months; writing articles for the newspaper; a letter to Shell Holland asking for support; how to help pappas Nikolaos; discussions in Potamos for the sporting hall and the design for a market hall; design for studio for Mr. Sofios, photographer in Potamos; during the coming vacation Mr. Althanius will do follow up on several subjects; the bulldozer, a gift from ‘Brot für die Welt’, arrived at Kapsali

1961: March 9 / April 27

A cordial reception when arriving at Piraeus from Kytherians living in Athens; meeting the Greek League of Authors and their wish to build an international center at Diakofti; discussions with Mr. and Mrs. Metzler about finances for the Team; the 14th of March Orthodoxy meeting Protestantism.

By plane to Zürich, Switzerland, WCC conference

Vacation in Holland from March 21 thru April 4: but also meaning a lot of business to find funds for Kythera; visited Mr. van Veen in Zwolle, concerning plastic waterpipes from Wavin; first contacts for technical assistance from a Technical High School in Arnhem, Holland; back by plane to Athens, welcomed by Mr. Althanius; by jeep to Figalia to celebrate Easter.

At Mistras Mother Superior had read about the WCC work at Kythera; meeting the Delaveris family; visiting the Dutch embassy; meetings with various governmental officials; by kaïki for 1500 drachms from Gythion to Kythera

1961: April 27 / May 13

Gilbert Hicks will marry a girl from the island; three bulls for the island have to be transported from Komotini to Kythera and have to be accompanied by a governmental agricultural official; Charley Schroeder is driving around with tree planters; Bishop versus Potamos mayor; no water found yet for the well dug according governmental directives in Potamos; X-ray set donated by Philips, Holland; a driver (Demos) for the bulldozer; 80 year old Mr. Kondos near Mylopotamos would like to have a bathroom for his wife (72) and a son in law for his daughter (40); Team pays for one extra tree planter to help Yiannis Zerlendes; the daughter of pappas Stavros has a good voice, but needs to mature; where have the two bulls to go: Strapodi, Fratsia?; why and how to intervene between wedded partners; Bishop orders that different visitors have to stay in his house; about Bishop’s pedagogical methods for pappas Nikolaos young  son; about the work of pappas Nikolaos

The short visit of Mr. Metzler; seeds from CWS and CARE; the visit of architect Mr. Maltos (hospital and girls’ school); a new head mistress in Mylopotamos girls school; well at Potamos at 10 m depth still no water; Bishop originally wanted an artesian well drilled


*click on a photo to enlarge




1961: May 14 / 27

Bulldozer driver Demos Tzanidis and the first work being done in Kapsali for 100 drachms one hour; two bulls are raffled between 20 farmers and thus causing 18 angry faces; a request to Her Majesty the Queen of Greece on behalf of the Mylopotamos school; Mr. Althanius is allowed to stay at Kythera under the condition that he shows progress with the sporting fields: the bulldozer has to help him here and will go next to Potamos, with a detour to Mitata in order not to drive unnecessary over asphalted roads; Bishop opposes G. Hicks; Mr. Theocharopoulos (chief forester) does not have a typewriter; will Geneva accept the conditions for Mr. Hicks becoming the right hand of Mr. Koksma?; about the slides from several monasteries as requested by the Bishop; kafenion owner Victor in Potamos would like to have trees planted on his property; Mr. Theocharopoulos ideas about cooperation with the Team; good progress on leveling the sporting field in Potamos; Mr. Althanius and a proposed excursion to the Peloponnese with the children of the gymnasium and how this was achieved; why had those trees at Karavas to be cut?; Viaradika had ordered tree spraying machines; tree planting is troublesome according Yiannis Zerlendes

1961: May 28 / June 10

Mr. and Mrs. Koksma joining Mr. Althanius 4 days excursion with gymnasium scholars to the Peloponnese, starting in Athens, then to Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Epidavros, Argos, Pyrgos, Olympia, Tripoli, Sparta, Mistras; by cable Mr. Althanius is informed to leave Kythera immediately for he is promoted to Seres, the Bishop would not bother to keep him on the island; opposition on the island against the Bishop also again revealing the ages old contrast between Chora (mesa) and Potamos (exo); inspecting the Agios Theodoros site for the planting of trees; meeting the Bishop in Athens; meeting high official together with Mr. Althanius: result is that he may stay another 3 weeks at Kythera

1961; June 11 / 24

First Dutch people, Mr. and Mrs. Van Hinlopen, visiting the Team, they will do all they can in Holland to find ways to raise funds to support the Team’s work; the sudden passing away of the mayor of Chora; resurrection of Karvounades Farmers Cooperation; surveying last part of Petrouni, but the well is 127 m lower than the proposed place of the water tower, advice of a hydrologist is needed; lifting potatoes in experimental garden at Mitata; investigation at Paleopolis at the assumed site of Skandia, 3 workmen have offered 3 days of work for free!; Bishop orders pappas Nikolaos to sell 5000 (!) pamphlets in neighboring villages; a spraying machine for Karavas and now to convince them to use it; for his tree planting  forester Yiannis Zerlendes gets 70.000 drachms from the government which amount is not even enough for all required fences, there are maybe 120.000 seedlings and only 20.000 will have a place so far; reasons not liking the Sunday market at Potamos; tree planting committee in Chora installed consisting of Y. Zerlendes, G. Kalligeros and G. Koksma and starts with a donation of 20.000 drachms; the 200 chickens bought from WCC Ioannina for farmer Kostas arrived at Logothetianika, unfortunately his sow had died from the food, with glass and metal pins, that came from the hospital; meeting with the committee of the Teachers Society; a special on pappas Nikolaos from Aroniadika and the Bishop’s pamphlets

1961: June 25 / July 8

Gilbert Hicks married a Kytherian girl; chickens from WCC Ioannina had fowl plague and have to be destroyed, consequences for the island?; the design for the market hall at Potamos is accepted; 1st speech in Greek in Kalamos; again lifting potatoes in experimental garden at Mitata; Karavas was handed a plan for a domestic water supply system, nothing was done however, they waited for the Team to take the lead; at Agia Elesa a tree hater is cutting tree lets just below the ground, together with the justice of peace action is taken; strength design for market hall Potamos started; visiting Bishop from Santorin in comparison to Bishop Meletios and the latter’s remark what to do with Protestants in Livadi ; people from Chora by bus to Karavas for a meal; donation for young boy being nr. 1 of the gymnasium to follow extra lessons in order to go to university; at the monastery of Myrtidia seemingly they do not care very much about the planting of trees; demonstrations in experimental garden at Mitata; visit from befriended Dutchman, sociologist student colleague of Mr. Koksma’s daughter; demonstration of spraying machine in Karavas, but no spectators

1961: July 9 / 22

Writing an article in the Kythiraïki Drasis concerning an airfield; growing of wheat should not be done anymore; is Bishop ill or on vacation?; three volunteering workmen from Karvounades partly excavated a probably filled in prehistoric grave, Mr. Theocharopoulos came to have a look; at Gerakari for a new road and another poor pappas; discussion with Yiannis Zerlendes about the required improvements on the island for better living conditions for everybody and thus a cooperation even with Mr. Th. will be necessary; 8 men are now working in the gardens of Myrtidia; a party of justices of peace are visiting Kythera; trying to locate a large cave supposed to be at the site of Paleochora; Team paid an indemnity of 2000 drachms to disinfect farmer Kostas place in Logothetianika due to the fowl plague; the market hall in Potamos, being the 1st structure designed by the Team, is going to be constructed

1961: July 23 / August 5

Bishop back at Kythera, only welcomed by the Team members; goods from Holland for the Team arriving at Athens office were handed to the Bishop, thus causing delay for these to arrive at Kythera; Bishop explaining to two official agricultural opponents how they should execute their work; Charley Schroeder investigated the trouble and or damage found with the Philips X-ray set; Mr. Althanius leaves Kythera for good; in Potamos complains from Australian deacon Panaretos on Bishop’s program for next week visit of the Australian Archbishop: Potamos was left out of the program!; hospital director from Piraeus not happy with design of architect Maltos for layout improvements for hospital at Potamos; attending the reception of the Australian Archbishop; dinner with Dr. Kasapis to celebrate his wife’s 91 birthday; how the Australian Archbishop was lured into the Potamos church; Bishop offers the site of Agios Theodoros for the planting of trees (tree nursery); the 3 out of 39 expected Athenians to come to Kythera, were taken to Agios Theodoros to see the planting of trees; investigation of rocky terrain at west side of mountain Mermingaris; Bishop’s blessing of the making of tree plant holes at Agios Theodoros; Australian Mr. Panayiotis Fatseas from Mitata offers his estate to everybody who will care that his place will not be neglected; acting for Bishop as his reception representatives: meaning being at Agia Pelagia at 5 o’clock in the morning to drive one architect and one archeologist to Chora!

1961: August 6 / 12

For 100.000 little trees in the nursery at Myrtidia a place to be planted has to be found: tree planting meetings in the villages; Bishop never gets tired when the church is involved; lessons Modern Theology for the Bishop; the begging for water where there is no money

1961: August 13 / September 3

No answer yet from Geneva for a possible contract of Mr. Hicks with the Team; journey to Athens: trying to find out why Mr. Althanius could not remain at Kythera, to buy office supplies and spare parts for  the bulldozer; trip continued to Crete to talk with (an) expert(s) on banana and carob tree cultures; discussions with the director of the agricultural offices in Rethymnon and visiting an agricultural school; the fabrication of carob flour; a visit to the WCC Team at Kastelli, the region has a very beloved bishop; back to Athens; finding a 3rd bull and 4 donkeys for Kythera ; one week on vacation to Figalia; back on Kythera; Geneva has a complete misunderstanding of the needs and troubles of the Team; Gilbert Hicks will leave Kythira; continuing mechanical troubles with the bulldozer; invited by the Police to meet the Minister of Finance

1961: September 4 / 17

Tree planting discussions Mylopotamos, Kalokerines; new well at Tsikalaria; meeting new President of Chora about road repair Kapsali, discussion new road around Chora, chicken farm, plans for a hotel, incineration of refuse; hydraulic system of bulldozer out of order, Allis-Chalmers people in Athens do not seem to care, consequently Demos has to go to Athens; a Dutch visitor, Mr. Theunis Kok, from WCC Vigla, discussing agricultural problem with him; Charles Schroeder left Kythira for good and Mr. Hicks is preparing to leave as well; 2000 trees asked for in Pitsinianika; with Mr. Petrochilos to Paleopolis for an archeological investigation with two experts from Athens, Mr. Kok found a bronze knife; high official from the Ministry of Education offered some of his land for the recreation center of Potamos; meeting in Kondolianika with 70 people, with little result however;

Repair of the roof of the hospital with the material sent from Holland, but which had been wrongly kept by the Bishop; visiting villages Livadi, Viaradika and Mitata to discuss the Team’s program, but not to great result, in Alexandrades however the opposite; the 3rd bull is in Agia Pelagia; a desperate disappointed deacon Panaretos; 600 trees requested in Mylopotamos and 1600 in Dokana; 1st visit to the Agia Sofias church and cavern in Kalamos

1961: September 18 / October 1

What the Archbishop of Australia had said to deacon Panaretos; Mr. Keimpe Jellema, Dutch, will come to assist the team on mainly architectural matters; visit to village of Kypriotianika, Bishop back at Kythera, straightening up differences; a newly dug well in Kalokerines has water; to many requests to see things in the villages; Bishop sends away one physician of the hospital; several villages do not meet their promises; in Logothetianika they will start the construction of the water tower as designed by the Team; tree meetings in Drymona, Karavas and Potamos; unused water in Mitata runs off to sea; in Potamos now things seem to go well compared to other places; long talk with the Bishop who says that it is him who is doing all the (good) work

1961: October 2 / 15

Council of Mylopotamos not in favor of the Team’s private plan to plant trees west of the Mermingaris, however plan is sent to the Nomarchis; with Bishop visiting schools; the village of Kalisperianika had the cistern constructed lower than the houses; bush fire at Mitata

Together with Yiannis Zerlendes explaining to Mr. Vardas in Livadi why he should plow horizontally and not grow wheat anymore and instead plant trees wherever possible; follow up on construction of water tower in Logothetianika and market hall in Potamos (they did not put in all the required rebar from the construction drawing! A letter was written to the responsible people in Potamos); Keimpe Jellema has arrived; Demos returned from Athens; Mr. Zographos, a representative of Philips-Athens arrived, to solve some X-Ray problems;

1961: October 16 / 29

Meeting with Mr. Megalokonomos in Potamos concerning a donation of a building near the sporting hall (meant is the old English school!) from somebody from Tasmania, Mr. Tzannes at Livadi is to be the contact person; investigation at Agios Theodoros for the possibility of an old people’s home; a speech for school teachers to convey to their children the importance of tree planting, distributing letters; Philips donation of various parts delivered at Potamos hospital; Mr. R.W. Kijlstra from Dutch main WCC office visited Kythera; about plans to develop the plain of Paleopolis; application forms for 4 Dutch technical students are being studied, they will arrive end January 1962; 1st study for an old people’s home at Agios Theodoros handed to Bishop;  government promised the drilling of an artesian well in Frilingianika; by boat to Athens

1961: October 30 / November 12

In Athens meetings with officials from the WCC, Nomarchy, Ministry of Health, architect Mr. Maltos, Archeological School (Miss Ileana Pavtopoulo and Mrs. Kominos), and so on; WCC Retreat; taking care of continuing troubles with the bulldozer; back at Kythera many people having work for the bulldozer and the air compressor; the plans for the school in Livadi will be started (what were these plans?); farmer Gianniotis from Livadi is asked if his daughter could help in the household as of January next year; selecting slides and pictures for various demonstrational purposes


Below a serie of photos of Bishop Meletios search for water in 1961

Click on a photo to enlarge



1961: November 13 / 26

Bishop had ordered photographer Mr. Sophios to do a lot of work, but changed his mind and did not pay; controversy location old people’s home: the Bishop wants it in far off Agios Theodoros, Mr. Kassimatis, rich fish trader from Tasmania/Australia, wants it at the place of his donation in Potamos and that the Board of the hospital does  the managing (but Bishop is president of this board and has other ideas!), Mr. Tzannes has to report about this and also has to clear whom of three brothers donated the place at Potamos; trust in repaying borrowed money to the newspaper is sinking; correspondence with Australia concerning maintenance of the future old people’s home; locating of site for a large well to be dug in Paleopolis; surveying of site for sporting hall in Chora; 1st yield of olive trees for lecture fees Suzy Skordillis;

Important meeting in Karavas with the Nomarchy; problems in staffing doctors in hospital; new cows need good food and good stables

1961: November 27 / December 10

Discussion with the new president of Livadi; discussion with Mr. Vasili Charos about a poultry program in Chora; 1st study of road to Pourko; making drawings for chicken stables; tree distribution program has started; car accident of Bishop; results of tomato growing; surveying of building site for a hotel in Kapsali; will another bulldozer driver be needed?; Koksma’s suggestion to solve the problem of the managing of the future old people’s home; the growing of alfalfa in Logothetianika;

1961: December 11 / 24

Keimpe Jellema surveyed piso gialo at Kapsali; application for tree lets goes up; message from Holland, 10 tons of plastic water pipes from Wavin are granted, but some conditions have to be met; forester Zerlendes away for 3 weeks, Team has to take over transportation of tree lets; the poultry program in Logothetianika is being started; why the flour from CARE and CWS was not distributed by pappas Stavros from Chora; meeting at Karavas about where the water should come from to fill the plastic pipes from Holland

1961: December 25 / 31

Making ready the CROP statement for the donation from America; the Nomarchy sent 2 bulldozers to Kythera and ordered the communities to make use of them; a loan of 100 US dollars for a boy not suitable for military service; not happy with produced work of Jellema; at Karavas spring Manganou measured to yield 220 m3 water a day; a loan of 1000 drachms for a successful eye treatment in Athens will be paid back by young Georgios Panaretos by working in the garden of Myrtidia; Mr. Heracles Tsitsilias would give 20.000 drachms for the 1st dam in Agia Pelagia; Sylvester night


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