Supported by The Kytherian Association of Australia.
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November 2018

Dear Friends of Kythera,

our community has lost an irreplaceable member. Angelo Notaras, entrepreneur, inventor and philanthropist, has died at the age of 85. Quiet and unassuming, many in the community were unaware of his important work in diverse aspects of Kytherian life, from the support of a Greek Orthodox Church Foundation to aid disadvantaged persons suffering from alcohol and drug addiction, to the re-purchase and award-winning restoration with his family of the old Saraton Cinema in Grafton, which has achieved legendary status far beyond the Kytherian cosmos.
Angelo's long list of achievements have been well-documented in various articles including the 2014 Kytherian Association of Australia Newsletter Article when he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal. Rather than repeat them here, I'd like to relate my personal experiences with Angelo and convey how contagious and invaluable his enthusiasm was.
Angelo was awarded theCross of St Andrews, Greek Orthodox Church’s Highest award, in 2003, and the prestigious Heritage Award in 2011.
Angelo was a key member of the Kytherian Association of Australia and was an invaluable supporter of and other projects I was associated with. Back in 2001, when I conceived Kythera-Family, years before community sites like Facebook were even founded, many senior members of the Kytherian community were sceptical of the value of a shared cultural archive site. But not Angelo. Within minutes of the concept being explained to him and despite the fact that he had hardly ever been "online" in his life, he recognised the wider ramifications – of helping link the international diaspora community and the island itself – and decided to develop a plan to get it funded. While running his successful Atom Industries, developing mechanisms to improve his products with his equally inventive brother John, maintaining his perfect garden and exquisit home in Bellevue Hill in Sydney, restoring a classic vintage car, and being present and supportive to his equally generous family, he managed to convince key members of the Kytherian community of the potential of It would literally never have been created without him. 
Angelo Notaras addressing the audience at the launch of "Life in Australia" in 2016
Never a push-over, Angelo didn't simply rubber stamped my many concepts for Kytherian projects: he was always insightful and constructively critical of them. And many of them never saw the light of day. But those he supported were as much his babies as mine, as he nursed them through from being rough and ready sketches to valuable resources which helped unite the world-wide Kytherian community. 
A decade after the launch of, with his "partner in Kytherian culture" George C. Poulos, Angelo founded the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, which concentrated on the publishing of Kythera-related books. Translations of historic editions like "Life in Australia" followed, as well as my collection of aerial photographs in "Kythera from the Air", which required extensive investment, planning and distribution as it was printed in China and shipped to Australia and Greece. Again, without Angelo's vision and support, this book and many more of greater importance to Kytherians might never have seen the light of day. 
Angelo was all "hands-on" - he was the most critical tester of the products which he and his brother sold. Here he demonstrates a "tiller" which was sold under the Solo brand.
Angelo mentored me in my own business endeavours, and took interest in my family and visited us on Kythera and in Berlin. His moral support helped me persevere during my own periods of self-doubt and despair, when ventures when awry or when my father passed-away last year. To our knowledge we were not related, yet he treated me as an wise old uncle would an overly-adventurous nephew. He knew that slapping me up verbally was the only way to get through to me sometimes, and he was the only one I would have listened to anyway. 
The "Saraton" ("Notaras" spelt backwards) Theatre in Grafton. With his brothers and cousin, Angelo managed the restoration of the classic Art-Deco cinema and was awarded Heritage Awards for the magnificent work.
Rather than dwell on what we have lost in his death, I suggest we remain inspired by his insight and wisdom and overwhelmingly positive world-view. Family and community was what Angelo was all about. In addition to this, he was passionate about creative projects which created new impetus within the Kytherian community and ultimately has helped preserve the island-connection of younger generations which might otherwise have been lost in the melting pot of the New World.

James Prineas

Copyright © James Prineas 2016

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