History of the Association
The Castellorizian Association of Western Australia
A Brief History
The Castellorizian Association (Brotherhood) of Western Australia was established in 1912. The Brotherhood, as it was called then, was the first Greek association established in Western Australia and was the first Greek regional fraternity to have been formed anywhere in Australia. In W.A. only the Chinese Chung Wah Association, founded in 1909, is an older ethnic organization.
As the first Greek association in the state, and indeed Australia, it not only catered for the social and cultural well-being of its Castellorizian members, it also acted as a pan-Hellenic organization. It sought to provide Greeks with some avenues of cultural and spiritual fulfillment in the hope of reducing the problems of transition experienced by Greek migrants who came to Western Australia. Of the 139 Greeks residing in Perth at this time, approximately 100 were Castellorizian. Its objective was to keep Castellorizian culture and heritage alive, strong and relevant for the Greek diaspora in Western Australia.
Castellorizo is a small, hilly, arid and rock-covered island about six kilometres long and three kilometres wide and its relative isolation from mainland Greece and other Greek-speaking locations created a political and cultural separateness from the rest of Greece. A proud sea-faring island, prosperity waned in the later part of the nineteenth century and the people of Castellorizio began migrating to the United States of America, Australia and other countries.
Initially, the association was a loose gathering of interested individuals wanting to socialize and to exchange news about the island, friends and family. Today it is a strong and vibrant organization that continues the customs, heritage and traditions of its forbears, performing an important function for its members and the state’s Greek community, a community that over many years of migration has contributed much in the fields of business, politics, medicine, the arts and academia to their new homeland, Australia.