Tuesday, June 10, 2008


On 11 May 2007, the Panepirotic Federation of Australia lost one of its greatest members, past President, benefactor of the Greek Community of Australia and passionate campaigner for human rights in Northern Epirus, Mr Spiros Stamoulis. Below are articles that were published in Melbourne Greek newspaper Neos Kosmos, mourning the passing of this remarkable man.
Community loses great benefactor:

PROPERTY tycoon Spiros Stamoulis passed away on Friday 11 May following a long battle with cancer. A very successful businessman, who made his fortune first via his company Gold Medal Soft Drinks and then through property investment, Mr Stamoulis was best known to the Greek community as the man behind 3XY Radio. He made an incredible contribution to the Greek community, his most recent gift the Melbourne Hellenic Museum, which was set up in honour of his late daughter Nafsika and launched last month by Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. His shrewd business style made him one of Melbourne's leading property developers and earned him a spot in the Business Review Weekly's Annual Rich List.
NKEE writer and Panepirotic Federation of Australia Secratary, Kostas Kalymnios, who knew Mr Stamoulis personally, pays tribute to the man, in the following obituary:
Absolutely brilliant are the words that best describe the late Spiros Stamoulis' life. Most of the members of the Greek community know him as the business magnate who, starting off with his successful Gold Medal Soft Drink business, made it on Australian Rich Lists. Others would remember him as an Australian Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. All would remember him as the founder and owner of 3XY Radio. Spiros Stamoulis was for Epirots, the greatest of their compatriots ever to set foot in Australia. As President of the Panepirotic Federation of Australia, the Union of Northern Epirots and the Greeks of Northern Epiros Aid Committee, he campaigned tirelessly in order to preserve the unique Epirot heritage in this country, and also to ensure that his beleaguered compatriots in Northern Epirus were able to enjoy basic human rights. His primary motivation was an immense love and appreciation for all people and it is thus fitting that the Polytechnic College in Argyrokastro that he contributed so much towards is known as "Fryme Dashurie" ie. "A Breath of Love."One of Spiros Stamoulis' last gifts to the Greek community of Melbourne was the Hellenic Museum, a repository of our culture throughout the ages. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that its potential is maximized in the manner that the perceptive Spiros Stamoulis foresaw: as the ark that will protect our historical memories long after we have gone. In providing us with such gifts, Spiros Stamoulis follows in the footsteps of the Great Benefactors of the Greek People, most of whom, Zappas, Tositsas and Averoff among them, were from Epirus. In analysing his works and days, his conscious imitation of this tradition in order to engage with and spread Hellenism in the Antipodes, deserves special attention. For me, Spiros Stamoulis was the ever-smiling, placid, infinitely accessible and unaffected man who was always willing to listen, to make suggestions, to offer assistance and to get things done without ever letting it be known that you were making demands on his time. Further, and this is the mark of the greatness of a man, he never put himself above criticism or reproach, even when he knew he was in he right, but treated all and sundry with singular benevolence and kindness. In true Renaissance-man style, he was all things to all men. During his life, Spiros Stamoulis personified the traditional migrant dream: He came to this country, became fabulously successful, gave back tenfold to the community that engendered him and brought up remarkable children. It is impossible, even in our fractious community to find someone who could seriously talk slightingly of him or his multifaceted achievements. And he will always remain, a true Odysseus, a master of the art of the possible and the brightest star in our Antipodean firmament, a symbol of how dreams can come true. To his mother, to his wife Helen and to his children, Hari and Melina, we extend our deepest condolences, knowing that he shall remain immortal in our memories forever.

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