Dimitris (Takis) GOgos funeral is being held at 11am today in Melbourne at the Holy Church of Saint Catherine (3B Epping Street, Malvern East). Following the service, friends, family and community members will be able to pay their respects to the family at Canvas House (137 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne). He will be cremated and his ashes will then be flown to Chios according to his wishes.
Neos Kosmos staff members penned their thoughts regarding the death of the paper’s founder:
I met Dimitris Gogos in 1979 when Neos Kosmos acquired Nea Ellada, then published by Dimitris Papageorgiou.
Along with the title, he took some of its existing staff with him; Dimitris, the late Spiros Metallinos and myself…
Takis Gogos mainly hired me because he thought I was good with advertisements. He gave me, my own office and a private phone line – all this back in 1979! – and I never proved him wrong.
Aside from my journalistic duties I’d always bring in ads and clients and he really appreciated that.
We became friends and he trusted me completely.
At some point I decided to move back to Greece but continued to contribute to Neos Kosmos; Takis pushed me to come back.
I only gave in when I was hired as co-ordinator of the then Greek Program of 3ΕΑ radio (now SBS).
In the beginning, he offered me his own apartment to live in, a beautiful apartment in St Kilda looking over Port Philip and his car.
I was living my best life, when the first ‘dark clouds’ appeared! For reasons that were never clear to me, his partners Nontas Pezaros and Christos Mourikis together with Spiros Politis, decided to print a magazine, entitled Parikia, with Babis Stavropoulos in charge.
Takis Gogos responded with another one, To Neo, edited by me. Even though we had a great start, Parikia outdid us. I was still having a great time. I did what I loved, what I wanted, but also worked hard. At some point, the partners reconciled, the magazines closed and we all went back to Neos Kosmos.
The calm before the storm did last long, though…
Takis was left with two choices: Either to buy off Pezaros’ share or sell his. At the same time, he ventured into Sydney publishing O Kosmos newspaper with George Messaris as the editor as well as Chrisos Odigos, where I also contributed.
When I asked him why he was not selling his share he said: “But Neos Kosmos is my life”.
So, he bought off Pezaros’.
A few years down the line he had to buy Christos Mourikis’ share, too. He did not have enough money at the time and the bank wouldn’t lend him the full sum.
At the time I was fully employed by SBS. He suggested I quit and take over the paper. I was in turmoil.
Thankfully, SBS made it easier as they found it incompatible for me to work for SBS and Neos Kosmos at the time and fired me. The compensation I received, I offered to Takis to buy off Mourikis’ share. He also borrowed from his brother-in-law Andreas Skrinis and other friends… anything to keep Neos Kosmos.
His competitors were spreading rumours that the Archdiocese had bought Neos Kosmos. They had no idea…
Without a doubt, his death leaves a great void and marks the end of an era.
For me Takis was not just my employer. He was a good friend. We lived unforgettable moments together that were not confined in the work-space alone. We had family relationships, we travelled to Greece together; we shared everything.
The last time I saw him at his home was last Thursday. He didn’t seem good. Later, when I heard about Bob Hawke’s passing I felt Takis’ end was fast approaching, too…
Last Monday, his son Christopher told me he had passed away.
However, as dear colleague Vivienne Morris noted, “Neos Kosmos is still alive, so he lives”.
READ MORE: A tribute to my father, Dimitris Gogos
News of Dimitris Gogos’ death sent shock waves rippling through our Hawthorn offices last Monday. Of course, in the weeks before we could sense that all was not right.
It was hard to miss the concern flickering in Christopher Gogos’ eyes when mention of his father was made, and he would rush in and out of the office between hospital rounds and other obligations.
It became clear over these weeks that Takis Gogos wasn’t just a great patron of the downtrodden, a mentor to swarms of journalists, a fighter for social justice and a great lobbyist – he was obviously, also, a great father who raised children – and young journalists – willing to honour his memory and keep his legacy alive.
And what a legacy it is!
We never cease to be amazed by the bundles of photos in our archives featuring Takis and great stakeholders and game changers. He stood beside them, making history as much as he documented it. But more importantly, he stood beside ordinary people like himself, hoping to create a better life for themselves in Australia.
This was made apparent in recent days where our offices were filled with visitors sharing anecdotes of Takis; remembering the contradictions of the great man, his low-key persona and pride in his Greek heritage as well as his democratic leadership style that ensured that everyone had a voice and the freedom to pursue a good story.
He leaves behind big shoes to fill, and we’d be worried about the future were it not clear that he lives on in the work he leaves behind, and in his progeny that will continue the struggle for multiculturalism in the truest sense while also adding their own stigma to community journalism as it moves with the times.
Christopher is very much his father’s son as far as work ethic is concerned and his desire to ensure that Neos Kosmos continues to be relevant and run by a team willing to take ownership for the product you are holding in your hands.Yes, Dimitris Gogos may have passed away, but he will always be with us in spirit.
We will continue to honour his legacy and fight the good fight that Takis had championed.
And we express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
It is hard to believe that the smile that lit our office for so many years is no more. It’s hard to believe, even if expected, that the joyful Mr G will not throw one of his legendary one-liners that made everyone laugh, any more. Even during his later years and after dementia took the man, it never managed to take away his spirit. His one-liners kept on coming, witty, wise, sardonic and relentlessly funny.
His life achievements will be mentioned from many, they do not allow the Greek community to forget him. He will go down the history lane as a great pioneer.
His infectious love for life, his humility will always stay with me. He had every right to boast of all the things he achieved. He never did. He could talk about his good deeds, how many people he helped to stand on their feet. He never did. And when daily pressures tried to attack his smiley face, Mr G had the best team of defence under his sleeve; his lighthearted nature and humour.
No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had, Mr G, so go ahead dance one more; to the end of the living world. We will never forget you.
Takis, Sotiris and I happened to be in Athens together. Takis fell ill and didn’t want us to go out that night, but our editor-in-chief (Sotiris) convinced him. Just for a bite to eat and to marvel at the Acropolis all lit up. And though he was ill, he still tasted an amount of kokkineli (red wine) and all the delicacies we had ordered and soon felt better again. The next day we nearly missed our flight for reasons of …
Takis, some will miss you a lot. Have a good journey. Rest.
My first acquaintance with Takis was in 1969/1970 at the age of 16 when I was working at Neos kosmos every Sunday, folding newspapers in the company of his sweet and unforgettable mother. At that age, it was my pocket money. Over the years, my role in the office has changed. He was always serious, while simultaneously sweet and with plenty of humour. Takis made us feel comfortable in the friendly environment of the office. We stood united, a family. With these words, I offer my final farewell to Takis Gogos – a charismatic and remarkable boss.
Kalo Paradeiso dear Takis.
Admin /Sales consultant
I first met Dimitris Gogos in mid June 1995 when I came to work at Neos Kosmos. I actually replaced the long-time editor and proof-reader of the newspaper, Yiorgos Parnos who retired a few months before my arrival. As I am still working at this newspaper I have to say that I maintain the best memories from working with Dimitris Gogos. He wasn’t the ‘boss’ in the narrow meaning of the word, and I don’t remember any difficult moments with him. To me, he was a really down to earth person, but simultaneously a visionary who had an amazing ability to engage with the needs of the community. Besides, the fact that he made Neos Kosmos one of the biggest Greek Diaspora newspapers says it all.
The passing of Neos Kosmos’ founder Dimitri Gogos has saddened family, friends, colleagues and the community alike. Hearing stories and recollections of those close to him, over the last few days, I understand he was a great man who left a mark on the lives of many. Takis will surely be missed but his legacy remains and will be cherished by us all. May he rest in peace.
Rest in peace Dimitri. There is no doubt, Mr Gogos was a great man, who has touched the lives of many. Despite his passing, his influence continues through the legacy of Neos Kosmos; a legacy we are proud to continue to carry out. My sincerest condolences to the Gogos family.
Even though I didn’t get to collaborate with Dimitris Gogos, I know that many of us, myself included, would not be here today if it weren’t for him. His efforts solidified and ensured the future of Greek Australians and that of other migrant communities, giving us a platform to voice our concerns and fight for our rights.
The founder of Neos Kosmos, Mr Dimitris Gogos, is no longer among us. Unfortunately, those of us who recently became members of this very unique and special family never had the chance to meet him up close. And yet that wasn’t necessary in order to understand how great of a person he was, since the place we come to work in every single day is a result of his efforts.
None of the things that we see, write and read on a daily basis would have ever existed if it wasn’t for Mr Gogos’ faith towards Greek journalism and his will to give it its own voice within the community. Perhaps today with the way things are we might take things for granted, but during that day and age the publication of a newspaper in the Greek language was considered something revolutionary for Australia and he was one of the true visionaries of the industry.
I would like to extend my sincerest condolences towards his family and to the man himself, a big “thank you” for giving us a platform from which we can turn our passion for journalism into a profession.
Our sorrow for the death of Dimitris Gogos, the founder of Neos Kosmos, runs deep. He was an emblematic democratic figure in the sphere of journalism and his editorial presence sealed the political and social happenings of Melbourne, the rest of Australia and Hellenism everywhere. The legacy that Takis – as known by his friends – leaves behind to the media of the diaspora is great. I am sure that Neos Kosmos, under the next generation of leadership, will steadily continue on the course that its founder had chartered. I wish to express my sincere condolences to the Gogos family and the Neos Kosmos family.
Even though I didn’t have the privilige to meet Dimitris Gogos, due to my recent addition to the team of Neos Kosmos, I have heard a lot about him. Without him the voice of the Greek community wouldn’t be heard. My deepest condolences to his family. May god rest his soul.
Thank you Mr Gogos, for uniting the Greek community and for all you have done for Greeks in ‘xenitia’, I think the saying ‘eonia i mnimi’ is perfect. You will be eternally in our memories. For all of us here at Neos Kosmos, stories of you and your legacy, will always keep you alive in our thoughts.
My warm condolences to the family. His memory will remain indelibly printed on the Greek community of Melbourne and beyond.
I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Dimitri Gogos. But I have heard and read a lot, and have understood that he will never be forgotten, not only through memory but also in the souls of the people that met him up close, and all the Greek migrants in Autsralia. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Takis, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you gave me 28 years ago to do the Distribution of your wonderful Neos Kosmos. You gave me security and the freedom to grow the business and therefore a lifestyle that I enjoy today. I am forever in your debt! Rest in Peace.