Migrant issues advocate and Greek Australian community pioneer like few others, Nick Polites OAM has passed aged 95.

Polites is remembered as one of the greatest champions of multiculturalism in the Greek community.

He was one of the founders of the Greek Australian Welfare Society (today, PRONIA). He held the Director position for 15 years, and in order to be eligible for the post in the first place, he offered to go back to university and qualify as a social worker.

Having remained active and creative till the last years of his life, Polites, who was also an avid clarinet player, would still perform live jazz music up until recently on a weekly basis.

READ MORE: 93-year-old Melbourne-born Jazz legend Nick Polites gave a rare public performance

He has played with the greatest Melbourne jazz bands, but also with legends like George Lewis and Louis Armstrong.

In fact, when the top New Orleans jazz figure visited Australia for the first time with his band in 1954, the entourage were invited back to Polites’ parents’ place for a welcome party.

READ MORE: Nick Polites: a life in jazz

In 1981, Polites received the Order Of Australia Medal and the Spiro Stamoulis Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Polites was born in Melbourne in 1927 to Filia, an Asia Minor refugee and Theodore, a Lefkadian who migrated to South Africa in 1898 before moving to Australia.

Neos Kosmos will publish more reports on the life of Nick Polites over the coming days.