Nick Bogiatzis will explore the intriguing past of Kastellorizo, an island so close to Turkey that they say one can hear Turkish roosters crow from the island. Bogiatzis focuses on its unique trade history and cultural significance.

The Greek Community of Melbourne will present Bogiatzis’ lecture, “Kastellorizo and its Gold”, at the Greek Centre on Thursday, May 9, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars series.

Kastellorizo has an extraordinary history of prosperity and destruction. A rocky outcrop with no fresh water sustained a population of 9,000 through trade. Trade brought opportunity and wealth, reflected in the homes, clothing, and jewellery.

Nick Bogiatzis will explore the intriguing past of Kastellorizo and its relation to gold. Photo: Supplied

Gold was the medium of exchange and the reflection of status. Trade also brought new ideas that challenged a firmly held cultural identity. This strength of identity seems to have carried through for many of the diaspora in Australia.

Many migrated before the island was destroyed by Italian aerial bombardment in World War II. They brought items that today make for an essential cultural archive of the island, such as photographs, traditional clothing, and jewellery – an unrecorded archive randomly distributed across individual families.

Nick Bogiatzis’s family was a part of the Kastellorizian Diaspora of the early twentieth century. He has retained a strong interest in the island, with a focus on its social history.

Kastellorizo in the evening. Photo: Depositphotos

He has published ‘Kastellorizian Jewellery. A Dispersed Archive of a Past Culture’, and with Dr Nicholas G Pappas AM, ‘An Island in Time. Castellorizo in Photographs 1890-1948 ‘.

He resides in Canberra and visits the island regularly.

When: Thursday May 9 at 7 pm

Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne