2019 Scholarship Recipient

Chase Scandalios

My Family’s History on Kythera

My family’s roots on Kythera go back past my great grandparents, who were both born on Kythera and came to America.  John Alfieris and Mary Chlentzos established a tradition and way of life that has enabled my family to visit Kythera and witness the ancient history of Greece.  Kythera is a beautiful island with much history and stands out among the many Ionian islands.  Although my Kytherian family history goes back many years, I feel fortunate that I have my own history with Kythera.

 My family history dates back to two islands in Greece.  Kythera on my mother’s side, and Nisyros on my father’s side.  I feel very lucky to have Kytherian blood in me, because compared to Nisyros Kythera is a haven.  I have been fortunate enough to visit Kythera and see my family history in person.  My great grandmother's cousin opened a jewelry store many years ago in  Chora near Kapsali, and it is still run by a member of the family.  Also, until recently Esperadoula Alfieris Georgopoulos still lived in Potamos, and my family was very sad to hear of her passing on.  When my family visited Kythera for the first time, we were able to spend a day with Esperadoula and had four generations of Kytherian blood sitting together.  A sight to behold, was when we visited a church near Kaladhi, and saw my great great great great grandfathers’ carvings and initials on some of the wood pieces.  After immigrating and marrying in Egypt, my great grandparents ventured to America where they helped start the Greek Orthodox church in Oakland as well as the Kytherian society.  My family’s love for Kythera came with them to America, and luckily has been passed down to me.

 In 2013 I was lucky enough to live in Agia Pelagia for a month and explore the island.  Living the Greek life was very memorable including exploring the magic green pond, visiting Diakofti, and getting a haircut in Potamos.  Seeing the gorgeous beaches and historical sites was, and I was excited when I learned my family would be returning in 2015.  We only stayed for two weeks that trip, but we were able to visit some new beaches while also going back to our favorites.  Kythera has a special place in my heart, and I hope to one day be able to pass on the values and beliefs given to me about Kythera to my children.  Kythera is very special to my family.  Once a year we are able to gather the entire Greek family that stems from John Alfieris and Mary Chlentzos and enjoy and appreciate our rich family history.  I look forward to connecting with family this summer as I go from graduating high school to Kythera once more before college starts.  Kythera has been an integral part of my life growing up and I cannot wait to continue to be influenced by its grace and beauty.

Whether it is jumping off rocks, relaxing on sandy beaches, or exploring downtown Potamos, Kythera has opportunities to learn and have fun.  In my few visits there I have been able to experience both sides of Kythera including learning about my family history.  I am very proud to have family from the beautiful island of Kythera, and even more joyous that members of the family still live there.  Knowing my family and its history is important in discovering my identity as an individual, and as a Greek, and Kythera offers me a rich tradition and history that I continue to try and emulate.



2019-9-29  KSOCA Panigyri - 71

Richard Lind accepting the award certificate for his grandson Chase.

 

AP

Extended Family Dinner in Agia Pelagia, Kythera

Green Pools

Hiking down to the Magic Green Pool



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