Camel 12 of 17

There was also an influx of Anatolian Greeks from Turkey into Egypt. I am not aware of any family members who might have migrated from Anatolia during the 1920s when all this occurred. George Yourokellis, my Mother’s Uncle had Anatolian roots, but he arrived there before my grandmother’s c.1910 arrival. 

Several organizations developed in Egypt to help Anatolian Greeks that warrant some investigation:

  • H Anatoli (The East)

It began in 1905, Cairo, which was a subgroup of the one in Athens of the same name. Another one formed in Alexandria, February, 1906, with 200 members. This is almost within the range of Andreas’ entrance into Egypt. These organizations produced a newspaper called Xenophanis, after a 6th century Greek philosopher from Kalophano of the Eleatiki School. He believed in the “I am, I was and I will be”.  This organization kept records of all those who contributed to Greek society in Europe.

  • The Organization of Greeks of Asia Minor, The Ionia

This organization formed at the N. Aggloupa Hotel in Alexandria in 1913. Its name changed in 1918 to The Society of Greeks of Asia Minor (The Asia Minor) and much later in 1936, the year my grandfather died, to The Asia Minor.  This organization provided spiritual, social and entertainment support for its Greek members.  Their headquarters in 1919 was located on Avenue Volonaki, Alexandria. In 1926, the year of the Lausanne Treaty, they joined  the Greek Union of Alexandria. Their center was Station Ramliou.  In 1930, it moved to the area of Ibramias at the address Peluse No. 11,  Prince Ibrahim  No. 52, and Memphis No. 82, where it is today.  Their philanthropic support for Asia Minors Greeks was distinguished in a variety of ways.  Finding evidence that Andreas Halkiopoulos participated in any of them could be a bonanza. 


However, there was an odd entry on my mother’s 1928 baptismal certificate, claiming that my grandfather was a citizen of Smyrna. All previous and subsequent documents, including marriage records, birth certificates and passports, never mention Smyrna. Most claim Kefalonia, an island west of the Greek mainland in the Ionian Sea, as his origin. Another document claims Santorini (Thira). One must ask, then, what is the significance of Smyrna to my grandfather, to enter it on my mother’s baptismal record? What is the significance of Santorini, as well?

Of the Greek families who demanded compensation through the League of Nations for the value of their property, one finds the following three Halkiopoulos families:

Dr. Eustice John Halkiopoulos 4/7 of a house at 638 Birinji Cordon
Athena J. Halkiopoulo House at 129 Parali Kioprou Street
Maria Th. Palamari, nee J. Halkipoulos House 487 Ikinji Cordon

Eustice Halkiopoulos and two apparent daughters, both of whom bore his initials, according to Greek custom, claimed restitution for property lost. Julie’s sister, Virginia, remembered that one of Andreas’s brothers was a doctor, the other a sailor, perhaps a captain, in the merchant marines. Could this doctor have been Andreas’ brother? So far, I have not discovered to where Eustice Halkiopoulos or his family migrated, nor have I been able to confirm a connection to my Grandfather, Andreas. Perhaps, Santorini? More to that story later…

Family legend tells us that my grandfather had worked for the Turks at some point in time. I heard exclamatory stories of him “even wearing a Turkish Fez, pantaloons and pointed shoes!” Shocking! Supposedly, there was a photograph of him dressed in these Turkish garments somewhere; it might have wandered away to Southern Rhodesia (Now Zimbabwe) in a little red box with the Youroukelis cousins after WWII, I was told. I have inquired about this, but there has been no such recollection.

Among the Europeans, the Greeks were the most tolerated and successful foreigners to do business in Egypt, probably because people saw them as much Mid-Eastern, as European. Hellenes themselves seem to identify themselves with the East through music, trade and culture. Their seafaring nature and experience trading with many peoples on the Mediterranean coast made Greeks into excellent business partners. The family always assumed that once my grandfather left mechanics school somewhere in France, he ended up in Alexandria, working for the Turks. Two questions come to mind: Where did he go to school? When did he work for the Turks?

(NEXT: Clues on the Eiffel Tower?)


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