"The adventurer-immigrant typically is a male, young,having few if any responsibilities in terms of family, quite frequently a seaman, but definitely a major risk-taker. As a result, a country like Greece, with national symbols and heroes like Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts, being deep-rooted in its cultural tradition, folklore and literature, could not be without such "adventurers”.
Nicholas Minister was Greek. He was born on the Dodecanesan island of Patmos in 1850, a time when all the islands of this south-east Aegean Sea group were self-governed under the Turkish occupation. Coming from a poor and rather large family, with at least four sons that we know of (Nicholas himself, Peter, Mick and George), the only way to escape the poverty and hard times he and his family were experiencing, but also excited by the desire to make money and to see exotic places and meet different people, like so many other Greek islanders, Nicholas turned his sights and his hopes to the sea. Still a child, he left his rocky island to work on board a ship. Unfortunately, however, the first misfortune would hit him very soon. At the age of eleven he was shipwrecked off the shores of Italy, being the only crew member out of fourteen to survive. After this event, with his spirit undefeated and his physical strength intact, he worked on other ships. His determination to seek new experiences and reach distant and unusual destinations was not deterred. So, late in the 1870s we find him in Australia , ready to begin a new chapter in his adventurous life, full of successes and failures, far from his homeland which he would never see again."
Read the whole thing here. Hat tip to Hermes for bringing my attention to this interesting article.
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