Youth activity over the course of the Cretan Brotherhood’s history has come and gone in waves. The current vibrant Youth Community can partly attribute its current success to momentum that started ten years ago.
James Zoumis sat with us to discuss the 2011 Rhodes Club night, a joint Cretan Brotherhood Youth and Rhodean Youth event held at the old Rhodean Club House in Fairfield.
The connection between the two clubs was James Zoumis, of the Cretan Brotherhood, and his high school friend Daniel Papantoniou, of the Rhodes Club. With the two clubs connected all it took was for an event idea to be put forward and the committee to push it along.
“The event idea was a coming together of what was then the current Youth of the Rhodes Club, and the Cretan Brotherhood, and was pretty much to make like a Greek youth night. At that stage there weren’t that many going around.” says James.
He goes onto explain the night in more detail.
“We got about 70 people. It was a good night with Greeks and Non-Greeks involved. We had Kon Niko DJ for us. There was fire and a lot of plates that got broken.”
One such moment was captured on film with James dancing a Zebekiko in the middle of a fire circle.
“I remember helping Jon Kapa break a whole mountain of plates. He had a stack of plates going above his head. He was having quite a bit of fun but he looked like he needed a bit of help.”
“He handed a few plates to me and I helped break them. We pretty much covered the walls in white dusts” James recounts.
James explains that the fun night left a big task for the committee though.
“The pack up was pretty much over two days. There was so much dust and stuff from the plates that we came back the next day and gave it a proper sweep up and vacuum. I think there was a glass window that got broken that we had to replace as well.”
The event was a kick starter for the Youth Committee which had only recently come back together after a brief hiatus, James explains.
“It was a good night. From memory it didn’t make much money but it was a night where we pushed our clubs. I think if memory serves me right, the Youth Committee would have been 6-10 people, and there weren’t many people dancing at the stage. At the whole club, there was nowhere near the 150 or so Youth we have now.”
James goes onto discuss the event’s impact.
“I think it assisted us in coming together with one another [and also with] people that were Non-Cretan. It gave us ideas and ways to push on [for the Youth community to] become what we are today
One such example of how Youth engagement brought in new members were James’ school friends, Chris Michaelides and Savvas Alexiadis.
“Chris and Savva used to go to my school Strathmore, just like a lot of the current students do or have been. There are quite a lot of Strathmore alumni at the Cretan Club these days!” James says with a laugh.
“Chris and Savva were always keen on Greek dancing, Greek music and alike, and I guess I got them involved in the Cretan.”
Although the joint Rhodes Youth Night event wasn’t run again James believes the event was an important Youth event.
“We went on to host some more Youth nights and built some momentum into our Tavern nights.”
This article is part of a series recounting the stories of Cretan Brotherhood Members.
If you would like to contribute please contact Emmanuel Heretakis on 0433 058 097 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
By James Zoumis and Emmanuel Heretakis