At 101 years old Ioannis Ioannidis is one of the oldest and most loyal readers of Neos Kosmos

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Ioannis Ioannidis is undoubtedly one of the most faithful readers, but also the oldest of Neos Kosmos.

He is 101 years old and not only has he not missed an edition of Neos Kosmos of which he is a loyal subscriber, but he also reads it carefully from the first to the last page, as can be seen in the photos.

Mr. Ioannidis was born on the island of Lemnos, in the village of Kontia, on August 29, 1920. His mother was from Kontias and his father a Greek refugee from Asia Minor.

After completing primary school in his village, he helped his father and uncle with the sheep and the production of their estate.

When his father died in 1942, during the very difficult years of the German occupation of the island, he took care of his mother, his three sisters and the management of the estate.

In 1953 he married his wife Emilia. They had their first daughter two years later. Emilia dreamed of leaving the island in search of a better life for her family.

In 1956, he was the first to board the ship bound for Australia, along with several other villagers. When he arrived, he used the network of Greeks he knew here to find work, as he still did not speak the language. His first job was to harvest oranges on a farm in South Australia.

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In 1957 he moved to Melbourne and began working for the railways, installing rails at Spotswood. He eventually raised enough money for his wife and daughter to fly to Melbourne in June 1957.

Mr Ioannidis, his wife Emilia and their daughter initially lived with other Greek friends, renting a room in a house in Collingwood. It was then that he began to follow the Collingwood football team. The family lived there until they bought their first house in South Yarra, where their second daughter was born.

Around this time he started working at the Dunlop Tire Factory in Port Melbourne, first in the mixing of materials and then in the workshop as an assistant. In 1964, Mr. Ioannidis and his wife bought their next house, which remains in the family, in Prahran.

He was 54 years old in 1974 when he decided to learn to drive. His first car was a white Ford Cortina. In 1982, he decided to retire and spend more time at home with his wife. He had the opportunity to take care of his garden and help raise two of his beloved grandchildren.

Sadly, on Christmas 2015, he lost his life partner, Emilia, after 62 years of marriage. He continued to live independently in the family home until shortly after his 99th birthday.

Mr. Ioannidis was an active member of the Kontias and Limnia community in Melbourne. He has always worked hard all his life and as a retiree he could afford to make regular short trips to Greece to see friends and relatives.


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