Post World War II Migrant Ships: Patris

In 1959 the Patris became the first liner in the Greek-owned Chandris fleet. The ship was popular with passengers, despite having the dishonour of once running aground in the Suez Canal, and colliding with the collier Rickie Miller on Sydney Harbour in 1971. Many of her passengers were heading to Australia with a sense of adventure – hoping to begin a new way of life. Whatever the reason, mention of a journey on the Patris evokes memories that many will never forget.

The Catalfamo family, newly arrived migrants from Italy, on Station Pier, having just disembarked from the Patris

The Catalfamo family, newly arrived migrants from Italy, on Station Pier, having just disembarked from the Patris (seen in background).
Photographer: unknown / Source: Italian Historical Society, CO.AS.IT.

Facts at a Glance

Dimensions: 595 x 76 ft (181.3 x 23.3 m)
Registered Tonnage: 16,259 tons gross
Service Speed: 18 knots
Propulsion: Burmeister & Wain diesels / twin screws
Shipping Line: Chandris Line

History of the Ship

Originally named Bloemfontein Castle, the immigrant ship Patris began her life carrying passengers from London to Cape Town, South Africa for the Union-Castle Line. When launched on 25 August 1949, she provided accommodation for 721 passengers in a single class, unlike other ships in the Union-Castle Line.

In October 1959, she was purchased by Chandris Line and christened Patris (Greek for ‘homeland’). The Patris was then refitted for the Australian migrant trade, providing accommodation for 36 first-class passengers and 1,040 in tourist-class; however this was soon merged into single-class accommodation for the entire 1,076 passengers.

Compared to later Chandris liners like the Ellinis and the Australis, the Patris’s accommodation was rather austere.

Immigrant Ship to Australia

The Patris left Piraeus, Greece, for her first immigrant voyage to Australia on 14 December 1959, reaching Fremantle on 2 January 1960 and Melbourne on 7 January.

She made a total of 91 voyages to Australia between 1959 and 1975, travelling regularly via the Suez Canal, stopping at ports such as Aden, Port Said and Colombo. In 1967, when the Suez was closed, she detoured, for five years around Africa stopping at Cape Town and Durban on her way to Australia.

After Darwin was almost destroyed by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day in 1974, the Patris anchored in Darwin Harbour for nine months to provide emergency accommodation for those left homeless.

Passenger Experiences of the Journey

Many Greek immigrants that travelled on the Patris came from small villages with few luxuries and the pressure of small village politics.

Pat Skoufis migrated from Greece in 1964:

I was little and only remember being seasick the whole trip. We were from the village, so mum and dad would have thought the Patris luxurious.

Georgia Vlahakis migrated from Greece in 1971:

It was a great adventure for me, going on an airplane to Djibouti and then boarding a huge ship Patris to arrive in Fremantle first and Port Melbourne – the final destination. I suppose we did not speak about feelings in our family. My parents were eager to make a new start away from political confusion (petty village politics).
English lessons on board the Patris

English lessons on board the Patris, 1964.
Photographer: unknown / Source: Pat Skoufis, Private Collection.

Her Final Voyage

After leaving Darwin in November 1975, the Patris did not return to Australia. In 1979, she was converted to a car ferry to serve on the seasonal trade between Greece and Italy. She was then sold to the Karageorgis Line and renamed Mediterranean Star under whose flag she continued as a ferry and occasional Mediterranean cruise ship until 1986.

In August 1987, after a long period of idleness, she was towed under the name of Terra to Karachi, Pakistan, and into the hands of the shipbreakers.

Further Reading

Baty, S. 1984. Ships That Passed – The Glorious Era of Travel to Australia and New Zealand. Reed Books Pty Ltd. Frenchs Forest.

Plowman, P. 1992. Emigrant Ships to Luxury Liners. New South Wales University Press. Kensington.

Stodden, K. 2003 (October). Appendix A - Tally of Voyages. Prepared for the Ship Reunion Lecture. Immigration Museum.

Comments (113)

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christian armansin 15 February, 2014 15:40
any photo of the ship patris.. from mauritus to australia 1969 .. I was 16 .. live in melbourne ... plz thx u
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Discovery Centre 15 February, 2014 16:04
Hi Christian - try Trove or the National Archives of Australia's photo search. Best of luck!
Peter Drougas 21 December, 2013 13:22
I travelled on the Patris in 1960. We arrived in Sydney 0n the eighth of November 1960. I was 13 years old. It was a wonderful journey.
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Jayne Tarkasis 16 December, 2013 01:11
My father and I travelled on the Patris which left Melbourne in April 1969, we arrived in Piraeus 38 days later. The Suez Cana was closed at the time so we journeyed around the coast of South Africa. I remember going to school on the ship everyday (except weekends). It was like living in a small town. You got to know everyone on board and I made many friends. I was 9. It was an experience of a life time for me. My father took many photos and the memories will always be great ones
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DIMITRI PAPADIMITROPOULOS 28 March, 2014 05:19
Jayne Hi, I was on the Patris on the same date. Can you either load the pictures on the internet or email me them as I would love to see them Brgds Dimitri
Bob Pitt 21 November, 2013 23:41
Left Sydney Dec 74 ( or Jan 75 ), disembarked Wellington NZ 3 days later, loved it, I chose a quiet trip - early morning on deck..
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Ron Mundy 24 October, 2013 20:17
As a 20 year old, my mate and I sail on the Patris, January 1974. We were heading to London, to catch up with friends. We sailed to Singapore, stay a couple of days in Singapore on board, then flew British Caledonian to London.
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Sharon Davenport 2 October, 2013 10:05
I lived on the Patris in 1975 after Cyclone Tracey destroyed Darwin. I was a kid and we had so much fun around the ship. I remember going to the movies, disco's, helping our waiter, Spiro, set up for dinner, fishing under the wharf...good times.
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Gria Saltis 8 August, 2013 22:03
I a m looking for my birth mother who left Sydney on the Patris, 21st November 1963. If any one met her or knows anything of her I would love any info
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Philip Parks 20 May, 2013 09:29
I was a young new zealander going to greece in Jan 1960 her first return voyage Great ship and wonderfull crew Met a lot of greeks going home for a vist and a young german boy with his family returning to germany Wish I could do it again
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Kate Macpherson (Copeland) 26 March, 2013 16:52
My friend Margot and I,recently graduated nurses, travelled to Greece on the Patris in March 1961 on our way to London. There were a number of young Australians and New Zealanders also heading for London and the Continent, and many Greek migrants returning to visit their families and to celebrate Greek Easter with them. It was a memorable trip and the start of our great overseas adventure.
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veronica bousquet (Anday) 28 June, 2013 12:46
Hello Kate, I wonder if we were on the same voyage on the Patris from Sydney to Greece in 1961? It may have been in May but I am not sure. There were a large group of young Aussies on board, I was 24 and had the best time in my life. I remember we put on a show "Never on Sunday" organized by a young dancer, Tanya. I can remember names like Liz, Kevin, and one of the officers, Speros (purser). I wonder if this rings a bell. I would love to hear from you. I used to live in Sydney but now is California. Veronica (Vera) Bousquet (Anday was my name then).
Joy Mikulandra (nee Wyatt) 9 March, 2013 11:21
We travelled on the Ellinis from Fremantle to Scotland in 1971 and back again on the Patris. We were fleeing a violent father returning to Mums home of Scotland on the journey back to Australia in 1974 (Mum had to sign divorce papers) we stopped in Singapore so maybe we flew there from Gatwick we also stopped in Dubai I remember the heat as it hit you when you got on the tarmac and the armed soldiers we were terrified they were going to shoot us then. I think there was some sort of civil unrest. I had a very warm coke my first one suffice to say I threw up. I think we went through the Panama or Suez Canal memories are a bit hazy.I remember the crossing of the equator you got a certificate with King Neptune on it and the staff whose first time crossing it was got tied up and cream and jelly were thrown at them by other staff then they were pushed in the pool It was an adventure of a lifetime I was 5 the first time and 8 the return journey my sister was 3 yrs older. I still have a picture of Mum all dressed in her best and only evening dress and crystal beads having a cocktail with the captain what civilised times. The buffet was amazing with ice sculptures of swans and every type of cold meat you could imagine also a sculpture of pink sugar cubes I think I became addicted to those cubes but having grown up in a farming/shearing community I was used to fresh milk so the UHT on board was awful I know now it was the best and cheapest option for long journeys also the powdered orange juice was not to my liking. We played ping pong on the lower deck and knocked lots of balls into the Suez/Panama Canals what naughty girls we were.There were fancy dress parties and God knows were mum got costumes from I think she just made them up out of what we had my sister had a flouncy blue ball dress can't remember what she went as and another time Mum dressed her up in black dress and pinned playing cards to her and called her Lady Luck and we played monopoly almost every day under the glass table top in the games/reading area. Children were also allowed as many free soft drinks as we would down I had my first Fanta on board with a straw, fruit and a fancy umbrella. To this day I still love cocktails like that just with a little more kick. The shower and toilet areas stunk like bilge water and when it was rough we rolled from side to side in the corridors also going down into the hold to get stuff from our luggage was not a nice trip the fumes nearly knocked us out. I used to get up early to peek through the dinning room portholes watching all the staff prepare breakfast and smelling the fat little Cumberland sausages cooking.The meals were staggered and you had to indicate the night before which session you would be dining at it was all so posh.The staff were always so hard working but always seemed to have time for us children and our countless questions I also remember wandering around alone with my sister and coming in contact with the sailors who did all the hard dirty manual work my sister was tall and blond I was short and dark and the men were up above us in the area cordoned off from us passengers and they were having a smoko and they passed a cigarette down to my sister and urged us to take a puff we both did and nearly convulsed to this day we have never touched them (how silly and innocent were we). Not sure what was going on in those mens minds offering children cigarettes might have been normal at home, might have been innocent might have been sinister we did not stick around to find out. We got out on a day trip to a tropical place not sure where could have been Nassau and the Bahamas maybe but we bought shell beads from the locals and straw hats I remember cutting my foot on a ring pull tab from a soft drink can on the wharf and a lovely purser rushing me to sick bay to get it bandaged I don't remember if it hurt just remember all my red blood over his crisp white shirt and pants. At night on deck in the balmy evening breeze we would see twinkling lights of places on the horizon I'll never know the names of now my Mum has passed away. I spent long hours during the day leaning over the railings staring at the waves ad the changing colour of the water from the cold ice blue of the Atlantic to the pale green of the Pacific. One of the trips must have been the one going to Scotland in 1971 we stopped off in New York City it was about 5am and freezing we all rugged up and went out on the top deck and there we saw her Lady Liberty emerging out of the morning mist what a sight for anyone to behold we were only there for a few hours so did not disembark.I think we received a telegram from my Aunt in California, that was the closest she could get to us. On the last night of our journey the staff gave out dolls to the children dressed in the national costumes of Greece and I'm sure Yugoslavia and Italy. My mother made us go back several times so we got a couple of different ones each.We had never seen anything so fine I felt so special to be given these things for free I still have those dolls today in my doll collection. I will never forget those trips the fun and adventure we had onboard distracted us from the trauma of fleeing abuse. I used to have the boarding passes and the menus the activities for the day and the floor plans and luggage stickers now they have all been thrown out (not by me I never throw anything out) if any one has any out there they don't want or photos of inside these two ships then please contact me
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Joan Hill 9 December, 2012 23:57
we came to Australia by jetship flying by a dutch airline and sailing from Singapore to Fremantle , travelling on this beautifull ship with famous cricketer "Garth" Graham McKenzie , I had just married my husband in september and sailed with him and my youngest child from a previous marriage , I cannot praise the staff enough nothing was too much trouble for them and the nightly concerts etc were so much fun , one of the greek stewards kept an eye on our sleeping son while we enjoyed a night dancing, the food was fantastic . During the 10 days it took to travel to Singapore then Fremantle I got really sunburned and our lovely greek steward advised me to have a hot shower as hot as I could stand it to take away the sting and funnily enough it worked . we left Gatwick on the 11th November 1974 and arrived in Fremantle on the morning of the 21st november my 27th Birthday early in the morning ,I have never ever forgotten that beautiful ship and will treasure the Journey and wonderful staff we met always.
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Richard 19 November, 2012 20:44
I travelled from Singapore to Sydney on the Patris in November 1972. I'm trying to find the dates of the voyage so I can celebrate 40 years in Australia on the right date. Where should I find the dates of the Patris's voyages?
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Discovery Centre 20 November, 2012 11:09
Hi Richard, the National Archives of Australia (NAA) holds all immigration and shipping records to Australia. Please see our Quick Guide to Passenger Lists in order to find out how to search online for your records and arrival day or what to do if you can't find them.
Kaye 31 October, 2012 23:04
I worked on the Patris for over 3 years, travelling between Melbourne and Singapore "shipjet"! and in the Pacific cruising. It was an amazing time. I also worked on board when the ship was in Darwin after Cyclone Tracey. I was also on board the Patris when she caught fire off the coast of Fiji. All passengers were returned to home ports, but some crew stayed on board and we struggled back to dry dock for repairs in Brisbane. We were tied up in the Brisbane River during the floods and I will never forget the massive "crack" "crack" as the lines broke. We luckily had a tug boat standing by in case we broke our moorings but it was very scary as we were pushed by the force of the water across the river sideways and the water was banking up on one side. Thankfully tugs towed us to safety. It was the end of the Patris after that as she never returned to cruising and went to Italy and became a car ferry! She was an amazing ship - cruising will never be the same!.
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Discovery Centre 8 October, 2012 10:11
Hi Jayne, perhaps try looking on Trove for images of the Patris for the period of time you are looking at.  You could also check out Destination Australia, the latest website put together by the National Archives of Australia.  Hope this helps!
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Immigration Discovery Centre 6 October, 2012 10:02

Hi Sue, The Government hired the Patris and moored it in Darwin Harbour until 14 November 1975, providing accommodation for 5,500 people in the ensuing months.  The best place to search for records of the occupants is the National Archives of Australia:  http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/publications/research_guides/nt-guide/chapter6/index.html

http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs176.aspx

You may also want to try to contact other survivors on the WordPress blog site: http://cyclonetracey.wordpress.com/

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Julie Hatzidimitriou 2 October, 2012 23:28
My parents, 3 sisters and brother sailed to Australia on the Patris, they arrived in Sydney July 1969. My dad's name is Vasili and my mum's is Katerini. If anyone has photos from this particular journey please share them. Love reading everyones comments.
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Sue Gullefer 26 September, 2012 12:24
My parents Bill & Edna Harmer were among the Cyclone Tracy survivors who were briefly accommodated on the Patris Feb 1974. Were any records kept of the names of others similarly accommodated?
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CHANDROS 23 September, 2012 22:36
All the passengers on Patris were so looking forward to Australia and tired of the long sea voyage that they all seemed to have forgotten the beautiful welcoming Island of Mauritius, the harbor of Port Louis. What s great Souvenir! Thank you Mauritius!
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Discovery Centre 19 September, 2012 09:57
Thank you everyone for sharing your memories!
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Paul Sfetkidis 18 September, 2012 17:44
Reading the history of the Patris, followed by the many comments, certainly brought back some wonderful memories of my trip to Australia on the 2nd voyage of the Patris. As an 8 year old, we departed from our village of Ano Kline, Florina on Feb 9th 1960, on a freezing cold day in the middle of winter, arriving in Melbourne with my parents, Dimitrios & Ordana and younger brother Nick, on March 9th 1960. Disembarking was on the morning of the 10th. The first memory was standing on the aft of the ship, the engines roaring and the Greek national anthem playing loud and clear over the PA system. My parents had tears streaming down their cheeks - I was so sad, my brother did not care. Where the hell were were going?? why did we leave our village?? Yes, I was very cross with my parents. However, the answers have become clear in due course, as 51 years on, I know my family and I live in not only the best city, but the best country in the world. For my brother and I, the trip was a marvellous experience. Three meals a day (every adult seemed to be sick), ice cream, Bananas - I never knew what a banana was!! And offcourse, the fantastic kids play room with all the excellent facilities. Oh, what an experience - but I still wanted to go back to the village!! On the evening of the 9th, the ship was at anchor in Port Phillip bay with the traffic on Beaconsfield parade moving gracefully with the beautiful City of Melbourne as a backdrop. I started to like the place. Now 51 years on, I live on the beach at Albert Park and often reflect on that spectacular evening of looking at this beautiful City which has been such a big part of my life. As for the voyage on the Patris, It is part of my life I will never, ever forget. Thank you to all that have written in - every comment has a special meaning. Paul Sfetkidis
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Irene Hall (Katanoudi) 17 September, 2012 20:27
i arrived home this evening to find in the mail copies of my and my parents' Incoming Passenger Cards which I requested from the National Archives of Australia! I was a one year old baby who travelled with my parents, Christos and Vassiliki Katanoudis on the Patris in August 1969. We arrived in Fremantle on the 10th of August and four days later arrived in Melbourne. I have two photos of my parents dressed up with party hats sitting for dinner with other passengers. They look so beautiful - all the passengers dressed up - it belies the fear, anticipation and excitement they had in starting their lives with a baby and one suitcase in a foreign country. My mother tells me that I took my first steps on the Patrris. My parents and I were from a small village in northern Greece called Metaxades Evros, near the Turkish border. I would love to connect with anyone whose parent's travelled on the Patris and arrived in Melbourne on the 14 th of August 1969. I would love any information, photos, tickets, brochures, any memorabilia from the Patris etc etc. I am happy to also share the photos that I have. I am researching my family history and this journey on the Patrris will feature. Thank you
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Sophie Kozaris (Grigoriadis) 10 September, 2012 14:55
I was a five year old when I travelled from Piraeus Greece to Melbourne Australia on the Patris in 1965. My parents were from the village of Mesokambos Florina Greece and they had rarely been outside the northern part of Greece. Vasilios and Kyriaki Grigoriadis, sister Maria (6 years old) and Pavlos (1 year old). Memories of this journey included dining with the Captain and tasting banana for the first time. We met a wonderful English family on the ship who had children our own age. Thankfully, with their patience we learnt some words in English and that was our preparation for the country we were heading to. The Greek passengers watched in amazement as the English passengers changed into bathing suits to swim in the ships pool. Is there anyone else who made that same journey in 1965 (I think we departed Greece in May) that would have some photos? I have memories of making paper crepe costumes with other children on the ship for some occasion and there were photo's taken at the time. Please feel free to share any photos/ memorabilia from that time; it would be greatly appreciated.
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maria 29 August, 2012 03:37
I'd like to find out my very-grandfather whose name was Theodordou Evangellos and had travelled at about 1915...and I don't know how.WE think that he lived in Australia.
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Discovery Centre 15 July, 2012 10:08
Hi Peter, thank you for sharing your amazing memories!
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Peter Pappas 14 July, 2012 20:17
I was reading through all your comments and experiences, and noticed my bro Dimitri, had beaten me to this site.. travelling by ship in the early 60's, is an experience that can never be repeated in the modern times, I was the ship photographers helper at the time, travelling to, and from Greece, I was about 13, or 14yrs old at the time, I had explored the ship, from engine room through to the chimney, up top where no one was allowed, the experience of crossing the equator, to sighting the of islands, and how people would rush to get a sighting, through thier binoculars, crossing the suez, seeing the pyramids and camels, and the dows sailing past.. stopping in Colombo, getting out and doing some shopping with the photographer, watching the snake charmers playing the flute, and seeing the snake come out, and also meeting this beautiful girl by the name of Rosa, who was traveling to Argentina, a shipboard romance, that ended when the family disembarked.. my sister got married to one of the stewards from the Patris, she met around 1965, apparently a few did jump ship around that time, here in Australia.. ahhh.. memories.. that will never be forgotten.. if only time couldve stood still, I wouldve loved to had stayed in that era..
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Carl BIRCH 12 January, 2014 22:59
Peter, would your sister's husband remember a steward named Angelos Theodorakis? Any info. appreciated. August 1965 Melbourne to Greece.
Discovery Centre 5 July, 2012 16:26
Hi Andrew, one of volunteers has been trying to find the answer for you!  The last voyage of the Patris from Sydney to Greece may have been that departing there 20 June 1971. From early 1972 Patris was on ship-jet services between Sydney, Australian ports and Djibouti then later Singapore. Patris arrived in Greece on 9 December 1975 from Darwin, for the last time from Australia, prior to conversion for Mediterranean car ferry service.  We hope this helps!
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Jim Edge 26 February, 2014 17:35
I sailed on the Patris "ship-jet"service in November 1970.Voyage 66N/B. I boarded in Freemantle and disembarked in Djoubti.I still have my copy of the menu for the Captain's Farewell Dinner held on Thur.26 Nov.The captain was I.TOURVAS.(I have a photo of him)The Chief Steward was M.VELISSAROPOULOS.
andrew 3 July, 2012 08:54
what was the patris last voyage from sydney to greece????
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Discovery Centre 5 June, 2012 12:10
Hi Carol, finding crew can sometimes be difficult.  Perhaps try posting on various online shipping forums to see if you can locate Angelos that way.  Does anyone else have any suggestions?
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Carol Hansen 5 June, 2012 11:26
Can you help find a steward called ANGELOS THEODORAKIS (or very similar) who was working on the Patris sailing Melb. to Athens 4th August,1965. Love to catch up.
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Trish Wan (nee Pat Lee) 18 May, 2012 21:22
I sailed on Patris from Sydney to Piraeus on 27 May 1963 en route to London. Before we sailed late at night a young woman fell to her death from the upper deck of the Overseas Terminal. Cabins were basic and I shared with a Greek lady returning to be married - she had 5 suitcases in the cabin! At lunch one day the stewards announced that there was a fire and all the Greek speaking passengers made a rush for the decks but we Aussies were left to wonder what was going on. The food was great, by the way. We learnt Greek dances, a few Greek words, crossing the equator ceremony was fun & lots of dancing to great bands. The fluorescent flying fish at night in the tropics were hypnotic but the most amazing was the journey to Cairo from the Suez Canal. The exterior of the ship was being repainted all the way to Greece and on arrival the lower decks were demolished to build cabins for more migrants. The noise was deafening as the bathrooms were jack-hammered out, with a huge void 2 stories deep. Aussies were given 3 days on board in Piraeus with sightseeing tours but the noise went on night and day! Loved Greece, particularly Cape Sounion & Athens. I had a return ticket on Patris but cashed it in and spent the money on travelling around Europe. I emigrated from England to Canada and worked until I had enough money for the fare back to Australia on the Canberra from L.A. in 1965. Does anyone remember this May/June 1963 voyage?
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Mary D. 29 March, 2012 21:03
We also arrived on the 'Patris' in January 1968. I was 9 years old. Unfortunately we don't have any photos of the journey.Can anyone help?
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Vicky Stojanovska 13 March, 2012 15:01
My dad came to Australia on the Patris in December 1969, he often speaks about the trip and he has a photo with some friends he made on the cruise and some of the crew. I'm going to read the above story of what happened to the Partis, to him, I'm sure he'd love to know!
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Nick Miroforidis or Myroforidis as it's in Greek 13 March, 2012 10:36
I was 10 years old when my entire family migrated to Australia from a village called Xarvgi from Kozani Makedonia about 2 hours from Thessaloniki to the south. I remember the journey like yesterday. I remember the huge variety in the food that was offered. I was never used to such luhury. I remember going to the 'clubs' on the boat. No age limit those good old days. We were in a cabin on the 3rd last level. My mother was sick for the entire journey. We thought she was going to die but she was only pregnat to my younger brother born in Sydney in 1971 - Anastasios Myroforidis. It was the best journey of my life. I will never forget it. I have no bad memories of it or bad experiences. My father Kostandinos Myroforidis was so proud to get away from the poverty and politics of his village/family and make a new start for us. We owe our future and our lives to him because he was so courageous like thousands of other Greeks, and made the decision to migrate to such a distant land. I will write more in the future. We settled in Newtown - Sydney and then Roselands.
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anthony hakim 7 March, 2012 22:34
hi there i boarded patris from beirut then through the suez canal in january 1966 with my family 8 of us arrived in australia 15 feb 1966 at port melbourne it is a trip ill never forget as child till now patris is my favourate ship i can still remember every thing sad we left my dads parents back there if i could rewind time i will take mi kids on the trip.
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Amanda Lynch 4 March, 2012 18:21
I lived onboard the Patris after Cyclone Tracy. I was about four and my dad was there to help rebuild Darwin. As a kid, it was a wonderful place to live - a huge playground!! Every night dinner was served by our wonderful waiter, George, who would rouse on me if I didn't eat all my vegetables. He'd shake his finger and say "Not-a good-a girl!". I had the run of the ship and every day had my chores to do - first thing I'd head up to the bridge and check in with the captain and from there I'd work my way down to the laundry, making sure that everything was in order! It was an exciting and magical world for a little only child with a vivid imagination! Once we were issued with our caravan, we no longer had to walk the long trek along the wharf to the ship (which seemed to go for miles!) and I'm sure mum and dad appreciated no longer having to share a cabin with me (probably why I'm an only child...), but I missed the Patris :-(
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jodie oconnell verginis 19 February, 2012 17:13
to every above whos has told their story thankyou. i want my children to know about the immigration their grandparents embarked on and how it made them feel. your stories are amazing and they provide so much enjoyment.
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george nicholas zois verginis 9 January, 2013 22:56
Just by chance I came across your surname ..is that maiden or married? Maybe we are related if your heritage is from tsoukalades Lefkada.I'd love to know
Theo Notaras 10 February, 2012 03:57
I was only 6 months old when my parents and older brother returned to Australia in September 1961. I am almost sure that they also travelled to Greece on the Patris in 1960 or59. Love to hear from people who may have travelled with them. Frank and Matina Notaras and my brother Manuel.
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Anastasia Nicolaou (Tsombanidis) maiden name 25 November, 2011 22:46
I was a 5 year old when we boarded the patris in 1969. I have vivid memories of the voyage, stopping in Africa, dressing up for children's plays and my younger brother lighting matches in the cabin. I would love to find anyone who was aboard the same trip. Now living in Queensland after many years in Sydney. I do have some photos aboard the ship, I will now search and somehow post these photos.
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spanos georgios 17 May, 2013 09:08
anastasia hello i was on the same ship patris in 1969 for melbourne i came back to greece in 1984 because my mother had cancer she died in september age 42 i am married have two children son and dauhter and i have one grandchild and waiting for the second at this moment i am in germany ulm iam 7 years i have my auto garage but i can not forget memmories the day we were on the ship and my adress in melbourne was first in bella str 2 prahran and then in williams road and high str next to the tab i remember every thing and when i see pictures i cry i come from katerini vrontou i hope we can comunicate from skype so we can talk of this voyage
Tony Adams 23 October, 2011 10:33
My sister (sadly now deceased) was on the Patris sailing from Australia to Europe January/February 1963. She had a fling with one of the Greek officers/crew and arrived in Europe pregnant. Her daughter would like to try and find the father. Any ideas on how to do that?? Tony.
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Carol Birch 18 May, 2013 20:48
I know it's a long time since your request, but did you have any success with your search. I'm in the same position regarding August 1966 sailing and would appreciate any ideas.
Discovery Centre 12 September, 2011 10:17
Hi Debbie, the best place to find images of Patris is Picture Australia. You can search images from many Australian institutions, including Museum Victoria, and order the images through this website also.
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Debbie 12 September, 2011 09:38
My husband and I both worked on the Patris and I was wondering if anyone has any photo's which they might like to share with us as we don't have many.I would like to obtain some of the actual ship if possible. Also if anyone has some from inside the ship. We did many trips between Australia, Singapore & New Zealand. Then we lived up in Darwin after cyclone Tracey. We have many great memories of The Patris. I can contacted at hanialakis2@bigpond.com.au.
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Kaye 31 October, 2012 23:08
Hello Debbie and Nick, I worked with you on board Patris and we were friends for many years. I am still in contact with a few people after all these years. Hope things are great with you. Kaye
George Kotronis 31 August, 2011 23:06
Born in Australia 1965, traveled on the Patris 1971 approxiamately not 100% sure. i remember leaving Sydney Harbour with my family dad John,mum Irene and sister Vicky. i remember the cream fights and people jumping in to pool,Indoor play area,also the movies when i think in bi seas then chairs in the cinema went sliding then my parents grab my sister and i and head back to the cabin. Also on our way back to Greece in which we stayed there for about 1 year and then back to Australia. On our way to Greece i saw my first camel on land carrying luggage i presume it was India there we boarded a plane for Greece i think that's when the Suez canal was closed to shipping traffic. Oh yea i remember we took off from Sydney Melbourne the from what my dad had told me it Fremantle there we left the ship for a little while family and some other people went to a park where the kids played on the swing over looking the ocean and took photos we our new found friend from the ship. Then it was a long sail across the ocean to India. had a good experience on our travel back and forth with the Patris good memories especially the birthday on board.I remember the song"O yoirgios inne pornerous'
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Helena 29 August, 2011 13:19
Both my parents travelled on the Patris. They talk about that voyage as the chapter to their adulthood. Both travelled at seperate times and describe the wonder of seeing such a large ship. The apprehension mixed with excitment of what their new country would bring. The sadness of leaving behind their family and home. I would love to have a replica made of the patris is their anyone who does this?
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Mary 28 August, 2011 19:15
My grandparents Arthur and Maria and three sons, Greg, John (my father) and Paul boarded 'PATRIS' and departed Greece on 19 August 1968 headed for Austrlia
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Jill McKerchar 22 August, 2011 20:40
I lived on the Patris in Darwin Harbour in 1975 for a few months after being left homeless by cyclone Tracey in 1974. The cabins were very basic but the dining room could not be faulted and the bars worked to full capacity. There is still many a story about the 'interaction' between the locals and the crew. I have mixed emotions about my time on this ship but it was sad to read she ended her days at the shipbreakers of Karachi.
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jayne ryderxq 7 October, 2012 00:06
Hi i have a friend who arrived from timo by red cross and stayed on the patris where she went on to meet a boy who she then married and they are still together 35 years later .we would love to here frpm you and to find out if you have any photos i look forward to hearing from you xxx
jacqueline hollis 11 August, 2011 08:28
hello everyone, i travelled on the patris in june 1973, from melbourne, i remember the night we sailed from melborne docks thousands of streamers and tights ladies tights we all kept hold of them untill they stretched so far as the ship moved away from the dock untill they snapped, the atmosphere was fantastic, what and adventure, there was 4 of us girls sisters 3 of us in our mid teens our little sister was 7, travelling with our parents John and Dolly Hollis, we had a great time, i remember i got off the ship in freemantle perth, and walked around for an hour os so, i was 18 and did not want to leave australia, but decided to get back on the ship, fearing what my dissappearance would have done to my parents,the ship was brilliant, always loads of stuff going on,,the pool was covered over while we sailed along the bottom of australia,,and had a thick rope net over it, a few young men dived into the net at night drunk,,and broke their nose, when we got to singapore the boys werent allowed off the ship if the hair was collar length, and we wernt allowed to take fruit off the ship because of the fruit fly,,the staff on the ship were great, i have fantastic memories, also we were one of the last flights out of singapore so we got to go to boogie street etc, we had a great few days there, it seems a life time ago, i still have all the laundry cards and ships berth plan and memorobilia from our trip,i woulld love to see some fotos inside the ship if any one has any,
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helen monoyoudis 26 July, 2011 09:52
Hi everyone my mum and dad were on Patris Basisl and soulaback in 60/61 i was only 3 when we came to melbourne my name is helen i remeber my mum and i were the first to enter to lounge and the last to go down to our cabins we had such a great time the danicing the food and we loved all the ships workers especially when my mum and i sociallled with the captain of the ship we all became very good friends dad was also loving every minute of it if only we can catch up with everyone and reminise about the good ship patris.
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inez keatley 26 July, 2011 04:32
my brother sister &I came to fremantle on the fairsea in 1959 we were taken to a childrens home called swanlea nr perth. does anyone remember it or us?
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Noel Callow 13 July, 2011 14:00
I travelled on the first trip from Melbourne. There were only a small number of passengers as there was very little known about the first trip. Almost everyone, like me, had already booked on other ships, but changed when Chandris offered a very attractive fare to Greece which we were keen to visit. I was also pleased to see that she was a one class ship. I had gone to Europe on the Fairsea in 1957, when I had just turned 21 and returned on Orcades on the last day of that year; not a good ship due to 1st class having 90% of the space and few passengers while about a thousand of us were crammed into the a..... end of the poorly ventilated "tourist" class.Patris was a great ship and the food was A1. Can someone tell me the date Patris left Melbourne please, I am thinking late January?
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Zana 2 June, 2011 14:34
My family and I flew from Gatwick to Singapore where we boarded the Patris in late 74 migrating to Wellington, New Zealand. As a child I rememember it being one of the worse experiences of my life. Sun burn blistered face and diesel fumes made me sick almost everyday of our journey. Everything we ate swam in oil so I lived on fresh pineapple for the entire trip. Sailing through the Australian Bight was more exillerating than any rollercoaster ride. We lost a life boat over the side, the water in the swimming pool dumped out onto the decks and everything in the ball room slide across the dance floor ... all except the Christmas tree which was the only thing nailed down. Father Christmas visited all the kids in a dodgey life boat. This put me off sailing for the rest of my life until now .... I am looking into taking a crusie and from what I am researching passenger crusie ships have come a long way since all those years ago. How neat it is to read the comments.
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george corapovski 10 April, 2011 23:35
here is an interesting story...my parents kris and milka migrated from the former yugoslavia in 1969 boarding the patris in search of a better life....well not long after they boarded my mother gave birth to me on the ship on christmas day 1969..and to cut a long story short the captain of the ship whos name is also george christened me on the ship and gave me my name...yes,George.....i have photos of the big day and would like to here from people who may remember the christening or if you were young at the time,maybe your parents can verify what im saying...id also be interested if anyone knows how i might get in contact with captain georges family,and maybe just say hi to them and inform them of my godfathers at my christening.. george corapovski
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Rachel Anastasiou 9 April, 2011 01:20
My Mother Anastasia Ouranidou travelled on the Patris leaving greece in 1959 & arrived in melbourne Jan 1960. She travelled alone at the age of approx 18. She later became Anastasia Anastasiou through marriage. If anyone had any info or stories of this particular voyage that would be extremely helpful.
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Panagiotis Triadafillou 4 April, 2011 22:48
My Dear Friends As I was reading through your stories I understand that you really enjoyed the experience travelling on Patris the vessel which brought hope and dreams to all of you on board. I wish I had travelled with you and tasted the same things you had experienced. I had traveled with my father's stories about the people who came to different places of Australia full of strength, not fearing for the unknown country. Moreover all the greek Migrants had succeeded in their work,bussiness making families and gave luckily the opportunity to their chidren to live in a country which as far as I know never abandones its citizens. Of course they were years of racism and discrimination for the first migrants but being strong and focus on the dream everything was overtaken. After the storm we must remember the good part of life. The difference between you and the people back in Greece is that you followed and obeyed the rules and you succeded. Unfortunatelly in greece people are (un)educated not to follow and obey the rules and laws for the politicians sake. So I did the right thing bringing my family to Australia one year ago. Next time I will unwind my story thanks
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marianthi spanogiannis 28 March, 2011 22:49
I arrived in Melbourne August 1966. I would like to hear from people who travelled on the boat Patris . Marianthi Spanogiannis
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Zoe Peltekis 25 July, 2013 18:44
I was on the Patris that brought passenger from Athens to Melbourne and the to Bonengilla in 1966. I was 8 at the time my brother was 2. My mother and fathe Cramer to earn enough money to buy a truck as dad was a bricklayer....they never returned other than the expensive return to the homeland holidays they had x 5. Always missing Melbourne but then yearning for their village and its familiarity, smells,routines and childhood friends. I have 2 photos of myself dressed up in a paper costume as spring, mum made on the ship and one sitting and having lunch. I remember the trip very clearly, the pool, the dolphins swimming along the side of the ship and the sea gulls saying alongside.
Konstantinos 26 March, 2011 09:09
I was 8 months old when I travelled with my parents on Patris going to Australia.It was christmas of 1960 and the captain and the crew needed a baby for christmas. So,they dressed me like Christ and a woman who was pretenting Virgin Mary was taking me around the ship,giving blessings to everyone. Not only the passengers but also the crew took us a lot of photos. After 50 years I am trying to find one of these photos. I would appriciate if anybody would help me to find any of these photos.
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Stephen Tsoulakis 14 March, 2011 11:44
I still remember the day I left Greece like it was yesterday.I remember leaving the village(St Germain in the Northern part of Greece)and boarding The Patris in Pireaus.At 11 years of age it was an adventure of a life time for a young boy.I was travelling to Australia with my mother alone as my father and my two older brothers had already migrated to Australia a few years before. We were on the bottom deck in a shared cabin.Some of my prominent memories of the ship were, the friendly crew, the cinema, (it was the first time I'd ever seen a movie, The Three Stooges!)coming into the port of Dubruvnic and picking up other passengers and wagging English lessons so I could ride the rocking horse.As we crossed the equator the passengers viewed a show outdoors.At the time I didn't understand what it was about until some years later.I also have vivid and fond memories of Cape Town. It was a beautiful view from the ship and we could see people throwing coins into the water and young African children were diving into the water retrieving them.Another memory I have was the ship in rough weather.As a young boy it was exciting and thrilling to be on the ship as the huge rolling waves hit the bow of the ship and water splashing all over the deck before reaching Perth.It was an experience I will never forget.
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Paul Martopoulos 17 August, 2012 07:28
What year was that Stephen? I was on that ship practically did what you're describing. (December 1969?)I dont remember as much as you do but Ive got photos of parades of boys dressed up in sailors' uniforms and adults' fancy hat competition. Amazing memories.
John Glossop 5 March, 2011 13:56
In 1973, I travelled on the Patris, to Singapore via Fremantle, then flew on to Gatwick with British Caledonian (sp). My fond memory was of the Greek sailors standing on the railings of one of the lower decks, with their faces at deck level of one of the passenger decks, chatting up under age girls, and in one case, luring one of them down to the crew deck! The meals were good - I was introduced to calamari during the trip. I also remember that in the balmy days running north, she appeared to have a tendancy to roll slightly, and VERY slowly.
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JACKEL 23 February, 2011 21:33
My Mums family came on this very boat twice!
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Dimitri Papadimitropoulos 9 February, 2011 07:12
As a representative of the Papadimitropoulos family of whom many members were at one time or another passengers of the Patris. I would like to say that I traveled on the Patris in 1965 and 1969. I have clear memories of the latter. I traveled by myslef at the age of 16 and had a fantastic time. I could relive that trip a thousand times over. I met a few people on that trip and was saddened at the end of our sail. A friend George Vrettakis that i met in 1965 remains a best and very true friend to this day. I would say that I was very lucky to meet George Vrettakis. I still have a great fascination for ships to this day. When on the Patris i would make every effort to explore as much of it as possible. I remember in 1969 whilst watching a movie at night the ship went through a storm and all stacked chairs ant tables came tumbling down with women screaming in panic that the ship was sinking. Whilst sailing from Mebourne to Perth we went through a cyclone which made me for the first time ever to vomit over the rails. I learnt how to play ping pong on that ship and became quite good at it. I used to beat my friend George in the end and he taught me how to play. Going through the Equator was a great experience and a lot of fun. I was initially placed in a cabin with a Turk who had smelly socks. I complained and was finally given a cabin of my own. We used to go to all the tea spots for the afternoon 5 pm tea and get as many biscuits as we could. We were young and hungry. My brother Peter in the 1965 sail was working in the photographers shop on the ship. More to come
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Anastasia Power (Anna Power) 22 January, 2011 07:56
I love Patris, I remember my journey to Australia, and my feelings of freedom and liberation; coming to my new home Australia but sad at leaving my beautiful loving grandmother behind.
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Patricia Doumbalis 11 January, 2011 10:01
My mother Konstantina Damos gave birth to me on her journey to Australia in 1967 on the Patris
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John Metaxas 11 January, 2011 00:24
I traveleed on the patris in 1968 approx and have no recollection . I would love to know more ad see more pics
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Panagiotis Triadafillou 5 January, 2011 16:50
Θα ηθελα αγαπητοί φίλοι να ερθω σε επαφη με Σαμιωτες για ανταλλαγη αποψεων και ανμνησεων παρακαλω αν ενδιαφερεται κανεις ας μου απαντησει Ευχαριστω
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Graham Bell 8 December, 2010 19:48
It's great reading all the comments,my family came out on the Patris in 1974,we flew from Luton Airport,near London on Monarch airlines on a Boeing 720,stopping at Belgrade,Dubai,which was very different to what it is now and Colombo before arriving in Singapore,those were the days of air travel,we then left Singapore,to Fremantle and then Melbourne,nearly tipping over in the Great Australian Bight,very scary for an 11 and 7 year old
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Kevin Bush 15 November, 2010 10:21
I travelled on the Patris in mid 1974 on the return trip from Fremantle to Singapore. I was 15 and I remember very basic cabins but wonderful silver service dinners with Greek waiters in the full white uniforms. I didn't know that a meal could have more than one course before then!The salt-water pool was like a wave machine and great fun.
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alan white 10 November, 2010 22:21
I had a flashback after writing here previously. I was the one throwing toilet rolls off the ship as a substitute for streamers! I got caught up in the action of people farewelling their friends and relatives when we docked at Fremantle and I raided quite a few rolls and streamed them across to the wharf! It didn't matter that I didn't know anyone, it was just a ball of fun waving at people. Not all the rolls rolled out and I probably had some near misses with a full roll! ;-)
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alan white 9 November, 2010 20:14
We came aboard the Patris in late '73 or early '74, I can only remember being settled in NSW well before Cyclone Tracey hit so I guess our family was on one of the last voyages while it was still used as a migrant ship. We flew from London (BOAC I think) to Singapore to embark on the ship to Sydney. I remember my parents saying we had a fighter escort around Asia as the Vietnam/Cambodian war was still in its dying days. My sister and I often chatted to the ship's crew and we had a favourite who often gave us some treats. We were aged around 10 or 11 at that time. Great times were had onboard and it seemed to take forever, when we stopped in Fremantle to let off some passengers we soon found out that the Capital Cities in Australia are very far apart! I fondly remember getting a plastic model plane kit when a whole load of toys were handed out when we berthed at Fremantle (if memory serves). Simple pleasures now but huge back then to a young lad. Good times indeed.
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dawn walker 4 November, 2010 01:57
i to flew from london airport to singapore and boarded the patris,in 1973 iwas accompanied by my 3 sisters & my parents.to us kids it felt like 5 years of travelling acroos the " australian bight" we recall helping a man who worked on the ship,peeling potatoes his name was john. my parents were able to have dinner at the captains table,fortunately we declined as they served "octopus"I do remember a friend called lee anne she came from latvia.i still remember the trip on the train from fremantle to adelaide,with all my sisters,parents & grandparents my parents names were peter & patricia walker,my grand-parents were elsie & harry walker would be nice to hear from anyone who has such memories as i do....
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carole oconnor (nee reed) 26 October, 2010 03:51
I emigrated with my family in 1970 on the Patris. I had my 13th birthday on board (so it was around October) I did make friends with a girl called Karen. I am writing a book about our 4 week journey from the UK to Oz,and our life over there (we are now back in the UK). So I will keep reading your comments as it gives me more background info
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Olga Lili 25 October, 2010 04:38
Looking for Maureen O'Sullivan who was on the Patris June 1970 (or June and July 1970) on the return tripp from Australia to Pireus.
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Discovery Centre 20 October, 2010 12:58
Hi Petula there is a facebook page for Chandris Line, although it doesn't seem very active. Hope this helps.
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Petula 16 October, 2010 13:21
I too flew from Gatwick to Singapore to sail on the Patris to Fremantle back in 1973. It is a trip that i will never forget. I met some amazing people but unfortunately lost touch with. We only was in Australia for 6 months for a holiday but i always vowed that when i got married i would come back to live which i have done. I do have some photos of my time on the Patris mainly dancing ones. Maureen Jones and Ramona Mazzoni if your reading this please reply. Does anyoine know if there is a page on facebook regarding the Patris or Chandris lines??
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Mark Churchman. 14 October, 2010 22:31
I lived on the Patris while it was in Darwin accomadating those left homeless by cyclone tracy, the food served up was the same as though you were a passenger if the ship was at sea,crew were very helpful and corteous also. I think some of the crew would have rather the ship be at sea than sitting alongside a wharf for months,the hot weather did not make it easier for them either.
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jayne ryder 7 October, 2012 21:46
Hi my friend arrived from Timo as a refugue in1975 and stayed on the Patris where she met a spanish man who she then went on to marry and 35 years later still married, I am trying to collect some photos and memories as a surprise can you help me thank you i look forward to hearing from you
Karen 10 October, 2010 23:45
We immigrated from the UK to Australia in Nov 1973... I was 9yrs old.... We flew from Gatwick Airport in London to Singapore and boarded the Patris to complete our journey via Fremantle to Melbourne. Then took the Overland train from Melbourne to our final destination Adelaide. It was a 2 week cruise! thats how my parents looked at it anyway.... it was very comfortable with only a couple of rough days.... We have lots of happy memories of our journey on the Patris!
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jenny douglas 21 October, 2013 04:17
Hi Karen, Myself and Husband Hamish were Flew Jet Ship from London on a 707 boarded the Patris 1973 left Singapore 4oct arrived Perth 12th October, onto Melbourne, we rolled as we entered the port, onto Sydney arriving day of the opening of the opera house. We finally moved to Byron Bay a fabulous wonderful place. I recall being sea sick for many days, we did not get a drill on the boat if I recall. Australia is wonderful Byron Bay, Perth and Sydney in particular. Now reside on the beautiful Island of Mallorca Puerto Pollensa. How to think 40 years ago, we sailed into Sydney harbour. Jenny Douglas Puerto Pollensa Mallorca
Rob 14 April, 2013 14:58
I was on that same voyage, starting at Gatwick to singapore, then onto Melbourne withe train then to Adelaide. I was returning from 6 years away in UK.
Mike 30 March, 2013 12:13
Hi Karen, Sounds like we where on the same trip. My parents dragged my older brother(12)myself and(10)younger sister(8) New Zealand we arrived in NZ Dec 17 1973. We also flew from Gatwick to Singapore. We have never looked back, but we have returned for holidays.
Penelope Pentseris nee Karassellos (Popi) 7 October, 2010 15:16
Hi everybody, like you all I too travelled from Greece to Aden by air and caught the Patris to come down to Melbourne. By the time the ship got to Melb. I ended up being employed by Chandris lines as Secretary to the Capt. and I made all the announcements (as I spoke 7 languages) and also helped the Entertainment Officer Johnny Greco and his boyfriend Bill with Greek Dancing. The girl at the purser's office desk Julianna Main was an Aussie too (does anyone know where she is, I'd love to get in contact with her. There was another English Girl on board called Cynthia, I saw her about 20 yrs. ago she had married a Macedonian man and had children and I never saw her again. If anyone knows their contact details please tell them Popi would like to hear from them.
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john gioudas 17 August, 2010 19:01
hello to anybody that remember me on board the patris 1967 from greece 26th august 1967 port melbourne.
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Lisa Freeman 8 August, 2010 20:16
My name is Lisa Freeman, my parents konstantinos Kyriazis and my mother Eleni Kyriazis in 1970 i was 12 years old my sister and 2 brothers and our parent, when on a voage, to this amazing new land Australia, we few to mauritius and then we got on the patris and 30 days later we arrived in port melbourne. The buses then picked us up in the middle of the night and we drove all the way to a place called Bonogila. Yes it was difficult in the beginning, especialy for our parents speaking for my self i loved it here the minute i steped foot on this land and I am proud to be an Australian.
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george kyriazis 7 August, 2010 17:47
Hello to all the people that came to australia in 1970 onboard the patris . I would like to hear and get in contact with anybody who may be interested in sharing their stories and (hopefuly) photos ? If you have any photos , please get in touch with me
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leo kyriazis 9 November, 2013 17:43
Hi, which part of Greece are you from? My Uncle and Aunties came to Australia in Melbourne in the early 60s and 70s with the ship called Patris.l would be interested to know if we are somehow related... please reply..Kind Regards Leo Kyriazis,
Wilhelm van Geyzel 22 July, 2010 06:18
1964 - I have fond memories of the Patris as this was the ship that took my Dad & I to our new life in Canada. I remember stopping in Aden to refuel and then going through the Red sea, and the Suez Canal. I remember asking my dad what all "those tanks and guns were on the Egyptian side of the canal were," & being a veteran he simply replied that they were probably on maneuvers. This was in fact the build up to the 6 day war between Israel v Jordan, Syria & Egypt. I also remember flaying fish landing on the lower crew deck as we traversed the Red sea and being escorted by dolphins for about 1/2 and hour. The food was tops and the hospitality great. I Still have the steamer trunk we used to bring our belongings, our passenger tickets, and all the menus form our stay at sea. This was truly a trip of a lifetime for a 13 year old. I still can see my dad sipping strong black esspresso style coffee with and orthodox priest at a restaurant on the after deck. I also recently found a Patris post card. All of these momentos will be handed down to my sons. In closing the only thing I had to do during our voyage was to check in with my dad every hour, based on his words of wisdom"just don't fall overboard"
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Troye 12 June, 2010 23:23
It's been along time,a life time ago since being on the Patris.I was 6 year's old traveling from Suva Fiji,to Noumea though to Sydney Australia,and I beleave it was the last commercial voyage for the Patris before heading to Dawin.
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Foti Flogeras 13 May, 2010 06:21
I was one year old in 1965 on a Journey from Australia to Greece with my grandparents. I have some old photos too. Apparently the ship was used by Karagiorgis - Lines in early 80's from Patra to Ancona Italy for a few years.
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dimitra 18 April, 2010 01:10
It seems a life time ago, i traveled on the Patris in 1970 from Greece to Australia. My sister was 6 and i was five and my brother was 1 years old. I have traveled on so many trips since then, but that particular trip just stuck in my head and heart. I remember everything about the trip that took over 30 days. I was really an amazing experience, but given the chance to do it again today, i don't think i could do it. That big and amazing trip changed our life for ever, we were torn between two countries, separated from relatives, migrating to a new country was not easy, we didn't know the language, we had no home, had problems at school, the Australians didnt like us, but eventually we blended in, i suppose all the migrants made what Australia is today. Now after 20 years of living in Australia, I'm back living in Greece, separated from my beautiful brother and sister and father and i am still having problems because my Greek isn't all that good, i had problems finding a job, and still torn between two countries, plus my kids dont know their cousins and unties and uncles that are living in Australia. It was amazing i loved the Patris, but sometimes i wish i never got on that ship in 1970 so many years ago.
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Effie 17 April, 2010 14:31
I was only 7 years old when my family boarded the Patris to make the long,long journey to Australia in 1970. We first boarded a plane to Djibouti and then boarded the enormous ship. I remember my mother telling me that it was the first time she experienced such incredible heat in Djibouti and it was the first time she came so close to people from Africa.On the ship I have memories of the delicious stawberry ice-cream and hot pumpkin soup. I also remember people being thrown into the large swimming pool as we crossed the equator. I can only imagine what my poor parents would have experienced with three young children {7,5 and 1}to look after.It was an adventure for sure!!!!!!!!!
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Nick Andriotakis 9 April, 2010 13:16
The Patris was taking so many Greeks away from their mother country to a new adopted country and a new life . An ironical twist in the name as it means my country . I was 6 years old and I can remember the strong smell of the paint and watching Flipper on TV, the round table sin the dining room and the fanfare leaving Pireaus . All exciting for a small boy from a remote mountain village. The Patris would bring new poor migrants to Australia and on its return take back to Greece for holidays older established migrant families . The migrant ships are the real dreamboats full of people full of dreams for life in a new land . A couple of years ago Celebrity Cruises had ships visiting Sydney Harbour . Their exhaust stacks carried the cross ( Greek letter Chi synmolising the Chandris family) just like the Patris .
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EFFIE 21 March, 2010 21:11
I AM OVERWHELMED BY READING YOUR COMMENTS.I WAS AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD PASSENGER ON THAT THIRTY AND SOME DAYS VOYAGE.IN AUGUST1968 SUEZ WAS CLOSED SO WE TRAVELLED ALL AROUND AFRIKA TO REACH ATHENS.MY PARENTS,AFTER 12 YEARS IN SYDNEY AND HAVING MISSED GREECE,DECIDED TO LEAVE.I WILL NEVER FORGET THE DAY PATRIS LEFT THE SYDNEY HARBOYR.EVERYONE WAS CRYING WAVING GOODBYE.THE VOYAGE WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE.PARTIES,CINEMA,THE HUGE DINING ROOM,SWIMMING POOLS,MAKING FRIENDS! UFORGETABLE!
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Panagiotis Triadafillou 18 March, 2010 21:56
Dear Friends I accidentanly found this site about the migration of Omogeneis brothers from Creece to Australia and the Ship Patris which carried them . The reason I'm writing is because my father was working on that ship as An engineer from the begining until the end of Patris life (scrap in Salamina Shipyard, Greece). His Name was George Triadafillou born in Koumeika Samos Island(was limping on hiw left leg) I remember the stories he told us about how many people the ship carried to and from Australia. The feelings were either joy or sadness for an unknown country hoping one day to return to mother country Greece. He helped a lot of people on board understading the pressure and the agony of that time. Surely the new generation dont know him but the first generation should remember him especially the people from Samos. I wish if someone knew him to share the atmosfere of the ship on board and as I have recently come to Australia to contact with the people he met. Panagiotis Triadafillou
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major-homework-task 14 March, 2010 20:37
hey there, this is to the people who travelled to australia on the boat Patris i have a HUGE assignment due in a couple of weeks and i need to have researched 2 greeks who sailed the Patris. it would be a big hekp and id really appriciate it thanks :)
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Elias 4 April, 2013 22:04
Our family arrived to Australia on this ship to meet up with our father who migrated 4 years earlier
Petros Kosmopoulos 12 March, 2010 22:58
My mother, Stavroula Kosmopoulos (nee Triantafillopoulos) migrated to Australia on Patris and disembarked on Station Pier on 18/10/65.
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Eric 17 February, 2010 11:11
I travelled on the Patris twice, from Australia to Greece. In 1965 and again in 1966. Seems so long ago.
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ramon rios 12 February, 2010 12:44
My grandfather came over on the Patris 1916 ,Michael Athalis
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Con Christopoulos 3 October, 2009 02:54
My father and later my mother migrated to Australia on this ship.
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Discovery Centre 15 September, 2009 12:30

Hi there, Matoulas. The best way to find records of a friend's migration to Australia is via the RecordSearch tool at the website of the National Archives of Australia. Their enormous collection of immigration-related documents is an invaluable resource for this kind of research - good luck!

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Matoulas 12 September, 2009 17:38
I am looking for a family friend who travelled on the Patris and disembarked at Melbourne. Can anyone Help ? Is there an online boardlist ?
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Alexios Ioannis Tseros 28 April, 2009 09:33
I was 4 years old when I arrived at Station Pier in September 1961 with my mum Kalotina, my two older brothers Dimitrios & Nomikos and two older sisters Maria & Vakina. Dad, Ioannis was here in 1959. All I remember is being thrown into the pool as we crossed the equator, walking all over the ship and the best tasting chocolates I’d ever eaten “Cadburys Dairy Milk”. When we arrived at station pier I climbed all over the life boats collecting them and passing them down to my brothers.
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