Con Karavitis JP

con karavitis portraitPersonal Tribute to Con Karavitis.  Peter Adamis 14 June 2014.   This is a personal tribute to a man who was instrumental maintaining the integrity and maintenance of the Laconian Hellenic Community in Melbourne Victoria by his personal contribution which unfortunately led to his sudden passing.  As the author of the tribute I can only write of my personal encounters with Con as I had promised him that I would write an article about him.  A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: CON KARAVITIS

He chuckled at this idea and said let’s wait and see what the future may bring. Unfortunately due  to unforseen events, I was unable to do so at the time and it is now fitting that I write this personal tribute on this day that a plaque in his honour is being presented to his favourite club, the Pallaconian Brotherhood. In fact to be honest, I got out of bed at 1.30 am Saturday 14 June 2014) to write this tribute about a man that many who knew him deserved a fitting tribute in his memory and as such I must confess this tribute is not worthy or sufficient to describe the attributes of Con Karavitis.

On the 13 October 2013 the bells tolled in the town of Peristeri Laconias, Greece. They tolled for one of their sons who had suddenly passed away.  It was time honoured tradition amongst Laconian towns and villages that the church bells toll for the sudden  death of any of its members, no mattered where they were residing and/or made their home in the world. 

Con had passed away whilst attending the Annual General Meeting of his most beloved Hellenic Club, the Pallaconian Brotherhood, a club that he had much to do with its regeneration.  In fact one could rightly call him one of its post modern fathers and patron.  Much has been spoken about Con and his personal achievements in the Australian Hellenic Community and yet few know of his outstanding work amongst new migrants and those within the wider community who would seek his help when in need.

Some could accuse him of spending far too much time supporting others to the detriment to himself and others could argue that his love of his Laconian roots spurred him even further to do what he could to alleviate the burdens of others.  I first met Con in 1992 when he was the Liberal Party candidate for Pascoe Vale and I was still serving in the Australian Defence Force.  We were both in the Liberal Party but in different factions and therefore on a political level, despite our factional differences there was a healthy respect for each other. I still remember his first words to me when we first met, He said “I know who you are but you don’t know of me” and we shook hands.

I was amused at his first words because although we had never met I wondered where on earth would he know of me apart from the Liberal party and what had he heard, was it positive or of a negative nature.  I found out later that he was very good friends with Ted Ballieu and that they had a warm and friendly relationship. this did not surprise as Ted Ballieu had and still does a friendly and warm relationship with anyone he would meet.  Con would often invite Ted Baillieu to the Pallaconian Brotherhood as his guest and that was a plus for the community and all concerned.  

In regards to our first meeting, Con and I would laugh about it many years later when we would have our coffee and cakes together discussing the strengths and weakness of the Pallaconian Brotherhood Club and how we could ensure its longevity for future generations. Con was very concerned as he was not sure how we would attract new blood and find new leaders. In this regard Con encouraged me to remain a member and to seek the office o the President.

An offer that I refused on the grounds of ill health at the time, but did promise that I would do what I could given my circumstances to ensure the survival of the club.  I guess Con was happy with that response because we never discussed it again.  However we saw each other at the Pallaconian Brother Committee meetings and joined forces in the removal of two recalcitrant and nefarious characters that almost attracted negative publicity and bringing disrepute upon the club.

 I can remember Con being adamant in removing them from office even though one of them was considered to be a close friend. On reflection, I guess that is what I liked and admired about Con, his tenacity and commitment for the truth, to do the right thing at all costs, not be afraid to speak when he saw an injustice being done, help others and to be able to put the needs of the club above that of his own. Suffice to say after much discussion and behind the scenes action by Con the club was to bring about a successful outcome. 

I heard of Con passing away whilst on a visit to Greece with my elderly father and was in shock for a number of days and I found it extremely difficult to comprehend his passing. Con and I as old codgers so to speak would often speak of our own cardio vascular health issues and compared notes to see who had what and how did we overcame them. 

Although Con had advised me that he felt fine and never better after his heart operation, I often wondered whether he pushed himself too hard in helping others and at the same looking after the needs of his family and that of the Pallaconian Brotherhood.

In summary, I would like to think that Con is amongst the angels looking down upon all those who have gathered at the Pallaconian Brotherhood for the installation of the plaque in his honour and have a sense of love for those he left behind and knowing that he left a positive legacy for others to emulate and follow. 

A man who spoke warmly about his family and how proud he was of them, something which is not often said these days. Many who knew of his outspoken manner will always remember him as a God fearing man who loved his family, and a humble and good man who only wanted the best for others. May you rest in Peace Con.

1 Peter Adamis iconThe Voice from the Pavement
– Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health  & Safety, (Monash),  Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Contact via Email: abalinx@netspace.net.au or via Mobile: 0409965538

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  1 comment for “Con Karavitis JP

  1. Betty Karavitis
    15 June 2014 at 12:59 am

    Dear Mr Adamis, I have just finished reading the touching tribute which you have written for my father. I was at the Brotherhood yesterday; unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of meeting you. The words you have written about dad are true and honest. He was everything that you describe hime as and much more. A loving and dedicated father who we now hear from people within the community spoke so highly of us. But more than that, he was a passionate advocate for his heritage, Greek and aboveall, Laconian. Dad lived for the Brotherhood; he made it his last breath.

    We are very proud of the legacy that he has left for his family and for the wider community. He has impacted on many peoples’ lives over the last six or so decades and for this he will never be forgotten.

    Quietly, I know that dad was in the Brotherhood yesterday, watching over the proceedings. Directing traffic as he usually would.

    Thank you for acknowledging him so fondly.

    Betty Karavitis

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