I find it odd that after some two years of peace and tranquility that a few vigilantes bent on changing the course of history by manipulating the facts attempted to overthrow the legitimate Committee of Management at the Pallaconian brotherhood Leonidas. In the aftermath of those two years, 2014 to 2016 greed, envy, jealousy, malice and hatred crept into the heart of one individual. A hatred kept alive because of his inability to come to terms with the fact that he was no longer the President. What a shame and what a waste of talent.
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No matter how courageous and resilient the President, Kon Glekas may have given his vast reserves of patience, one wonders when these self-righteous recalcitrant individuals will cease their bickering and come to the understanding that they have lost the right to arbitrate or even to come near to seeking a resolution.
All of the fault lies directly with one person and one person alone. That person being the member who presided over the Annual General Meeting of the Brotherhood on Sunday 9 October 2016. By analysing his actions, behaviour, letters, mobile text messages and his manner towards members of the current committee and of his lack of support to the Committee of Management for the period 2014 to 2016, it is not difficult to ascertain his objectives. It does not take an Einstein to figure that it was in fact engineered so that the Annual General Meeting became a circus and the chaos that followed was a direct result of these manipulations.
Never in my life have I met such a megalomaniac whose lust for power and velocity of malice towards those who disagreed with him. Mind you this is the same person who offered to give me his blood when I was in the hospital ill with cancer and yet in the same breathe in front of witnesses told me openly to stop hiding behind my cancer. On that day, I had just came out of hospital with no hair, still recovering, in pain, on medication but hell bent on demonstrating leadership to the Committee who looked towards me as their President.
Let us back track a little go back to almost the beginning of this sordid saga and allow readers to make their own judgments. Now for the few that don’t know much about me, it’s a fact that I was born overseas and came to this country we call home Australia at the age of four. Yes I will admit that life was tough in the early years growing up in the back streets of Windsor, Prahran and St Kilda, but then again, like many others who made this country home, we just got on with life and made the choices that made us who we are today.
A life as a street fighter during my formative years did not go down well, but it did prepare me for the major part of my adult life and to take the good with the un-pleasantries of life. If we got pushed or pulled down, we got up again and kept on fighting until we could fight no more. If we were given the raw end of the stick in life we learned to lump it and move on. We learned to stick by mates through thick and thin and yet forgive them when they let us down. Forgiving someone was the greatest gift and learning experience that I could ever imagine.
Life in the Army was tough, it made become resilient, strong in endurance, the sense of pride, looking after one another, never kicking a bloke when he was down, fighting the good fight and learning when to let go in order to survive and live another day. The army is like no other profession and none can compare to the myriad of experiences one gets to become acquainted with if an individual remains in long enough. I was extremely fortunate and blessed to be trained, managed and mentored by the best of the best this nation had to offer. My journey through the political arena also gave me a sense of what can be achieved by alliances, friendships, deals and pacts to achieve the ultimate prize or objective whatever that may have been.
My time with welfare organisations fitted me well and that of my compassion for others. The welfare system opened my eyes to another world that was full of misery, grief, unemployment, long term friendships and the occasional encounter with recalcitrant members. Yes I can truly say that even in the welfare system I met some great people, like Peter Jasonides, Peter Vlahos, Church leaders, Ministers at the State and Federal levels including various councils and business leaders. All the time coalescing information and experiences that I would never hesitate to pass onto others. If for example I need help or to get through a problem beyond my capabilities I would not be afraid to ask for help. In that particular corner I had a very good friend called Giuseppe De Simone, one of the smartest and mist strategic intelligent man I have known?
With regards to my experiences with Australian Hellenic organisations, I was lucky enough to be involved with the Hellenic RSL in South Melbourne, the Greek Welfare Centre in Northcote, The Lycurgus club of Victoria, The Oakleigh Greek Orthodox Community and last of all the Pallaconian Brotherhood. I was also fortunate to be a friend and supporter of HACCI and the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne Victoria under the presidency of Bill Papastergiadis, who has led the community to achieve greatness by demonstrating sound leadership and good governance.
My chronic illnesses also made me reflect on life and what was important without losing my self-esteem or status in life. I was humbled by the fact when ill, many friends who I had forgotten had bothered to contact me and encouraged me to continue with life and to take whatever was being offered. The three chronic illnesses being severe depression, there heart attacks and the fateful and yet to be understood illness of cancer.
This brings me back to the beginning of my yarn where an antagonist (rival) offered me his blood when I was seeking compatibility with my siblings. Suffice to say, my siblings were not compatible but I was taken aback by the kind gesture of the protagonist. Whether his intentions were truly honourable or to make me feel better is immaterial, for it was the thought that counted.
Now this was the dilemma I was faced with. On one hand the antagonist tested me sorely on a number of occasions and yet I resisted the temptation to lash out emotionally and/or physically. His one kind gesture held me in check on a personal level but not in my tole as the President. Yes I had the power to expel him as a member, yes I had the power to make his life far more difficult that he made it for himself and yes there were a myriad of other tactics that I could have employed as president to rid myself of the mosquitoes that kept coming back for more blood. When encountering the antagonist in public, I kept my emotions in check, controlled my anger and got on with the job as President.
There was time as President when I called the Police to have him removed. Another time, I came out of hospital to help the Coordinator with the Sydney road street Festival at a time when the antagonist came, criticized and left the pavilion. I kept my cool when numerous acts of undermining all the good work we were doing came to my notice. But the final straw came when the behaviour of the antagonist reached the pinnacle of poor behaviour by his negativity and biased governing at the Annual general meeting. It was the type of behaviour that I could no longer bear and almost fell into his trap to ensnare me I front of the members of the Brotherhood.
On that fateful day, my antagonist manipulated the members, twisted the facts, failed to follow his own precedents when he was a past presiding president, failed to follow the resolutions of past annual General meetings, failed to interpret the constitution correctly, and failed to govern the annual General meeting in a manner fitting of an unbiased President. What the antagonist failed to understand was that my experiences with the Australian Defence Force had prepared me well and as such I had already made exigency plans based on the “Appreciation Model” that all good leaders know when faced with a problem.
If my antagonist raised his voice, I responded in low tones, if he lost his cool, I remained calm, if he erred, I made sure the members were aware of his errant ways, if he tried to manipulate the members, I would speak up in their defence. In fact throughout the whole charade it became obvious to one and all that the antagonist had made a good job of depicting a personal vendetta against me. Still when faced with such a dilemma one can only move forward with confidence, making sure that wherever possible protocols are followed and that the members have the final say.
On reflection I would prefer to believe that I stood my ground despite the irregularities that followed and the meeting cut short illegally. In all of this, I must pay my respects to a man who demonstrated courage in the face of all negativity and opposition and thank him and his family who are also well known in the Victorian Greek community. Mr. Peter Athanasakis, it is an honour to have met and known you. I wish you and your family well.
I don’t hold grudges but make sure that those who have endeavoured to make mischief, hurt me, my family, friends and others are paid back in return with interest, no matter how long it takes. I guess my statement is a twist on my earlier remark of not holding a grudge, but the again I can live with that. In the end what does all this mean to the layman and the reader who has probably been bored to death by wondering when is all going to end.
To be honest, I don’t that it will end in the short term unless my antagonist and cohort of righteous vigilante hooligans discover that they have made some serious errors of judgement and are seek an escape route that will ensure that they will not lose face. I doubt that this will occur especially when I am being told that the antagonist has advised others that When Peter Adamis leaves the Brotherhood he will back off. My response is “oola la”, am I supposed to be scared. I just chuckle and laugh off their stupidity until the next time we meet.
It must be obvious to all that this yarn is a direct message to the antagonist and to the cohort of righteous vigilante hooligans who I suspect are biting their lips in anguish at their incompetence, stupidity and impotency of forcing themselves upon members who are fed up with their behaviour.
I would like to finish off the article with a short story of a mate of mine who enlisted into the Army at the same time and completed our basic training together. Yesterday my mate and his partner travelled all the way from Mount Gambier in South Australia just to meet with me and present me with a gift. A gift mind you cost him $1000.00. He wanted to come out and see me one more time as he was not the best and had found himself in a wheel chair. When I saw him briefly at the motel he was staying, I was greatly saddened and forgot all about my problems.
Here was a cobber Digger Mate who travelled all the way just to see me and repay some act of kindness that stretched back to 1971. I was gob smacked and a loss for words. I had other mate’s who done similar things on my behalf like my mate Barrie Daniel and yet this bloke Donald Norman without a care for his own health and safety made the journey to see me.
The point that I making here is that whatever decisions we make in life, we would like to think that they were the right decision at the time given the circumstances and life experiences to make those decisions and judgments. When I left my mate I knew in my heart that although we will speak on the phone like I do to many of my old cobber digger mates, I doubted very much that we would see each other again.
I am not saying that he would go to the big jungle upstairs first, but rather whether I will be around to see him, knowing my own inadequacies at resolving my own health issues. Life is what we make of it no matter our circumstances and my last sentence is for those mates of mine who currently suffering and facing chronic illnesses far worse than mine. They all know who I mean for we often exchange pleasantries on social media. Men, I wish you well, stay strong, courage and never give up.
As always, my apologies for the savagery of the English language and for my poor understanding of grammar. Forgive me when you find the errors and move on pretending you did not see them. After all it’s all Greek to me. Life is good as long as you can breathe, feel the sun against your face and the breeze that rustles through your hair (if you have any left).
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media 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: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538