Birthday party for two

Birthday party for two
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The Gerakiteys family celebrate their daughters’ birthday in their family garden. Their younger son watches on as the girls sit with their birthday cakes. Other family members are shown and the whole family poses for a portrait.

Summary by Poppy De Souza

This film was donated to the National Film and Sound Archive by Steven Gerakiteys.

Most of the home movie footage in these compilations was filmed by Emmanuel Gerakiteys, a resident of Canberra at the time. In this clip, Emmanuel is shown with his wife, Agape, and their three children. Home movie footage of migrant communities in Australia is relatively rare, and the close-ups of the Greek family members are a change from the Anglo-Saxon faces which typically appear in 1940s and 1950s home movie footage in Australia.


Gerakiteys: Greek Community Picnics synopsis

Home movie footage of members of the Canberra Greek community filmed between 1949 and 1950. Footage includes two annual picnics, family scenes at home, a birthday party, and a family outing around Canberra.

It is from a four-part compilation of 16mm silent colour home movie footage of the Greek community between 1949 and 1955, filmed by Emmanuel Gerakiteys and his family.


Gerakiteys: Greek Community Picnics curator's notes

This beautiful colour footage vividly captures the Greek community in Canberra and some family moments amongst the Gerakiteys family. The home movie captures a lot of the scenes, events and celebrations common in this sort of private footage, but it is also an insight into how the Greek community in Canberra lived at the time, and the ways they contributed to community life. The large communal gatherings seen in their annual picnics are evidence of just how close-knit the community was.

Emmanuel Gerakiteys (who filmed most of the footage) owned and ran the Canberra Café in Queanbeyan and then the Blue Moon Café in the Sydney Building, in Canberra’s city centre. Like many Greeks who migrated from the 1930s onwards, Gerakiteys was from the island of Kythera. His experience in small business was common amongst many of the Greeks, with others working in grocery stores, fruit shops, cafes, and wholesalers.

Notes by Poppy De Souza