George Lekakis recalls meeting Gough Whitlam.Oct 22, 2014
I just wanted to share a memory or two with you before this day is over.
My father came to Australia in 1954 and he always told me that he
never felt Australian until Gough was elected in 1972.
In 1993, at the tail-end of my first visit to Greece, my uncle took me
to the Byzantine ruins of Mystras on the outskirts of Sparta in
We were sweltering that day as we walked about that amazing setting.
As we were about to leave, a familiar voice came into earshot. I
turned to see a tall man perched on a walking stick with a
handkerchief wrapped over his head. I didn’t recognise him at first –
I had only been hearing Greek for four months. But the voice
I decided to move closer to the old man who was encircled by a bevy of
important Greek scholars. As I approached, the scholars motioned me
away, but there was another bloke – a bearded fellow – who called out
” Do you wanna meet Gough?”
“Yes,” I said.
” Come over here,” he said.
About 15 minutes later after Gough had explained the history of the
place to the bevy, the bearded fellow waved me over.
I’ll never forget it – at the summit of Mystras, of all places!
It’s probably not right for journos to have heroes, but I have a couple.
The Chicago journalist Mike Royko is one of them.
But Gough touched my family in so many ways.
George Lekakis is a writer for The New Daily.