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SOUTH AFRICAN GREEKS

CENTERS OF HELLENISM: COMMUNITIES

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CENTERS OF HELLENISM: COMMUNITIES
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Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Hellenes, immigrants, reached the Southern shores of what now constitutes the Republic of South Africa.

It appears that the first such immigrants inhabited the area of Cape Town and as their numbers gradually increased, they began trekking northwards towards Johannesburg and Pretoria.

At the beginning of the last (twentieth) century, small concentrations of Hellenes were formed in these towns, numbering a few hundred individuals each, who, aware of the need to safeguard their religions, linguistic and cultural tenets / ideals, formed themselves into regional societies which they named Hellenic communities, each such community named after a town or region.

 

Thus, the Hellenic Community of Cape Town and environs was the first to be formed in Cape Town (1903), followed by the Hellenic Community of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand (1908) and Hellenic Community of Pretoria (1908).

As the Hellenic population gradually increased and sizeable concentrations of Hellenes were formed in the other major towns of South Africa, additional Hellenic communities were formed in these towns, with aims consistent with those of the pioneering Hellenic Communities mentioned above.

Simultaneously, and over the first six decades of the twentieth century, a number of Hellenic Ethnic Regional Societies were formed, representing Hellenes, originating in a specific area or region of Greece, Cyprus or other countries, as well as other Hellenic organizations serving the interests of Hellenes in a specific field of human endeavour or expression such as education, benevolence, sport, private enterprise, professional.

 

The Hellenic communities and the other Hellenic organizations were and still are, independent and self-governed institutions, which prior to the formation of the Federation had very little appreciation of co-operating with each other for a common purpose. Especially the Hellenic Communities, which were content to serve the interests of the Hellenes in the area of their operation.

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Community of ALBERTON

T: (011) 907 8558

F: (011) 907 8559

Postal Address: P.O.Box 1060

Brackengardens, 1450

It was evident that Greeks were business people in Alberton as early as the early 1940's. The Greek of Alberton participated very actively in the anti-Fascist struggles of the 1940's. The idea for the establishment of a community as a legal entity was nurtured in the late 1950's. On the the 10th of November 1963 the first elected E.C was installed for a two

year term.

 

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Community of BLOEMFONTEIN

T: (051) 433 3946

F: (051) 433 1245

Postal Address: P.O.Box 1786,

Bloemfontein, 9300 

 

Community of EAST LONDON

T: (043) 722 0631 / 742 6673

F: (043) 742 6694

Postal Address: P.O.Box 7346,

East London, 5200

The 1st official E.C. of the Greek community of East London was elected in 1968. The community maintains a Greek after-school and a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to St. George.

 

Community of FAR WEST RAND

T: (018) 787 2165

F:

Postal Address:

The Hellenic community of Far West Rand was informally established in 1950's, due to the great "gold rush" of the times. Officialy it was established on the 9th of December 1980.

 

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Community of JOHANNESBURG

T: (011) 725 4745

F: (011) 512 0311 / 725 4745

Postal Address: P.O.Box 2789,

Johannesburg, 2000

As early as 1895 a few Greeks began to settle in Johhanesburg. In 1902 (after the 2nd Boer War) as many as 1000 Greeks were residing in Johannesburg. Brotherhoods and Associations were established trying to offer assistance to newcomers. In 1908, the "Hellenic Community Of Johannesburg and Surroundings" was formed, which consisted then, of 200 members.

 

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Community of NATAL

T: (031) 205 5133 / 205 4221

F: (031) 205 4194

Postal Address: P.O.Box 18461,

Dalbridge, Durban, 4014

The very first Greek immigrants in Natal settled around the end of 19th century. The "Hellenic Association of Natal" was formed around these years. In 1950's the formation of the "Greek Community of Natal" took place.

 

Community of PRETORIA

T: (012) 341 3335 / 362 1400

F: (012) 362 0982

Postal Address: P.O.Box 11516, Hatfield

Pretoria, 0028

According to records found in the archives of the Hellenic Community of Pretoria, in 1906 the Greek settlers who reached Pretoria, numbered about 120 and formed two small societies, namely, ELLINISMOS & PANHELLENIC BENEVOLENT SOCIETY. The Hellenic Community of Pretoria was born, on the 1st of July 1908.

 

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Community of SPRINGS

T: (011) 818 5445 / 813 1010

F: (011) 813 1013 / 818 3530

Postal Address: P.O.Box 1076,

Brakpan, 1540

The Hellenic Society of Springs was formed in 1958. Later, in 1974 it was renamed Hellenic Community of Springs covering a much bigger number of Greeks residing in the area.

 

Community of WELKOM

T: (057) 212 4412 / 212 1321

F: (057) 212 9954

Postal Address: P.O.Box 1540,

Virginia 9430

One can find Greeks in Welkom since 1950's. In 1956 the official formation of the Greek Community of Welkom took place.

 

Community of BENONI

T: (011) 974 9373

F: (011) 616 0736

Postal Address: P.O.Box 220, Bruma, 2026

In 1937, the Hellenic Association of Benoni was formed by Hellenes residing in and around the area, in their atempt to put together a Greek after-school for their children. After the 2nd WW, they managed to buy an old house, turning it into the 1st official Greek school of Benoni. In 1968, the Association was transformed to Hellenic Community of Benoni.

 

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Community of CAPE TOWN

T: (021) 464 5883

F: (021) 447 4146

Postal Address: P.O.Box 143,

Cape Town, 8000

The oldest Greek community of S. Africa, is the Hellenic community of Cape Town. In 1898 a charity organisation offering aid to Greek immigrands was formed. In 1900, the grounds where the Greek

Orthodox church stands today, was purchased from funds collected by the Greek community. The Greek Community of Cape Town become a reality.

 

Community of EAST RAND

T: (011) 740 0959

F: (011) 740 0034

Postal Address: P.O.Box 212,

Brakpan, 1540

The first Greek to settle within the East Rand, were mostly from Crete, Cyprus, Samo, Lemno, Ithaka and the northern parts of Greece. The first "East Rand Hellenic Association" was established in 1936. The community of "East Rand" was established in 1950's and covered Brakpan, Benoni, Springs, Boksburg, Kempton Park, Nigel and Germiston.

 

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Community of GERMISTON & DISTRICTS

T: (011) 873 0596 / 825 4411

F:

Postal Address: P.O.Box 582

Germiston, 1400

The history of the Hellenic community of Germiston began in 1955. The driving force behind the formation of the community, were some of the foundational members of the Imbrian Brotherhood, who had been in existence since 1937 and who lived in Germiston.

 

Community of KIMBERLEY

T: (053) 832 6651 / 831 1074

F: (053) 832 4465

Postal Address: P.O.Box 661,

Kimberley, 8300

One could find Greeks in Kimberley since 1925, most of them involved in small retail business. During the 2nd WW, many more Greek immigrants arrived. On the 26 September 1981, the Hellenic Community of Kimberley was formed.

 

Community of PORT ELIZABETH

T: (041) 373 8623

F: (041) 373 8623

Postal Address: 34 Hartey Rd. Parsons Hill

Port Elizabeth, 6000

The first Greeks arrived in Port Elizabeth in 1879. They were either survivors of a shipwreck or sailors. In 1927 one could identify Greek retail businesses. In 1936, the "Hellenic Community of Port Elizabeth" was formally established.

 

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Community of RUSTENBURG

T: (014) 533 0312

F: (014) 533 0312

Postal Address: Mega Cafe, 280 Klopper Str.

Rustenburg, 0299

About 10 Greek families settled in Rustenburg since 1960's. As more Greek immigrants were joining them the need for an organisation become clearer. On 13 November, 1965 the 1st E.C. of the Hellenic Community of Rustemburg was ellected.

 

Community of VAAL TRIANGLE

T: (016) 971 2008 / 932 3952

F: (016) 932 3082

Postal Address: P.O.Box 306,

Vereeniging 1930

 

Community of WESTERN TRANSVAAL

T: (018) 462 8361 / 468 1990

F: (018) 468 1990

Postal Address: P.O.Box 2768,

Klerksdorp, 2570

The first Greeks arrived in Klerksdorp (a very small village then) in 1936. Many more followed. On the 11th of October 1959, the Hellenic Community of Western Transvaal was officialy formed.

 

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Community of WEST RAND

& KRUGERSDORP

T: (011) 792 8088 / 763 4999

F: (011) 766 2645

Postal Address: P.O.Box 56217

Pinegowrie, 2123

The Hellenic community of West Rand tried to build a Greek Orthox church, since 1960, knowing only too well that such an achievement would be the  official start of the formation of the Greek Community of West Rand. In August 1974 the church was ready. That was the start of a very active Hellenic community.

 

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