White Gold, Deep Blue: Greeks in the Australian pearling industry, 1880s-2007
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Since the late 1880s, Greeks have been involved in Australian pearling — initially in the pearl shell industry and then in pearl cultivation. The significant strength of the Greek contribution to Australian pearling far outweighed the actual numbers involved. Key Greek individuals, families and regional groups who are featured include: Mary Dakas (nee Paspalis), most probably Australia’s only Greek female pearl lugger operator; her brothers Michael and Nicholas, of whom the latter went on to establish the internationally renowned Paspaley Pearling Company; Denis George, whose research and experiments were pivotal to the development of pearl cultivation in Australia; Michael G. Kailis, who established Broome’s first successful pearl farm; the Haritos brothers, George, Jack and Nicholas, who were part of the attempt to revive Australian pearling after World War II; and the pioneering early Kastellorizian pearlers who were later followed in the 1950s by crews from another Dodecanese island, Kalymnos.