- c. 1939
Komi, Peleponese, Greece
Anastasia Bekas was born in Greece in the late 1930s, the youngest of four children. She liked school and was a good student, her teachers encouraged her to attend high school. Unfortunately, she could not live this dream because, as was customary at the time, she had to leave school because her help was required to run the farm. She was a good, hard worker, but in the end her father encouraged her to migrate to Australia, as a way of avoiding the dowry he would eventually have to supply should she stay in Greece. The Australian government was keen to attract single Greek girls to the country at this time. As long as she had somewhere to stay, they would pay her fare. 'You are healthy, you are going to Australia', she was told. 'So I have to go.'
She migrated to Australia, where her sister already lived, in December 1963 and arrived in Adelaide, where she would settle, on January 14, 1964. Adjustment was difficult, with the lack of English language skills being the major problem.