Smyrna and Southern California

by Stavros T. Stavridis

This brief article titled “Smyrna Emergency Committee named” is reproduced below from the Los Angeles Times on September 17, 1922. It states:

A Smyrna emergency relief committee for Southern California was named Saturday by Charles V Vickrey, general-secretary of the Near East Relief, New York City, and consists of Dell A Schweitzwer, Chairman; W.W Gibbs Jr, Treasurer, W Maxwell Burke, Prof. Roy Malcolm, Mrs Milbank Johnson, B.F Tucker, Leon W.Shaw, W.J Ford, Mrs J.A Stodell, JC Pinkerton, and WH Thomas.

Appointments of chairmen in the various Southern California cities and towns will be completed Monday. Chairmen will be asked to hold mass meetings and raise funds specifically for the purchase of food and medical supplies for the Smyrna and Moudania sufferers.

The Near East Relief stands ready to transmit overseas any funds contributed for Smyrna emergency relief ,says a wire just received from Near East Relief , New York City, at the Los Angeles headquarters 517 Wright and Callender Building.

Funds collected here according to the local office, will be transferred at once to the Constantinople headquarters of the relief which serves the Smyrna refugees.

Some comments

Some brief comments are in order. Firstly, within a short time after the destruction of Smyrna and the resultant evacuation of many thousands of Greeks and Armenians, the American Near East Relief (N.E.R.) organisation quickly mobilised its human and economic resources to assist the refugees; secondly committees were to be appointed in Southern California to raise and transmit funds directly to Constantinople; and finally the N.E.R. would play a very important role in providing food, clothing and shelter for the Asia Minor refugees; and finally the article doesn’t mention the social backgrounds of the Southern California N.E.R. committee. One can assume that these individuals were well connected citizens in their local communities.

Stavros T.Stavridis, Historian and Researcher, National Center for Hellenic Studies and Research, Latrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia 3086

About the Author

Stavros Terry Stavridis was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1949 of Greek parents. He migrated to Australia with his parents in September 1952. Stavros has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Political Science/Economic History and B.A (Hons) in European History from Deakin University and M.A in Greek/Australian History from RMIT University. His MA thesis is titled "The Greek-Turkish War 1919-23: an Australian Press Perspective."

Stavros has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, lecturing at University and TAFE (Technical and Further Education, the equivalent of Community College in the US) levels. He has presented papers at international conferences in Australia and USA and has also given public lectures both in Australia and on the West Coast of the US. Many of his articles have appeared in the Greek-American press. He currently works as a historical researcher at the National Center for Hellenic Studies and Research, Latrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

Stavros' research interests are the Asia Minor campaign and disaster, Middle Eastern history, the Assyrian and Armenian genocides, Greece in the Balkan Wars 1912-13 and the First World War and history in general.

HCS maintains a large selection of fine pieces written by Mr. Stavridis which viewers are invited to view at the URL

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