John Sooklaris’ Latest Video Crete 1961

I just had an email from John Sooklaris that said:

Ray, If I had realized that these movies that I sat and watched when I was a kid, and fell asleep to, as my father would show them to all of our relatives, time and time again, would create such interest in the world, I would have posted them a long time ago when my father was alive. Alas, I am happy with the interest that we have received by people like yourself, and my mother is, no doubt, flattered by the interest as well. Yes, I just happened to visit your site yesterday, before receiving this message and even changed the one about Akrotiri in which you said I was confused. I wasn’t really confused, but just ignorant to all of the places in these videos. With the help of people, like yourself, we’ll get this all straightened out so we can properly inform our viewers. But I did take your word for it and changed it to the Agia Triada in Akrotiri. I will read your other comments on the other videos as well, as I do care about the quality of information that I post. Thanks for your help, as I continue to post the remaining videos from that time. John Sooklaris

Here is the latest video from John – part 1 0f 2:

I don’t recognise the first memorial, but the second after a minute or so is certainly the memorial south of Hania on the Omalos road at the Alikiarnos junction. This is a memorial to those dead in the last war when the Germans occupied Crete. There is listed the names of those killed in around five local villages. In the basement of this memorial is a glass ossuary containing many skulls of those killed, each with a bullethole over the right ear.

Later in this movie I see the hospital in Rethymnon which was newly built in those days. The big ceremony/festival near the end of the movie is certainly in Eleftheriou Square (Freedom Square) in Iraklion. That’s the one with all the crowds and marching soldiers. If you watch carefully you will see the Iraklion Morosini  Fountain twice.

Here is part 2 of 2 of this film.

The first part of this film is obviously a trip eastwards from Iraklion towards Agios Nicholas. The first part of the film is a stop at St Georges church in the gorge of Selinari near the village of Vrahassi. I remember this place on the first bus I took when I arrived in Crete going to Agios Nicholas. No Cretan can pass this shrine without stopping. The whole busload got out and said a quiet prayer here.

Most of the rest of the film is taken in Agios Nicholas – you can clearly see the small lake with the boats that connects to the sea. The final part of the film is I feel taken on a trip to the Lassiti Plateau – you can see the windpumps/windmills.

If any of you out there can do better than me and identify more of the places in the film, of which there may be several, then I and John would be grateful. Please post a comment.

I would appreciate it and so would John Sooklaris. In memory of his father who took these great films.

3 thoughts on “John Sooklaris’ Latest Video Crete 1961

  1. Ray

    Great pictures and well worth viewing.

    I’m not a great expert but have spent most of my holidays over last few years around the Agios Nikolaos area & the section of the 2nd film either side of the 2 minute mark is definitely taken around the War Memorial in Venizelou Square in Agios itself. The walk following is down R Koundourou which took them the 150m straight from the square to the harbour & lake.

    I know from reading your articles that you have a depth of knowledge going well back, but wondered if you had previous come across the items shown in the “Images from another age” section of the Agios Nikolaos municipal site. I can’t see any trace of their vintage but they are interesting (to me anyway!).


  2. If the second memorial is at Alikianos then maybe the first one might be the one situated just before you reach Agia prison where you turn right up to Galatas.
    Just a hunch.
    Kriti sti kardia mou

  3. I have just come across this site. Perhaps God is guiding my hand. I am off on a Pilgrimage to Crete starting on the 9/9/08. I will start from The Despo Hotel, Gouves. I will then drive to some thirty locations in which are memiorals to THE CRETAN CIVILIANS who gave their lives that I mave live mine in peace and travel undindered.
    Alikianos will be just one place I will visit. I will be taking my pipes and in uniform play a piper’s lament before placing a memorial wreath. No fuss, no crowds – just a 73 year old piper bowing his head to say not only “I WILL REMEMBER” but also “THANK YOU”. I have no set plan. I will rest my head where God guides me …………………
    Bill Jenkins

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