At the Casino

From the Corfu News, April 1965

Corfu is getting more in the news and with the Queen’s future happy event [the coming birth of her first child – Ed.] taking place at Mon Repos, the town in a few weeks will be bursting with tourists, journalists and the idle curious who are always prominent wherever Royalty and VIPs gather.

I’m happy to see the foreign community increasing in quantity and quality. Personalities like the Furses, the renowned British stage designer – Lord Glenconner, the Oldfields, the Quicks – one of the leading printers in the British Isles, Sir Antony Abel. Mr & Mrs H.R.E. Browne. It is a pleasure to have as inhabitants in this island and we very much hope that Vivien Leigh who visited us last winter will follow in their footsteps.
A tennis tournament will take place the 30th April at the Tennis Club. There will be an Italian team coming from Brindisi to combine sports and sightseeing and who will compete against the Club. I was told that some oldtimers are making a debut after a prolonged absence of 6 years from the courts. I wish them luck which they fully deserve for being so brave to face the young and sprightly.
Talking about the Club, I went a few nights ago to the Casino where the Tennis Club dance was in full swing. The Committee did well in attracting a crowd from all spheres of life because our Democratic Mayor believes in popularizing the game which a few years ago belonged only to the ‘elite’ of the city. I saw the charming Prefect and his popular wife – Constanza wearing a smart ‘lamé’ dress and jacket – having at their table the Bottis – Virginia in a chic short evening dress – Alex and Jeanette Kazantzis, she, looking attractive in black lace, Spiros Flambouriari dancing with pathos, John Tryphon from Athens and handsome Count Ernesto Azzalin who came to Corfu on a short trip to have a look at the beautiful villa he designed for the Bottis. At another table I saw the Mayor of Corfu with his pretty wife, Pericles and Pat Karydis and the President of the Club, Alec Geronticos, who dazzled us all with his everlasting youthful personality. He excelled in ‘shake’ that evening!
A big table was holding fort for 24 ‘demi youngsters’, a jeunesse dorée of Corfu and amongst them I spotted Andrea and Aspasia Bottis, Evie Courcoumeli vivacious and charming, attractive Ileana Ginou, John Trivoli with an eversearching look, Hector Koliacopoulos, the secretary of the Club and a good tennis player, and Mary Sclaveniti, looking lovely and smart in a beige two pieces lace.
The bar, as usual, offered its hospitality to all who prefer the cosmopolitan touch, sipping a drink while talking to friends and watching the dancers. I saw in a corner Max and Lily Lavranos talking in sotto-voce, Max being in town on a short leave, and a bunch of gay American girls, one of whom sang a few songs accompanied by her banjo, Grenville and Doris Cook, Stephen Manessis with a Toulouse Lautrec beard and, I was told, a number of gate crashers! The band was trying their best to deafen us and became a bit better when the decided to stop one of the ‘micros’ and concentrate on some of Edith Piaf’s beautiful songs. What a pity we, in Greece, love noisy music…
The British Vice-Consul in Corfu and Mrs. John Forte, asked at Afra, the beautiful house of Mrs. Courcoumeli, a few friends for drinks to meet the Brigadier and Mrs Rogers, the British Military Attaché in Athens. The couple is enchanted with Corfu and hope to come again, though the weather has been rather unkind to them.

And a selection from the advertisements:
‘Only AEBEK pasteurised milk is guaranteed to be safe and bottled by the most efficient methods.’
‘The Five Brothers speak five languages and sell fresh fruits and vegetables at Mich. Theotoki 15.’
‘Avra, Benitzes, a small, friendly inexpensive hotels with its own beach, recommended by Elizabeth Nicholas in the Sunday Times. Good food, simple furnishings and running water in each room. Boat excursions for guess. Frequent buses.’

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