(Australia) – Doctor Basil Antonas, a notable Greek-Australian obstetrician and gynecologist, has announced his retirement. Doctor Antonas, who is a Greek who came to Australia as a refugee via Gaza, has delivered three generations worth of babies, which totals more than 20,000 deliveries, most of whom have come from the Greek-Australian community in South Australia. He told the publication, Neos Kosmos, that, “It was a wonderful and adventurous journey full of happy moments, thrills and challenges.”
He was born in 1944 in a refugee camp in Gaza near Palestine. His family was forced to leave Kastellorizo when the island was invaded. The family fled to Palestine. At the time, Doctor Antonas’ mother was still pregnant with him and his brother was two years old. After that, the family moved to Egypt, and then while there, they decided to move again to Cyprus. However, on the journey to Cyprus, the ship sank and 39 people died. His family endured the freezing water for six hours before they were rescued. They moved to Australia in 1950 where they were able to make a new life for themselves.
For Basil Antonas, his journey eventually led him to the University of Adelaide and after he graduated, he became an obstetrician and gynecologist. He has said that his work was both demanding and satisfying. He said, “Our work is particularly demanding and requires many compromises, but the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment I experience when I welcome the one generation after the other into this world, overwhelms me.”
During the course of his career, he was very popular with his patients for his skill and for his positive attitude. Families say that they trusted him with the task of bringing their babies into the world. Some say that he was an exceptional doctor and still, others felt as if he was born to bring babies in the world. These families are thankful that his family’s journey led them to Southern Australia!