Partner Patrick White
Highbury, 20 Martin Rd, Centennial Park NSW 2021, Australia
Emmanuel George "Manoly" Lascaris (5 August 1912 – 13 November 2003) was the life partner of the Australian novelist and dramatist Patrick White. Lascaris met White while they both were servicemen in the Second World War. After the war, Lascaris and White lived together in Cairo, then moved to Sydney, Australia.
Lascaris was born in Cairo, the son of a wealthy Greco-Egyptian father from Smyrna in Asia Minor and an American mother. He was raised in Athens and Alexandria. In 1941 he joined the Greek Army in exile in Egypt and soon after, in Alexandria, met White who was then serving with the Royal Australian Air Force.
White and Lascaris lived together in Cairo for six years before moving to a small farm purchased by White at Castle Hill, in 1948. After the death of White's mother in 1963, they moved into a large house, Highbury, in Centennial Park, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Although it was widely known that they were lovers, such matters were not publicly discussed in Australia at that time. Lascaris was sometimes referred to as White's "housekeeper." The relationship was not openly discussed until White published his memoirs, Flaws in the Glass, in 1981.
After White's death in 1990, Lascaris was allowed, by the terms of the will, to stay in the house in Centennial Park and to receive income from White's share portfolio (after Lascaris died, these assets would be shared among four charitable causes.) Although Lascaris claimed that White left him nothing, he was well provided for. Lascaris lived alone there until his health failed in 2003. He then moved into a nursing home, Lulworth, which had been White's childhood home.
Highbury was later given a state government heritage listing because of its association with Patrick White.
Lascaris was considered in many ways the gentle and urbane face with the prickly and difficult White. David Marr credits Lascaris with being the driving force who kept White to his literary labours, including the string of novels that won White the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. White referred to Lascaris as "the small Greek of immense moral strength who became the central mandala in my life's hitherto messy design".
Marr wrote in an obituary for Lascaris:
Everyone loved Manoly. He was courtly, intuitive and gentle. He protected people from White's outbursts of fury while remaining, at heart, absolutely loyal to his lover. 'There must be one person in the world Patrick can trust absolutely'