Francis Demetrios Kalopothakes, whom Gilbert in his letters nicknamed the ‘Beautiful Apothecary,’ was the Harvard-educated son of missionaries. During the war he had been a correspondent for the pro-Greek Morning Post newspaper in London and had also served in the American Legation in Athens for seven years. After writing a pro-Venizelist propaganda book, in early 1920 he was offered by Venizelos the position of Director of the Press Department of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His duties there included not only supplying the foreign press with information about Greece but also arranging for the participation of Greece in international gatherings abroad as well as keeping Greek ministries informed of relevant foreign developments. With the defeat of the Venizelists, however, he was ‘on leave’ until their later return to power. During his enforced ‘leave of absence’ he socialized frequently with foreigners resident in Athens, particularly the archaeologists.
Kalopothakes included Gilbert in his tea parties within days of Gilbert’s arrival in Greece. Through him Gilbert met Alan Wace, the Director of the British School, whom Gilbert referred to in his letters as Weary Wace, and Bert Hodge Hill the Director of the American School, whom he disliked.