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Say Yassou to Evriviades!

Lives in Morwell/Moe

Yassou.

Evriviades – Greek

From a week of fasting and a day of collective mourning, to midnight mass and a lavish Sunday feast, Easter or ‘Páscha’ is an occasion for social connection like no other for the Greek community.

For Evriviades Aristotelous, such traditions have always been an invaluable link to not only his heritage and homeland but to his local community.

Evriviades, or ‘Peter’ as he is known to many, emigrated to Australia from Cyprus by boat in 1951, a move he says he made for love and “to be free”.

“My mum didn’t like the idea of me loving my wife,” Evriviades said.

“My mind was to come back and live, I never thought of staying in Australia.”

Four years later, his sweetheart Efpraxia followed in his footsteps, making the month-long journey from their home village – Agios Therapon in the Limassol District of Cyprus – to join him in Melbourne.

They wed and welcomed Maria, the first of six children, before moving to the Latrobe Valley in 1956.

After initially working for the State Electric Commission, Evriviades owned a deli and a café in Morwell, before eventually building The Avenue Fish Shop.

As with many small businesses, work was hard – long hours and few days off – and was a family effort, with his wife and children pitching in over the years.

However, as much as he enjoyed attending church and events with the Greek community, it was work that offered Evriviades the opportunity to interact with and get to know members of the wider community, even if his name was too tricky for many of his loyal customers.

“They start with Peter and that was up to them to stick with it… it was the easiest name I think. Everybody called me Peter, the family call me my name, Euripides,” he said.

“I was busy in the fish and chip shop and picked up the language very quickly. Everyone knew me and loved me too.”

Like many events right now, Orthodox Easter looks a little different in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday feasts of souvla, pastitsio and dolmades (known as koupepia in Cyprus) and the traditional game of tsougrisma, in which players use red-dyed hard-boiled eggs to crack those of their opponents in pursuit of a year of good fortune, will be restricted to households, rather than family get-togethers.

But people like Evriviades are used to adapting.

Nearly 70 years after leaving Cyprus, and 63 spent in Morwell, ‘Vriv’ and ‘Prax’ moved into Royal Freemasons residential aged care in Moe last year.

In the new surroundings and with his eyesight fading and his short-term memory not what it once was, Evriviades is in many ways sheltered from the dramatic impact the crisis is having on daily life.

In the absence of the usual steady stream of visitors, they have found a new way to connect, with staff recenatly helping the pair set up a video call with daughter Androula in Traralgon.

Using English to arrange a video conversation in Greek to take place via the internet is testament to the possibilities of social connection in the 21st century.

The #WaysWeHello series explores and celebrates some of the many different greetings you may encounter in the Latrobe Valley to encourage greater social connection across our diverse community.

Say Yassou to Evriviades!

Lives in Morwell/Moe

Yassou.

Evriviades – Greek

From a week of fasting and a day of collective mourning, to midnight mass and a lavish Sunday feast, Easter or ‘Páscha’ is an occasion for social connection like no other for the Greek community.

For Evriviades Aristotelous, such traditions have always been an invaluable link to not only his heritage and homeland but to his local community.

Evriviades, or ‘Peter’ as he is known to many, emigrated to Australia from Cyprus by boat in 1951, a move he says he made for love and “to be free”.

“My mum didn’t like the idea of me loving my wife,” Evriviades said.

“My mind was to come back and live, I never thought of staying in Australia.”

Four years later, his sweetheart Efpraxia followed in his footsteps, making the month-long journey from their home village – Agios Therapon in the Limassol District of Cyprus – to join him in Melbourne.

They wed and welcomed Maria, the first of six children, before moving to the Latrobe Valley in 1956.

After initially working for the State Electric Commission, Evriviades owned a deli and a café in Morwell, before eventually building The Avenue Fish Shop.

As with many small businesses, work was hard – long hours and few days off – and was a family effort, with his wife and children pitching in over the years.

However, as much as he enjoyed attending church and events with the Greek community, it was work that offered Evriviades the opportunity to interact with and get to know members of the wider community, even if his name was too tricky for many of his loyal customers.

“They start with Peter and that was up to them to stick with it… it was the easiest name I think. Everybody called me Peter, the family call me my name, Euripides,” he said.

“I was busy in the fish and chip shop and picked up the language very quickly. Everyone knew me and loved me too.”

Like many events right now, Orthodox Easter looks a little different in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday feasts of souvla, pastitsio and dolmades (known as koupepia in Cyprus) and the traditional game of tsougrisma, in which players use red-dyed hard-boiled eggs to crack those of their opponents in pursuit of a year of good fortune, will be restricted to households, rather than family get-togethers.

But people like Evriviades are used to adapting.

Nearly 70 years after leaving Cyprus, and 63 spent in Morwell, ‘Vriv’ and ‘Prax’ moved into Royal Freemasons residential aged care in Moe last year.

In the new surroundings and with his eyesight fading and his short-term memory not what it once was, Evriviades is in many ways sheltered from the dramatic impact the crisis is having on daily life.

In the absence of the usual steady stream of visitors, they have found a new way to connect, with staff recenatly helping the pair set up a video call with daughter Androula in Traralgon.

Using English to arrange a video conversation in Greek to take place via the internet is testament to the possibilities of social connection in the 21st century.

The #WaysWeHello series explores and celebrates some of the many different greetings you may encounter in the Latrobe Valley to encourage greater social connection across our diverse community.

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