31/01/1943 ~ 04/10/2021
For many, a funeral is a ritual of loss and connection where we remember our loved ones who have passed and comfort the living. The coronavirus outbreak has altered that ritual and changed the way we say goodbye: the loss remains, the connections change. Due to the relaxation of Covid 19 restrictions, 100 mourners are allowed inside the church as long as the vaccination process has commenced and social distancing requirements are followed.
Please click on the link HERE to RSVP if you wish to attend the funeral and or wake, or to view the Livestream of John’s service, to order flowers, or send the family a tribute. To attend the Wake following the burial, all attendees must be double vaccinated in line with hospitality requirements.
31/01/1943. – 4/10/2021
John was born in Rockampton, QLD, to Vassilis and Ralia (Panaretos). Both parents were born on Kythera, Vassilis in Areoi and Ralia in Potamos. Vassilis’s older brother Emanuel led the way to Australia, leaving the poverty of his village at age 11 yrs with Vassilis following soon after. Vassilis returned to Kythera to marry and the newlyweds left Kythera on the last boat sailing before war was declared. In Rockampton the family ran the Busy Bee cafe.
John was born 2 years after his sister, Helen.When John was 10 the family moved to Croydon, Sydney, closer to both his parent’s families. John grew up with this extended family particularly as his father operated the popular Marathon Milk Bar at Burwood with his Aunt Stamatina and Uncle Emanuel.
John showed great talent in his writing ability from a young age and at University studied Economics and Accounting. As his cousin Panayiotis writes from Athens, he was an example to all his younger cousins being the first in the family to reach tertiary education.
The accounting world was to lose John however, as his true passion was football and as a journalist he was able to combine both his profound love and knowledge of the game with his natural gifts in communication. He achieved so much in this area and was acknowledged with the Football Australia’s Hall of Fame medal in 2009.
A new dimension in John’s life began when he travelled for the first time to Greece at age 60 years in 2003. The blood ties and connection with culture withstood the tyranny of distance and over half a century. His love for Kythera and his Aunt Filio and cousins Panayiotis, Poppy and Irene Vlandis were a balm bringing the circle round.
Since the passing of his parents, John took over the responsibility for his sister Helen, till her death just 3 months ago. John was devoted to Helen, as she was to him, providing her with love and companionship and ensuring that she enjoyed every celebration in style.
We are brought together today to pray for John, asking God to remember him, as an expression of our love for him. Love survives death and transcends it.
John’s sharp wit and humour are legendary. He was a unique personality. We will share many fond memories of him.
May his memory be eternal
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