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Maria and Angie Rizakos

Maria and Angie Rizakos


(in a mixture of Greek and English)

MARIA AND ANGIE RIZAKOS: She’s just explaining - this is why she is showing her ring she’s - just explaining that when she was in North Strathfield, she lost her wedding ring and there was a jewellery shop on Concord Road and she went to jewellers and he replaced ... they replaced her wedding ring there and the man, who was another nice proprietor - and his name was George ... he was confined to a wheel chair ... and she’s saying that he was a very good ... you know she remembers his warmth, you know; remembers that he was a good person.

OLEV MUSKA: You say you’ve been involved with the community, or you connect a little bit with the local community. In what way does that happen?

MARIA AND ANGIE: I think one of the interesting things is ... it was probably in the seventies ... it was probably ... the shops were really important ... Maureen Hogan ... Maureen’s at the Gardening Club and ... Mrs Hogan is also at the Gardening Club ... the secretariat ... and sometimes she could ... I think ... whenever you’ve got time ... it’s not always ... I think - for me, looking at the whole migrant experience - to me it looked as if in the 70’s, the main interactions are around things like the shops. Because everyone was so busy working and, you know, trying to bring up families and those sorts of things and it’s only now that they’re not working they can actually see, "Oh, well there are garden clubs and there are things that we can join and things like that", you know. And things have changed and you can see that there are so many more opportunities to actually become part of the community and share in the community. I think that’s why the shops were so important back in the 60’s and 70’s.

You know, you plant fruit trees for your children and nut trees for your grandchildren. Mum planted mangoes ... five mango trees. We have everything. The word in Greek for climate and vine is the same. So she said, "Oh yes, and that reminds me, we’ve got vines as well. We can make dolmades out of them."

MARIA: I have nice zucchini and pumpkin. I have very, very hot ... and the cucumber.

OLEV: It sounds like a real market garden at home, doesn’t it!

MARIA AND ANGIE: Yeah, yeah, and her belief is now more of a sort of permaculture-type garden. So when I was a child I remember everything was in these straight lines and rows and everything like the peas were all climbing up on barriers. Now she just puts them in natural ...

OLEV: That’s really wild!

MARIA AND ANGIE: It’s really wild. Things just fall where they lay. Yes, if you ... OK, its basically ... part of her theory is, basically leave it in the garden until you need it and that way you don’t have waste. So if she ever finds that she has lots of spring onions she will replant them, because they’ll keep better in the ground!


Home-grown produce

Maria Rizakos’ home-grown mangoes, oregano and home-grown and -pressed olive oil



In response to community consultation, a number of local residents were interviewed and recorded. The sessions took place in December 2012 and February 2013 at Concord Library.

A short excerpt from each resident’s interview will appear on this website. Together, they form a cross-section of insights into the wonderful community that is of and around the North Strathfield area.

The full interviews will be archived and available for borrowing at the City of Canada Bay Council Library Services.

>>> There is more to our story. If you can assist in filling in the gaps and/or providing photos, please email us