Eulogy – My Grandfather


“Does your dad know you’re here?” My Papou asked me, his wide eyes looking over me as I enter the back sunroom of his Milroy Street house.


“No…” I began.


“Okay,” He replied and sat back in his chair, offering me a Mentos and a seat on his lap as he read the paper.


I was seven years old. A new-found independence of walking up to the Landcox Street Milk Bar to buy the milk. But that day, something spurred me to take a detour to 14 Milroy Street, the home in which my Papou lived for 47 years, just to pop my head in the door and say hi.


Realistically, I had run away from home and my own Greek father was frantic, running around our neighbourhood trying to find me, while simultaneously planning on how he would tell my mum that he had somehow misplaced his only daughter between the milk bar and our house, four doors down.


My Papou on the other hand, just around the corner, was as steady and calm as ever.


He didn’t fret.


He also didn’t think to call my Dad and let him know that I was in fact, NOT kidnapped.


Never a big fuss, my Papou.


But, thinking back, I’ve realised he was a safe haven, a place where I always wanted to be, a real constant in my life. That’s why I found myself at his house instead of mine all those years ago.


He was a ritual, a man of great stability and someone so many would gravitate towards.


Speaking of tradition and ritual, it is woven into the fabric of my family’s existence, driven by the life my Grandfather forged here in Australia.


A tradition my brother James and I look back on fondly was our weekly visits to Jim’s Fish and Chip Shop on Hawthorn Road with Papou.


But, not before the ritual of having to jump-start his white Honda in the driveway, which somehow never seemed to start in its final years.


Nevertheless, when we arrived at the shop, Papou would lift us onto the counter and we would talk with Jim as the smell of salty chips filled our noses.




Always content with Papou nearby.


Many other traditions, like sharing figs off his tree and swinging us around on his Hills hoist will be etched forever in our history books.


From Chevaps, to Mentos and secretly devouring biscuits when Nona wasn’t looking, these traditions drove our connection.


But our biggest tradition was our shared passion for The Geelong Football Club.


It is our institution, passed down from Papou, to my Dad and now, me.


We shared our own secret language and our Sunday night visits to his house and then nursing home were centred around the weekend of footy.


How Gary Ablett Junior may even be better than his father, how Steve Johnson had some sort of magic boot and why Matthew Scarlett was just that good.


And after each of our premiership wins, somehow the next one better than the last, my Papou would be the first to hold the Premiership cup aloft in the Ford Stand of Kardinia Park.


A tradition that I will carry with me always.


For my whole life, I have so badly wanted to be just like my Papou. Whatever he did, I had to do. From Geelong, to South Melbourne Hellas, I so urgently needed to carry on his traditions.


And as I promised, in my second ever football article I wrote at 11 years old:


“When I am older and I have kids, I hope to share the same passion my family has. Like my Papou, who came from Cyprus to Melbourne, picking Geelong because it matched the Greek flag, his tradition is going to live on, just like I believe”.




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About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!


  1. Joe De Petro says

    Beautiful, Anna. So very sorry for your loss. Remember the good times.

  2. I’m sure that you’re feeling a great deal of sadness at this time, Anna. What I value about your eulogy is that you want to focus on and remember the gifts, blessings and positive outlook you received from your loving Papou. You will certainly do well to honour him by emulating all the good you saw in him. My condolences to you and your family.

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    A lovely tribute to your Papou Anna. I sure he is extremely proud of you.A wonderful pathway stepped out by him for you to follow.

  4. Sorry to hear that Anna. Lovely tales. I hope someone has written down your grandfather’s story. He must have had quite a life.

  5. What a moving piece of writing Anna, thanks for sharing. I’m sorry for your loss.

  6. beautiful words Anna…I still go to Jim’s Fish and chip shop..if its the one near North road.

  7. Thank you for sharing this, Anna.
    What I get from your writing is a sense of love and place and meaning.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

  8. Wonderful reminiscence, Anna.

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