Geragotes and Australia

Eustratios Hatgivasiliou (1938- 2009)


Above: A portrait.

Eustratios Hatgivasiliou: Migrant Profile

Eustratios Hatgivasiliou (Stan) born on 7 October 1938 in Mesagros on the island of Lesvos. The oldest of two brothers, he left the village and his parents Panayiotis and Penelope for Australia in search of a better life once he had completed high school. This was a feat back then.

He arrived in Australia in 1956.  It was never to be a permanent move, just a few years to make some money and go back to settle down. Within a couple of years of living in Geraldton, he had bought himself a business, the Sunflower Deli, a house and had established several friendships that are still with him.

He was the star soccer player for the local team La Fiamma, and was involved with the local church and the large community of Greeks that resided there. 

However, he missed the home he left behind and while he made many friends, the cultural differences, the attitudes of some of the locals towards the immigrant invasion and the loneliness he felt, made life hard.

Above: With his wife, Toula, in the Sunflower Deli.

Things changed in 1962, Toula Hatsiyiannakis came to town. This sprightly beautiful 21 year old had also come to Australia also for a better life. The oldest daughter of Paraskevas and Aliki, she started working at the same lunch bar that Stan had worked at previously, and was still a regular customer of.

It didn’t take long for Stan to notice Toula, and while he was a little shy he eventually asked her out.  Within two years they married and by 1975 had five children. Panayiotis, Paraskevas, Penelope, Maria and Aliki.

He was very proud of his children and worked hard for his family. He was a good provider, strict but fair and was always ready with advice if asked. In 1972 he sold the Deli and went to work at the Geraldton Fishermans Co-Op. He was the lobster boiler and one of the best there ever was. A work accident in 1974 saw him lose his little finger. This provided the basis for many stories his children could relate to his grandchildren as to how papou lost his finger.

In April 1975 the twins Maria and Aliki were born and Stan’s mother Penelope passed away. This was a difficult time and the family decided to leave Geraldton for Perth so the kids could go to University when they were older. Maybe a trip to Greece to see what life was like there as well.  

In 1976 the family arrived in Perth and then was off to Greece in 1977 where they stayed for 8 months before returning back to Perth.

From 1977 until 1985, he and his brother in law went into business together and then in 1986 he started work with the City of Bayswater as a gardener.

In 2001, Stan had major heart surgery and had to stop working.


Above: Two family photographs. In the left photo, from left, are: Nikos Fatouros, Max DiGirolamo, Maria Hatgivasiliou, Efstratios- holding StephenVasilio, Natalie Pearson-Vasilio, Paras Vasilio, Thomas Vasilios and Peter Vasilio. In the right photo, from left, are Stephen, Zoe, Toula, Efstratios, Paras and Thomas.

Once he recovered he devoted his time to his grand children and his beloved Mytilinian Brotherhood. He also, as many of you know, spent a lot of his time in his garden, tilling the soil and growing his vegetables, avocadoes and of course, his mangoes.

On 7 August 2009, Stan sadly passed away at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

He leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Efstratia (Toula) Hatgivasiliou, five children and 7 grandchildren, Alexander, Nicholas, Michael, Thomas, Stephen, Max and Adam .