Remembering Mr Alex Baladakis

Dad

John and Panayotis Baladakis

Dad was never one to wallow over his misfortune, not until we were much older, did we realise the extent of the poverty he faced as a child. Only in the last few days, did we realise just what determination he had to help others avoid the misery of hunger and despair. We had heard him relay his stories as a child; we remember one day being angry for getting just shoes, not brand name sneakers. At which point, he proceeded to tell us that we were lucky to have shoes that never had holes in them and were not hand me downs. Years later, he would tell us that he had been scared to go to his school reunion a few years earlier. The memories of trying to hide his hunger pangs, of being embarrassed that his shoes were patched and had razor-thin soles with newspaper inside so that his feet did not feel the cold, haunted him. We could see his face in so much pain as he relayed that the jersey, he wore to school was so patched his peers would tease him constantly.

However, one thing Dad did have was a sharp mind and an incredible belief in himself and God and the Church as his protector. He worked hard and studied hard. He was a Father to his siblings from a young age. His Mother and Father were unemployed, much of the household income was his meagre earnings from tutoring and odd jobs. His sister died at a young age and was buried in the Port Suez Greek Church in Egypt, (years later he would refurbish the church and the graveyard that his sister was buried in). At that same churchyard was the Greek school he attended there under a tree “apparently it’s still there” he met the Love of his life his wife and our Mom Kiki Paraskevy Lefkaridis or as we all know her “Voula”. We are indeed glad that Mom was not so great at maths, and Dad was asked to tutor her.

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