103-year-old veteran Evripidis Mouxouris led the ‘Cypriots for ANZACs’ contingent at this year’s ANZAC Day march in Sydney on Thursday, April 25.

Mr Mouzouris was joined by about 30 members of the Cyprus Community of New South Wales, including President Michael Kyriacou.

This was the second year the Cypriots took part in the annual Sydney march.

Evripidis Mouxouris was born in Morphou, Cyprus on July 5, 1921, to a farming family. At the time, Cyprus was a British colony and even before Mouxouris left primary school, he was swept up in the anti-British protests of the time.

Mouxouris joined the Worker’s Party of Cyprus (AKEL) in 1940 and remains a member today. He volunteered to fight in WWI and went to the Italian front at his own request. He saw fighting in Africa, as well as in Europe.

After the war, Mouxouris continued to struggle for an independent Cyprus and an end to British colonial rule while he worked on his trade as a tailor and organised union activity and campaigns for worker’s rights. In 1952, he moved to Nicosia and opened a tailor shop.

Mouxouris married Panayiota in 1965 – five years after Cyprus achieved independence from Britain in 1960. Their daughter, Eva, was born in 1966. Their son, Mario, was born in Morphou in 1974, on the day the town was occupied by the Turkish army.

In 1974, as a result of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, Mouxouris and his family became refugees in their own country and migrated to Australia.

The family were taken in by a Turkish Cypriot family in Sydney, who helped them to get on their feet in their first few months in Australia.

Since resettling in Sydney, Mouxouris has been an ever-present figure at the Cyprus Community Club in Stanmore and has taken an active interest in his community, as well as maintaining his connections with Cyprus.

Today, Mouxouris spends almost every day at the Club in Stanmore playing backgammon with his friends and cronies in the “kafenion.” Any of his opponents will testify he still has the sharpness to defeat most newcomers in a game that requires strategic skill.

Leave a Reply