DUNCRAIG couple John (86) and Mary (81) Vanopoulos celebrate their 60th anniversary this week.
The pair were both born in Kastoria, Greece.
John came to Perth when he was 17 years old to find work to bring his family over, while Mary came to WA with her mother and brothers when she was 12 years old.
John’s first job was at Bunnings and he then worked various jobs until he settled in Merredin for a while at a fruit and vegie store.
Mary’s parents purchased the Bright Spot Cafe in York, which had accommodation upstairs, and she went to school until she was 14, then helped out at the cafe.
“John would visit York every week to collect supplies for his work and often dropped into the cafe where Mary worked,” daughter Kristy Borbas said.
“John also saw Mary at Greek church and other gatherings until finally gathering up the courage to send a letter to Mary’s father to ask for a meeting with Mary and her father.”
They got married on June 14, 1959, at St Constantine and Helene Greek Orthodox Church in Northbridge, with more than 300 guests attending, and held a reception at Anzac House on St Georges Terrace.
The couple moved to Mt Hawthorn and started a fish and chip business first in Brighton, then Innaloo and finally Mirrabooka before retiring.
They built their dream home in Balcatta in 1975 where they stayed for 28 years before moving to Duncraig.
They have four daughters – Phyllis, Tina, Linda and Kristy – as well as seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.
“John loves telling stories, drinking Greek coffee and watching AFL, and in the young days riding his motorcycle,” Kristy said.
“Mary loves knitting, gardening and her beloved roses are the best on the street.
“They both enjoyed an amazing year in 2018 with their beloved team the Eagles winning the AFL grand final and welcoming their first great-grandson.”