submitted by Minas Coroneo on 18.03.2009
...or ZAC as he was known to all of us, was born in Taree NSW on 11 September 1925, the youngest child of Kytherian immigrants Kanella (nee Vernardos) and Stavros Souris. His older sister Chris predeceased him.
Zac's parents were proprietors of a number of businesses that were situated in Sydney and Parkes. During the Depression the family moved to stay with his paternal Uncle George and his family at their farm called Bundagen near Repton NSW for several years. The family eventually moved back to Sydney where Zac attended Waverley College. Eventually, Zac took over operating the milk bar in Bronte Road, Bondi Junction, opposite the Star Theatre, following his father's sudden death in 1959 up until 1970. In the early 70’s, Zac became a tax consultant after completing his studies at Randwick Technical College.
Throughout Zac's life his connections with Kythera were always dear to him and in later life, he took much pleasure in visiting Kythera on several occasions. He was a long time member of the Kytherian Brotherhood, and served as treasurer on the board on more than one occasion. Zac was also a past master of the Blue Lodge.
In 1950 Zac married Mary Christian and they enjoyed 59 years of devoted married life together. They were an inspirational couple, never argued and complimented each other in everyway. Zac had his jobs and Mary had hers and this fun-loving, energetic, exuberant and hardworking team were blessed with two daughters, Kanella and Hellene, sons I law, Robert and Minas and four grandchildren, Theodora, Stephen, Anna and Alexandra. Their home and workplace was always filled with laughter yet the raising of a finger was enough to terrify little Kanella and Hellene into dutiful obedience. Zac rarely got angry and very few people recall having a “serious” conversation with him. Zac was one of those people with a “Peter Pan” complex, a boy who never grew up, handsome on the inside and out, he’d always be trying to make someone smile. He often got a kick from pelting throw-down crackers at the feet of his unsuspecting customers in the milk-bar or passers by on cracker night. One day, he found a dead rat and for fun decided to wrap it up in a beautiful box and place it outside by the streetlight and wait to see what would happen. The social experiment lasted a little while as passers by examined the box and left it, until one gentleman scooped it up and ran off with it.
Zac was the kind of person who had a great thirst for knowledge and encouraged his family to follow suit. He would often spend a quiet afternoon pouring over his books, reading about ancient civilizations, and on Sundays read both the Herald and the Telegraph from cover to cover. He encouraged his family to work hard and pursue their educations and was always supportive and celebrated their successes and achievements. He was also a great observer of life around him and a skilled storyteller, telling tales of Sydney from when he was a boy, the days when Hollywood movie stars roamed the streets of Bondi Junction and other self created fictional fantasies.
He also had a passion for gardening, and took great pride in his beautiful garden, spending many hours tending his camellias, gardenias, tomatoes, strawberries and horta and perfecting his “Vaucluse trench”, a special way to dig a garden bed that was only found in Vaucluse gardens.
Despite his generally jovial disposition, from time to time Zac would worry about those close to him, for example the apparent malnourished state of his granddaughters. He worried about Theodora’s skinny matchstick legs and that they would snap when he dropped her off at kindy. and for Anna, Zac and Mary would drive to Kingsford from Vaucluse for many meal times during the week. Zac would put on a comedic display including song and dance, magic shows and costume wearing for the unsuspecting infant Anna who would sit mesmerized with her jaw ajar and then laid victim to Mary’s waiting spoon of food.
All that knew him in his large extended family and wide circle of friends will always know Zac as a reliable, kindly, supportive and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. There were some things that are quintessentially Zac that we will never forget: at birthdays and Christmas when he’d always watch everyone open their presents, and never open his own; the dousing of his avgolemono with so much pepper that the soup would be covered in a black veil; his admiration of Volvo’s safety standards; his ability to wear the loudest wackiest shirt and make it look normal; his demands of “cut the cake, cut the cake” whenever a cake appeared on a table inspired by a young Alexandra; his wide array of impersonations of relatives; announcements that he’d just got off the phone from various heads of states; his skill at using a chocolate wrapper as a tooth pick; and his brutal honesty with Stephen, telling him his concerts were stupid and that he should play a smaller instrument.
Although we are devastated at his passing, we have comfort that he is in a better place and is no longer suffering. He lived a life full of joy and with his great love always by his side. We all will sadly miss him.
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