Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Sad Goodbye to George

Many of us will be familiar with our neighbour George Sarosi and his dog Beba as they patrolled the neighbourhood on their daily rounds.

Sadly, George is no longer with us, having passed away at his home in Union Street early this week.

George was from a Hungarian family. His parents left Hungary while his mum was pregnant with George, escaping the Soviet crackdown following the 1956 Uprising, apparently smuggled out by the Hungarian Football Team! Born in Australia, he was raised in Acland St, St Kilda, his family running a restaurant called the Hungarian Social Club.

A keen and talented soccer player as a young man, George became very involved with Melbourne's Indigenous community and married into the Griggs family, who have a proud Gunditjmara tradition. He had strong connections with a range of Indigenous peoples from our region, developing a particularly keen interest in the traditional knowledge base and spiritual framework of the Kulin alliance.

He has lived in community housing on Union Street for many years on a disability pension with his gorgeous dog Beba. George suffered from an acquired brain injury, but maintained a very active mind. A keen reader and student of history, he was good company; a fascinating conversationalist and an insightful commentator on current affairs. His companion Beba, now with family, has a beautiful, gentle nature and she was a delight for our kids. George did some helpful work for some of us on Bridge Street, putting the bins out every week for elderly neighbours, maintaining the grass on the nature strip and generally keeping an eye out.

George with Beba
We are very sad today at the loss of a friend and neighbour. Over recent years, many of us have got to know George and his extended family who have sometimes come to stay. In particular, the families of Monica Parravicini, Genevieve Kavanagh, Tanya Wolkenberg and Lyn Walker have enjoyed the company of George, his son Leigh Griggs and his grandchildren Kooric, Kelvin, Vanessa and Viviana. Our thoughts and condolences are with George's family and friends today. He was a good man who died too young and we miss him.

George, may Bunjil keep you safe on your journey.