George Bizos’ two Ithacas

I met George Bizos when I was too young to remember it. He and my father had known each other for years, as young members of South Africa's Greek community. I was friends with "Uncle George's" third son, Alexi, who was my age. My first memories of George are from some Sunday lunches at his mother-in-law's house. He would always prepare a big salad, made from vegetables that he grew himself.

I also remember him raising funds for the founding of a school that would embody the ideals of Hellenic education to the children of all races, in a country in which a harsh system of racial discrimination had been imposed. Uncle George was a shining example of a diaspora Greek who has succeeded in his new country while his love for his birthplace remains undimmed. What was not visible was that below the homely image - the lush moustache, the sparkling, penetrating gaze, the generosity...

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