Eulogy for Peggy Zervos

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We join together today to celebrate the life of a truly beautiful and loving lady, Peggy Zervos who passed away on Monday 24 October 2016.

Peggy was born on 20 September 1931 at the family home at 16 Bowen Crescent, Princess Hill, to parents Nicholas and Evangelia Spartels. Along with her siblings Maria, Rita and Michael they enjoyed a close and special relationship with each other.

She had a natural attraction to her brother Michael, not only because he was the youngest but also because they were kindred spirits. There was also a special person in her life from her early days her cousin Rosa Peronis. She was like a sister to her. Peggy together with Maria went to Princess Hill State School and then onto Presbyterian Ladies College.

Peggy was close to both her parents. She adored her father. He was an extraordinary man who commanded wide respect and admiration. He was one of the early pioneers from Kastellorizo who came to Australia at the turn of the last century.

It was a devastating blow to Peggy and her family when her father passed away suddenly at the age of 50. Peggy was young and beautiful and was an entrant to the Miss Teenage Quest when her father died. He left a void in her life but she made up for it by living his example and being good and true to all around her.

Eva Spartels was now a single mother responsible for the family. Peggy supported her throughout these times and was always there for her. Peggy adored her mother and the two were very close. In her mother’s twilight years it was Peggy who she turned to for support and comfort.

On 8 January 1953, Peggy married Paul (Apostolos) Zervos. Paul had arrived in Australia from war torn Europe having being brought up in Kastellorizo.   She was a picture of elegance and beauty on her wedding day.

Peggy’s physical beauty was only exceeded by the beauty from within.

Paul and Peggy started their lives together by going into a milk bar business in Brunswick. It was there in November 1953 that they had the first of their two boys, Kevin. They then operated a fish shop for a short while and then their second son, Nicolas was born. Peggy’s two boys were the loves of her life and she adored them and they adored her. Paul and Peggy then operated a fruit shop in Koornang Road, Carnegie.

They then fell on hard times. Peggy never complained or fell into despair but just pressed on regardless. She came from a family where she had everything but life was now different for her.

She loved the sun and the water. Her favourite outing was to go to the beach with the boys and spending the day there.

In 1962 the family moved to 520 Hawthorn Road, South Caulfield. That would be the family home for the next 30 years until 1987. Paul tried to salvage his fruit business by becoming a fruit wholesaler and Peggy commenced working at the Spartels Turkish Baths and then at Berdine Credits. She worked long hours and together with Paul did everything possible to encourage their boys to have a good education.

Paul finally decided to try his skills in a food and beverage business. They purchased the Tasmanian Coffee Lounge in Bourke Street Melbourne and that gave them the means to then buy the Max Hotel in Prahran and later the London Hotel in Port Melbourne.

Ever supportive and by her husband’s side, Peggy worked day and night at the hotels and the patrons loved and respected her. Everyone loved Peggy because she treated everyone with kindness and sincerity.

In 1987 they sold the London Hotel and then began their 20 year pilgrimage to Kastellorizo. It was there that Peggy was at her happiest. She had the sun, the water and a wonderful array of friends and visitors. She loved the Blue House, being the Zervos family home. It was life’s reward for all those years of hard work.

She would often speak highly of her two boys Kevin and Nicolas. She was enormously proud of their professional achievements and their community involvement but more importantly her greatest pleasure was when the boys got married and had families. She loved Georgia and Tish.

It was Peggy’s grandchildren that gave her everlasting happiness. Paul, Diandra and Lauren, her namesakes, and Alana. She recently had the chance to meet recent additions to the family, Pris, Paul’s fiancé Isabella and Lauren’s husband Jamie and her great grandchild Charlie.

While her illness restricted her, she still remained the loving and beautiful person that all had the great fortune to know.

Peggy was a true lady remembered by all as a beautiful elegant loving kind hearted soul.