A great Greek and Cypriot community figure, Antonis Toumbourou, passed away last week.
The ‘patriarch’ of the Cypriot community of Melbourne, Antonis Toumbourou was 85, leaving behind seven children and 14 grandchildren.
Mr Toumbourou was born in the now occupied Cypriot village of Asia, and migrated to Australia in the early ’50s.
He excelled in business – the garment factory he owned with Chris Christopher employed hundreds of expatriates.
From his early years in Australia, he was an active member of the community. For many years he served the Cypriot community as president and was one of its most capable leaders, as well as the Justice For Cyprus Coordinating Committee (S.E.K.A.) and many other Cypriot associations.
The coup and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 saw Mr Toumbourou take the reigns of the Cypriot community in Melbourne. He spearheaded campaigns offering assistance to refugees, but also campaigns addressed to Australian government to adopt positions supportive of Cyprus. He was also an avid supporter of football in Victoria and supported the Greek sponsored club, South Melbourne FC.