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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2101..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

A beneficiary himself of the opportunities held out by his adopted home, Tom Efkarpidis was determined to give what he could back to that community. He was known as a generous benefactor, responsible for numerous bequests to universities, schools, hospitals, community organisations and philanthropic initiatives.

Tom also sensed the deep importance of maintaining the cultural links to the past. He was an active member of the multicultural community and was passionate about the local Hellenic community and Hellenic organisations, serving in official capacities on many Greek community organisations.

He was president of at the Greek community from 1975 until 1986 and was the founding president of the Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia and the founding president of the society of friends of the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research.

Tom Efkarpidis was an admired, even revered, individual among his wide circle of acquaintances and friends and throughout the Greek community. For more than four decades he was the devoted husband of Sofia. He was the proud father of John, Maria and Soumela and grandfather to nine. I offer my condolences to each and every member of the Efkarpidis family and to all who knew and loved Tom Efkarpidis. He will be sorely missed.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra-Leader of the Opposition) (10.48): The opposition joins with the Chief Minister in our condolences to Tom Efkarpidis's family. As has been said, Tom Efkarpidis was born in Greece. He came to Australia, and came to Canberra in 1965. He brought his younger brother, Tim, out, who survives him.

His first venture here was a fish and chip shop in Curtin. That is probably the first time I would have met Tom Efkarpidis in those days in the sixties. Many of my friends at Narrabundah High School lived in Curtin and on occasions we would go to his fish shop.

I recall too when Tom successfully operated a chain of supermarkets, the Cannon supermarkets. I had cause firsthand to see that he was a tough negotiator, but a very fair man, a man who would listen. I was involved as a solicitor with a client in Red Hill who had some problems with the chain. As a result of representations and a talk with Tom it was all sorted out very amicably and very properly indeed.

I got to know him further, of course, through the Belconnen markets. He has certainly made that a great hub for fresh food produce and a great centre for people just to drop in and chat. Indeed, Tom was always known to love to talk to people. He would call you over for a coffee, often with his brother Tim, at the markets, just to have a chat to catch up to see how things were going.

As the Chief Minister has said, he had business acumen. He revitalised the Melbourne Building and was successful in his business in so many areas. Along with many of his compatriots from Greece, who have played a significant role, Tom has played such a significant role in his time in Canberra over four decades of helping to build this to be the truly great city that it is.

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