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Evelyn Bosansky – a Russian Doll

I awoke to a beautiful summer day on Monday, ready for a new week, my joy was fogged by shock as I was told that a dear long-standing friend died suddenly on Sunday, her name is Evelyn Bosansky and she was a fabulous force who will be sadly missed.

Evelyn was my first boss; in the Spring of 1988 in Sydney, the owner of EG’s cafe in Surry Hills was aged 30, she was focused on her business and insisted that to make a sandwich correctly you filled it with healthy foods, coffee is brewed strong and black and that the secret to running a busy shop was lots of love and laughter with friends and plenty of disco dancing on the weekend.

My role as a kitchen hand was made easier and prettier by her gift of marigold gloves for my hands, we cut out colourful pictures to create a wall of “art” so that my aesthetics weren’t dampened by white tiles and a sink, we played sound tracks from the band Yellow as we cleaned up fast and furiously on a Friday night. I was given the basic Russian lessons “privyet” for “Hi”, “dosvidaniya” for “Bye” and “spasibo” for “thank you”, she even taught me to “apchee” instead of “achoo” when I sneezed. Edgar Alan Poe was discussed, Evelyn taught me to look deeper into his sombre stories and understand that the dark is the unrequited lover of the light.

She made me think.

At times Evelyn rattled my youthful sensibilities with her curious and questioning mind, she was a driven force of nature; she knew what it took to achieve the best from oneself, she was clear about her responsibilities and how it takes effort and commitment to get a job done. Her smarts, her humour, her exasperatingly hilarious and intelligent commentary on art, religion and life filled my head with possibilities, it was enough to make a boy drink more vodka, and that we did. She always looked stunning with her strawberry blonde locks, Hollywood red lips and her petite figure cut from a Russian doll.

Evelyn, may your Spirit soar to the greatest heights, may you rest in Peace knowing that all of your earthbound loves Honour You, and Honour your memory. You were my Russian Mother, I will cherish the fun times and our youthful banter. Farewell sweet lady.

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