A visit to the Goulburn Valley by two Singaporean fruit buyers rekindled some old memories for a well known fruit exporting family.May 13, 2014 3:13am
Chris Georgopoulos and Michael Zurcas with Linda Ong, centre and Guek Hong from Benelux Flowers and Food.
A visit to the Goulburn Valley by two Singaporean fruit buyers rekindled some old memories for a well known fruit exporting family.
Linda Ong and Guek Hong were standing in the fruit packing shed of Chris Georgopoulos when they discovered his connection to the Zurcas family who were major exporters in the heyday of the fruit industry.
In particular, they both remembered the family patriarch Bill Zurcas, whose energy, drive and outgoing nature were well known in the industry.
And it seems, overseas.
‘‘I remember I was having a a discussion in my office with Bill, but his voice was so loud and boisterous, that my bosses in the next room thought I was having a fight and they came charging in and said: ‘Are you all right’,’’ Ms Hong said.
‘‘That is the way Bill is.
‘‘Lots of passion and gusto.
‘‘Zurcas was one of only two brands in Shepparton that was associated with pears, and when you mention the names you know what it stands for — quality and good pears,’’ Ms Hong said.
‘‘He was very passionate and he called a spade a spade.
‘‘There was no hiding. He did a lot for the industry.’’
The connection was discovered when Mr Georgopoulos mentioned his connection with the Zurcas family. He is married to Mary Zurcas.
He phoned Michael Zurcas, Bill’s nephew, to join them at the packing shed to share some memories.
Bill Zurcas, who migrated to Australia in 1938 without any money, established a fruit growing and export business and invested in other Shepparton businesses.
He died in 2009.
Ms Hong is a former marketing officer with the Australian Trade Commission and received the Australia Medal for her services to horticulture.
Now she works in Singapore for Benelux Flowers and Food.
She retired from Austrade about 2012.
She remarked that the business was not just about fruit, but relationships and connections.
Her employer Linda Ong, who also remembered the Zurcas family, agreed that knowing where their produce came from was important in trade relationships.
‘‘This is not only a piece of fruit, but the history behind it is important,’’ Ms Ong said.
‘‘If I understand who the person who is growing the fruit, it puts me at ease, because I know the values and practices where the fruit comes from.
‘‘In the fruit business it is a people business. When you build a relationship it is like a big family.’’
McDonald's owners to pass on baton
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
If too much footy is never enough for you then get down to Echuca South’s oval on Sunday and catch the Echuca Moama United masters, the EMUs, in action.
TRUCKS, cars and vintage machinery took over Rochester Recreation Reserve on Tuesday last week.
KYABRAM’S Margaret and Leonard Flint have come a long way since meeting in the early 1950s.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
YOU probably wouldn’t expect to find an intensive care nurse running an award winning hotel and brewery, but that’s exactly what you will find when you visit Tooborac.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
At 77 years of age, popular local golfer Paul ‘Tango’ has claimed his second hole-in-one.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.