Seventy-Ninth Wedding Anniversary Of Stojan And Petra Milianis
SEVENTY-NINTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY OF STOJAN AND PETRA MILIANIS
Mr COCHRAN (Monaro) [6.08]: I draw the attention of the House to three very significant events occurring in Queanbeyan this week. One is that the Canberra Raiders defeated Norths, which was a great win; a second is that the Raiders will win next weekend; but the major event occurring in Queanbeyan this weekend is the recognition of the seventy-ninth wedding anniversary of Stojan and Petra Milianis. This is a significant event in the history not only of Queanbeyan but of Australia. We are led to believe - it has not been confirmed yet - that the couple have been married for 79 years, which is an extraordinary record in anyone's language. I ask the House to join me in congratulating the couple, who reside at 26 Morton Street, Queanbeyan. They have already held a celebration. Stojan, who is now 94, is out of hospital and in relatively good health. Most of his time now is spent working in his vegetable garden waiting for his beloved wife Petra to return from hospital to the family home so they can continue their married life, no doubt for many years to come.
Mr and Mrs Milianis were married at the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Statitsa, Macedonia, on 20 September 1915. At the time Stojan was 15 and Petra was 17. Theirs has been a magnificent
effort. In the time they have lived in Australia they have endured difficult times. In fact, for the first 20 years of their marriage, they lived apart: Stojan moved to Australia to establish a future for his family. Yet the marriage survived this period of separation. Petra was brought out later. Stojan served in the French and Greek armies. He moved to Australia, which he often refers to as the "lucky country", to raise enough money to bring his wife and daughter, Sophia, to Australia. On arrival in Australia, Stojan worked at Braidwood tree cutting and producing eucalyptus oil, for which he received the princely sum of 10 pence a pound. I can assure anybody that eucalyptus cutting is a rough and tough game which is exhausting to the body and the mind.
The Milianis family has expanded. Petra and Stojan have one child, Sophia, five grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. They can certainly be proud of this. Messages of congratulation have been received from the Prime Minister, Mr Paul Keating; New South Wales Governor, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair; the Premier of New South Wales, John Fahey; both local members, Jim Snow and me; and the honourable member for Wyong, Paul Crittenden. I ask all members of the House to join me in passing on to Mr and Mrs Milianis our best wishes for their seventy-ninth wedding anniversary, which occurs today. I hope they have as much enjoyment today as the Raiders supporters will have after next weekend.
Mr PHOTIOS (Ermington - Minister for Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Justice) [6.13]: The New South Wales Parliament is privileged to join the honourable member for Monaro in congratulating Mr and Mrs Milianis on their seventy-ninth wedding anniversary. In my six years in the Parliament I have never seen this courtesy extended to anyone else. On this, the day of the anniversary, this is appropriate. On behalf of the Parliament and again on behalf of the Premier of New South Wales I thank the honourable member for Monaro for bringing the matter to the attention of the House and for taking such a personal interest in an unquestionably unique event in the history of New South Wales - migrant battlers celebrating 79 years of happy married life in country New South Wales. As Minister for Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs I am very happy about the achievement and extend to Mr and Mrs Milianis, their child, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren and their great-great-grandchild congratulations on behalf of the Premier and the Government of New South Wales.