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Culture

Greek-South African Evangelia Anaxagoras on Keeping Diary for 60 Years

QUEENSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – Evangelia (Angela) Anaxagoras was featured in South Africa’s The Rep on March 17 for keeping a journal which she began sixty years ago on the advice of the late Dr. Arnold Rosen.

She began the diary as a way to keep track of her daily epilepsy medication, The Rep reported, adding that “she never skipped a day, even writing the day’s record on a serviette [napkin] if she happened to be traveling.”

Anaxagoras is now working on “condensing all her diaries from those 60 years into a single ledger that will capture the most important events of her family – and the town,” The Rep reported, noting that “Anaxagoras lived in Queenstown between 1958 and 1998.”

Each page of her diary began with medical details and “very soon, with her natural discipline, she started capturing her daily activities, the news of the day, and even her emotions,” The Rep reported.

She “hopes the ledger will one day make it easy for her children to access their family’s history, with all the correct dates and details,” The Rep reported, adding that “the original diaries are packed in a special box, in case more detail from any year is ever required.”

Anaxagoras told The Rep that “my advice to anyone wanting to keep a diary is: take it before the last tablet of the night, in a place where no one can disturb you, when everyone else is in bed and sleeping. No one can pester you then.”

She continued, The Rep reported: “Every day I track what I eat and then I can reflect on it and see what suited my digestion. There have even been times my own records were more accurate than my doctor’s memory.”

“They have even helped me capture my feelings after my best friend (my husband) passed away,” Anaxagoras said, The Rep reported.

Anaxagoras and her husband, both members of the Greek community, “ran a number of well-known eateries in the town, including the first restaurant where people of color could legally eat during apartheid,” The Rep reported, adding that “these included The Rex Cafe, The Hexagon Fisheries, Charles’ Fruit Shop and Theo’s Snack Bar, the refurbished Waldorf Café, Charles’ Sweets, and Charles’ Roadhouse.”

Anaxagoras told The Rep that “friends and family are always surprised by how I remember everyone’s special occasions when I am not reminded by social media apps. It is because at the beginning of every year I write the names of people who are celebrating birthdays, Greek Orthodox name days, and wedding anniversaries at the top of each page.”

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