Life Story for
Stergio Tanevski Eulogy
Stergio was born in the small village of Lažets in southern Macedonia. Looking for a better life for his family, they followed his father, Pavle, to Canada and settled in the Riverdale area of Toronto in the late 1950’s. After learning to speak English, he began a business selling treats mainly to visitors of the Riverdale Zoo area. Most people, however, remember Stergio as the proud owner of Dairy Ice Cream, his food truck business for over 25 years. He was always working very diligently with his ice cream business until he retired at age 69.
Throughout his life in Canada, Stergio lived in the GTA, and finally in Scarborough for the past 40 years. And although he lived in Canada much longer than in Macedonia, he was always very patriotic and proud of his Balkan roots. Ilinden was easily one of his favourite celebrations and he attended The Picnic whenever he could. He was very happy to be able to enjoy the festivities at Mečkin Kamen for Ilinden in 2015.
He loved to travel to Macedonia and was fortunate to have that chance many times. Stergio loved to stay in Resen and was very fond of all his relatives there, especially Jasna and Borče. He was also very excited to travel to Australia once to visit relatives that had settled there.
Ohrid and Sveti Naum were two of his highlights when he was in the Old Country. He loved the atmosphere, food (especially pastrmka) and the music, although the best boza was apparently from a small café near the clock tower in Bitola. He was a great fan of traditional Macedonian music and sometimes thought of himself as being able to play the kaval, but that’s up to interpretation. He even brought home a gajda from one of his trips! He went back to Lažets many times and told stories of the village and his time there.
Telling stories or prikazni was also great fun for Stergio. He spoke of his time spent in the military and of his duties as guard or night watchman. He was once commended for stopping the platoon general because no one recognized him. And also told us of the time he was ordered to shoot a donkey because they thought it was an intruder.
Stergio liked to tell prirodni prikazni. He knew quite a few of them and some were long and involved, others quite gruesome. The stories, however, usually were never the same twice as he would change something but we weren’t ever sure if that was intentional or not. He also liked to watch Macedonian movies and videos when had the chance, mostly if there were other people watching with him. He enjoyed making videos with his camera and took it along on his trips. Comedies were his favourite and we all know that Stergio had a great sense of humour and was always in a good mood. As we say in Macedonian, “sakaše da se nasme mnogu”. One of his hobbies was to read your fortune from Turkish coffee grounds and he could find the strangest figures in your cup, maybe courtesy of his failing eyesight.
We will all miss Stergio very much and it’s probably his sense of humour we will miss the most. He was kind and gentle, a good man that everyone liked. Although we can’t have a Tursko Kafe or Rajkia with him he will remain in our hearts and minds.