Sixty years ago, Evangelia (Angela) Anaxagoras took the advice of the late Dr Arnold Rosen, here in Queenstown, and started keeping a daily diary to ensure she remembered to take her epilepsy medication.
She never skipped a day, even writing the day’s record on a serviette if she happened to be travelling.
She is now in the process of 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.
Mrs Anaxagoras lived in Queenstown between 1958 and 1998. She started each diary page by recording medical details. Very soon, with her natural discipline, she started capturing her daily activities, the news of the day, and even her emotions.
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 original diaries are packed in a special box, in case more detail from any year is ever required.
Says Anaxagoras: “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 continues: “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.” They were members of the Greek community and together they ran a number of well-known eateries in the town, including the first restaurant where people of colour could legally eat during apartheid. 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.
“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.”