Jan Nevzad Aziz known as 'Johnny', a Turkish Cypriot from Anicola, Cyprus, migrated to Australia in 1949 at the age of 21.
Jan Nevzad Aziz, known as 'Johnny', is a Turkish Cypriot from a small place called Anicola, Cyprus. He worked in a pastry kitchen and at an outdoor cinema and also assisted golfers to carry their golf clubs.
Jan left for Australia in 1949 at the age of 21, leaving from Limassol, Cyprus, and embarking on a ship for Port Said, Egypt. There he waited for three days for the ship 'The Continental' to leave for Australia. Travelling through the Suez Canal, his journey took about three months to reach Australia. When the first arrived in Perth there was little work and he was advised to search for work in Melbourne.
Settling in Melbourne, not knowing anyone or having anywhere to live, Jan eventually found a room for rent in the city on A'Beckett Street between Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street. He got his first job in Australia washing dishes at the Buffalo Café. His second job was at AJ Healings on Franklin Street, a company which produced shock absorbers for cars. While working there he also learned new skills and wanting to learn more, he attended night school to learn engineering and fabrication. After three years he was a qualified boilermaker. AJ Healings then hired him as a boilermaker. The company relocated to outside of Melbourne and he bought a car so he could get to work, and he was keen to move out of the city.
Jan drove his car to Winchelsea to a coal mine after he was told of possible employment there. When he arrived, the boss wasn't there, so he slept overnight in his car waiting for his arrival. The next morning he met the boss, demonstrated his welding skills, as was offered a job. Johnny lived in a hut at the coal mine. He went into town at Winchelsea to the Globe Theatre where a gentleman named Jack worked. He liked the theatre because he had worked at an open-air cinema back in Cyprus. He was hired, reeling, fixing and preparing the films.
After some time of living in Winchelsea, he met his future wife, Adine Erwin, at a local dance party. Jan converted to Christianity and was baptised before he married Adine. After the birth of their first child they moved to Geelong, raising five children. He worked for the Trans West trucking company as a boilermaker, and in 1968 he started his own business Aziz Engineering, retiring in 1998.
Photography and film-making were his hobbies. He was involved in a photography club and a pistol club. Jan was president of the Turkish Club where he helped new Turkish migrants in Australia to learn English and find accommodation. Possibly his biggest passion was speaking fluent Greek, Turkish, and English but also learning Spanish, Indonesian, Arabic and Mandarin.
Based on Dzavid Haveric's interview with Jordan Saplamaev 2017.