Paeroa honours murdered businessman
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 6:09p.m.
By Tom McRae
Paeroa turned out in force today to honour its murdered businessman, Jordan Voudouris.
The mayor described the loss as something that had knocked the town off its feet - and Mr Voudouris as one of its greatest citizens.
More than 1000 mourners crammed into the Paeroa War Memorial Hall for one of their favourite sons and the man Gwen Richmond married.
“He had a great zest for life, we are astounded by your tributes,” Ms Richmond says.
His family remembered him for his cheekiness and laughter.
“He would want his friends, family and most of all his children to get on with life and be the best they can be and never give up,” she says.
Last Monday his body was found at the back of his pizza store. Police are still hunting for his killer.
Police have arrested two people for vandalising memorial items left outside the store. They don't believe there's any connection with the murder and are still seeking any information from the public.
Hauraki district mayor John Tregidga says it is a difficult time.
“This quite frankly has been a shock and disbelief to us, and I think this community has come through whether they knew Jordan or not.”
He was known for his generosity, especially to the students who worked for him.
“We remember him for the great friend and father figure he man he was,” Mykonos staff member Alice Proudfoot says. “[He was] a serious little man with a big heart. Paeroa will never be the same.”
Fellow staff member Rebecca Laurence has fond memories of Mr Voudouris.
“His loose use of the English language, his kind heart, his Greek insults.”
Voudouris came to New Zealand from Greece in 1982 and moved to Paeroa eight years ago.
His brother in law Mike Burke knew him well.
“[He] was a very proud man and very proud of his Greek heritage, and he passed that knowledge on to his children.”
Hundreds signed a banner of condolence for his family.
“I now say goodbye to my brother and my friend,” Mr Burke says. “Thank you for sharing part of your life with me. And using a phrase that Jordan would commonly use, ‘Paeroa, you're a bloody legend mate.'"
And Paeroa lived up to it today.
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