It wasn’t difficult putting names to faces up at the Panaquip copy shop on Victoria Road.
Although there were two bosses, a couple of sales/service guys and a pleasant receptionist, three (of the five) were called Steve. I miss them all – Steve the thin white duke piloting his remote-controlled helicopter across the copiers and carpet squares after hours, Steve the ever-amenable single dad who loved fishing, and smoking – who ended up with tongue cancer, but survived – and big Steve the tech, buzzing about Sydney with his magic black case of screwdrivers and diagnostics. For a decade or more I was, frankly, in excellent hands whichever Steve spotted me first – struggling, often backwards, sometimes barefoot, juggling books and catalogues through their door (and two visual arts degrees), change jangling in my shorts.
WestConnex wants to demolish 224 Victoria Road, Rozelle – which for generations prior to Panaquip (since 1888) was a family grocer and corner store – along with 20 other treasured local homes and businesses (from Liquorland to the Iron Cove Bridge) to construct a belching tunnel portal for a gargantuan tollway that won’t work.
But we’re not going to let them. Are we.