Greek-born George Nole, 85, lost his life in the devastating fires twhich are still raging in New South Wales and Queensland.
As firefighters continue to battle the blazes on Friday, Australian authorities say that four people have been killed so far, and warn that conditions are expected to worsen even further as the weather heats up.
Nole’s body was found in a car at the Kangawalla fire ground, located near Glen Innes in northern NSW.
He is described as a genius electrician who had moved to Australia after tossing a coin; if it had fallen the other way, he’d have gone to live in Zimbabwe — it was either A or Z. So that is how he came to settle in Wytaliba in the 1980s, the local paper Glenn Innes Examiner writes.
Nole found what he was looking for in Wytaliba: “peace and quiet, lack of pollution, lack of noise, nature” and “to be himself,” said a local resident, and his friend, Philip Hine.
But he didn’t want his origins to be known, changing his last name to hide his Greek ancestry. He was aided by an odd, mixed accent, Greek by way of South African and Australian.
According to the Glenn Innes Examiner, “He didn’t want to let on his origins, he was discriminated against,” Nole’s friend recalled him saying.