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Myra Demetriou: The last tenant forced out of Sirius apartments in Sydney passes away

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Myra Demetriou, who was the last public housing tenant forced out of the Sirius apartments in Sydney, has passed away at the age of 94.

According to the Save Our Sirius website, although Demetriou was “elderly, frail, in poor health and almost totally blind,” she remained an inspiration to others “in her unwillingness to accept limitations due to her disabilities and in her determination to defend Sirius.”

“Myra was a great Sydneysider, a much-loved member of her many communities and a fearless soul. We all loved Myra, and Myra loved us all. Vale Myra – we will certainly miss you,” Chair of the Sirius Foundation, Shaun Carter, wrote in a tribute to her.

Myra Demetriou was the last public housing tenant forced out of the Sirius apartments in Sydney.

According to a 2017 article by The Sydney Morning Herald, Demetriou wanted her body to be taken to the University of Sydney, where it will be donated to science.

Who was Myra Demetriou?

The Sirius building at The Rocks in Sydney was designed by Theo (Tao) Gofers in the late 1970s for the Housing Commission. It was purpose built for social housing for families and older people and included lift access and built-in distress alarms.

But in 2014, the residents of Sirius were told by the NSW Government they would be moved to ‘new homes’ along with all other public housing tenants in The Rocks, Millers Point and Dawes Point.

Demetriou with her SOS sign.

Demetriou was one of these tenants. She lived on the tenth floor and regularly travelled by bus on her own to attend lectures at the Mechanics Institute and to visit the State Library, grocery store, local community centre and church.

Every night after the NSW Government’s announcement, Demetriou turned on a set of lights which flashed a message across Sydney Harbour and The Rocks: ‘SOS, Save Our Sirius.’

She became a symbol of hope and determination to all residents as they began to move out. She was the last tenant to be displaced.

Source: Save Our Sirius.

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