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Meet Seanmary, an airport screening officer, and George, a restaurant owner

20 Dec 2020

Seanmary Siv, George Bozikis, and their little daughter, Vivian, may be a small family of three, but their contribution to the community of Montreal cannot be measured. While Seanmary works as a screening officer at the airport, George’s family owns Nostos, a Greek restaurant that’s been up and running for 20 years! We sat down with the couple and asked what the holidays mean to them.

The two of them think for a moment, then Seanmary speaks up. “It’s a good time to think about what all the past months have meant to you.” For George, running a restaurant is no easy task. “There’s even more work during the holidays. Sometimes you need to step back and absorb the Christmas spirit because the season can be stressful. We leave work at work and we just enjoy the day!” 

Working in two industries that have been heavily impacted by the current situation, the couple is nothing but positive. “At the start, I was off work for six weeks,” says George. “One upside was that I got to spend so much quality time with Vivian. It was amazing, getting to be with my little daughter.” Seanmary agrees: “When everything is closed, we have more time to spend together.” 

Having worked as a screening officer for the past 14 years, Seanmary has been on duty since quarantine started, playing a pivotal role in keeping essential travel open. “It was scary at the beginning, because we didn’t know what was going on the first few months. But you have to do what you have to do and hope that things are going to end soon. We’re helping people feel safe!”

She also highlights how the situation has unified her and her coworkers. “We’re always happy to see each other. Many people can’t see their families, because things are so different now, so we support each other and find comfort in each other more than before.” 

With the restaurant open for pickup and delivery, George has adopted a more hands-on approach: “I’ve found a new dynamic working with my father. We take care of the food preparation now, and we’ve found a rhythm. We don’t argue as much as we used to,” he says, laughing.

“We’ve found an appreciation through this situation and we’re thankful that we’re still up and running. I still have regulars that come wearing their masks, but I don’t recognize them half the time. I hear them speak and I say: I know that voice!” 

One thing the couple has learned during quarantine? “To support small businesses! It’s important for us to let them know we’re here and that we appreciate them,” says Seanmary. “We need to think of other people, we need to share. Doing the simplest thing to make someone happy makes me happy. It makes me shine.” 

George has learned to never take anything for granted. “My daughter inspires me to be better at everything I do, especially during these times. Whenever I’m having a negative thought that’s distracting me from my task at hand, I think of Vivian, I think of Mary. I block everything else out and it gives me focus. My family is my spark.”