Dangers of the Job

Youssef, Romanos & Tansa hung Christian icons in their taxis for protection. A postcard with an image of Mary and Jesus was always placed on the back of the sun visor in Tansa’s taxi.

During the 1980s both Youssef and Tansa proudly displayed medallions of Saint Charbel, a Lebanese saint, in their taxis. However the depiction of his long, dark beard provoked passengers to constantly ask why they had a picture of Khomeini, the Iranian leader, in their taxi? They soon removed the medallion and decided to only display western Christian images.

I used to go to my brothers' houses to see if they made it home, when we first started. We used to get scared, there was trouble, there were some Lebanese cab drivers that were killed before I started, maybe 35 years ago in Ballarat, it was not safe at night. Romanos Eid

man standing in front of a white car Romanos Eid in front of his taxi on Westgate bridge, 1985.
Source: Romanos Eid

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