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Eurydice and Henry volunteered at the same cafe. Last year, she was murdered. This week, he allegedly killed someone.

“We call ourselves a human race, but it’s not a race. It’s not a competition.

“I prefer the term human kind. It implies kindness. We share an affinity. There is a richness that awaits us and it relies on our ability to embrace and be open to each other.”

Lentil As Anything was built on this quote by founder Shanaka Fernando.

It’s a restaurant and cafe, a grocery store, and a place of community and warmth.

 

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Their inner Melbourne Thornbury premise is run mainly by volunteers, and customers don’t have to pay for what they eat.

They pay want they think the food is worth.

Or what they have in their pockets.

They provide food without borders, and are an attractive refuge for the underemployed, the homeless, refugees and the disenfranchised.

Despite their interesting business model – that some days could see them turn next to nothing through the tills – their food is reminiscent of a five star restaurant.

Moroccan rice pilaf with roasted persimmon.

Hearty kale soup.

Chia chocolate brownie.

Here, everything is done with love and kindness.

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It’s the place where local budding comedian Eurydice Dixon would turn up to volunteer, full of bright enthusiasm.

Her Lentil As Anything community remember her for her terrible handwriting and off-hand quips.

When she wasn’t working tables, she was sitting at them, sipping coffee and reading books.

Usually on table 18, her favourite.

But table 18 hasn’t had the pleasure of the 24-year-old’s presence for just under a year now.

Because on June 13, 2018, she was murdered.

Eurydice-Dixon
Eurydice was a budding comedian, and on the night of her murder, she'd been at a gig. Image: Supplied.

Murdered while walking home from performing comedy at the Highlander Bar on a Tuesday night.

Killed after enjoying a knock-off drink after her gig, before heading off in the direction of home just before 11pm.

Her body was found in a park, just 900 metres from her warm winter bed.

Her Lentil As Anything family mourned her death along with the rest of Australia who were left shocked by the brazen slaying.

"All of us have been touched deeply by the loss of a friend and member of our family," they wrote on Facebook. 

But eleven and a half months on, the small Melbourne community has again been left in shock.

This time one of their volunteers is on the other side of tragedy.

Henry Hammond has been charged with murdering a woman in a Melbourne park at the weekend.

An unrelated but eerie similarity to Eurydice's last night.

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"We are extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the brutal murder of Courtney Herron.

"And we also remember Eurydice Dixon, a treasured volunteer and trainee barista with us, until the morning she didn’t arrive for her cafe shift.

"Sadly, we find ourselves at this juncture again, almost a year later, in this epidemic of violence against women.

"We have found out that one of our old volunteers and patrons, Henry, has been charged with murder," wrote the company on Facebook. 

"Some volunteers and crew will remember Henry, and the increasing decline of his mental health during the past year or so," it continued.

courtney herron
Courtney Herron was murdered on the weekend. Henry Hammond has been charged with her death. Image: Supplied.

Whether Eurydice and Henry ever met is unclear.

But they found solace in the same space; an eclectic, warm and welcoming vegan tribe.

A tribe where volunteers are the heart and soul, of which they both were.

A place that has now experienced both the tragedy of having someone ripped away by murder, and the shock of having another allegedly commit the same act.

"We are trying to come to terms with this," the restaurant's management wrote in a Facebook post. "I have no answers, except to listen and ask ‘are you ok’?

"It is also so important that we continue to foster connection, care and a sense of belonging to as many in our community.

"Be safe, be kind. And talk with friends or support crews."

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