submitted by Gilgandra Weekly on 18.11.2005
Gilgandra Weekly, 1974.
"I am proud to say that during the 44 years I have been in the cafe, not one local person, young or old, has ever been rude to me."
The speaker is Mrs Chris Kelly, who has operatcd the ABC Cafe at Gigandra since 1934.
In a few weeks the cafe will close its doors for the last time.
The premises wi1l he remodelled and wilI open again as a a Cut Price Food Market operated by Mrs Kelly, her son Theo, and her daughter, StelIa, and son-in-law David.
The cafe was opened in 1908, and is visited by people from throughout the Orana Region, and beyond.
"People come back, year after year,’’ Mrs Kelly said. "There is one family who pass through Gilgandra, who were brought here by their parents when they were children. They now bring their children here when they pass through."
"Sometimes the people don’t buy anything, but they always call in to say hello".
Mrs Kelly said that the ABC Cafe had been one of the busiest in the Central West.
"The pictures used to he on four nights a week and people would come into town by car or sulky and stay for the day," Mrs Kelly recalled.
"They would have morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper here. Those days are gone forever."
Mrs Kelly says she will miss the cafe.
"I love people, paricularly young people. The yooung people go away but when they come back to Gilgandra they visit their home and then the next stop is here," she said.
"I am going to miss all the people who came to the cafe; particularly the young people."
The cafe was originally opened by Stan Baveas.
He was later joined by Manuel Poulos, who was then joined by his sister Chris (Mrs Kelly) and a brother, Peter.
Miss Poulos then married Mr Paul KeIly. The cafe was run as a partnership between Mr and Mrs Kelly and Peter Poulos for 30 years, before Peter sold out and went hack to Greece in 1955.
Mr Paul Kelly died in 1971, and the cafe has since been run by Mrs Kelly and her children.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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