submitted by George Poulos on 28.05.2006
Some current Australian names bare little resemblance to their original Greek names and some none at all.
e.g. we almost had a Greek Don Bradman!
A Greek who had difficulty with his surname decided to change his name to a more easily recognizable one.
He selected a name from a newstand.
The newstand featured a cricketer who had made a sizeable score - Gil Langley.
Thus we have Jim and Nick Langley and Langley's Cafe at Grafton, NSW.
[Told to me by Peter "Skoulandris" Makarthis, Inverell, NSW.]
From Peter Tsicalas' notes, held in repository, Clarence River Historical Society, Grafton.
Jim Anastasopoulos arrived in Grafton in about 1920 to work for the Aroneys but a short time later established The Paragon Cafe in South Grafton. Two years later he was joined in partnership by his brother Nick and together they traded in Grafton for the next 40 years. Jim and Nick were cousins of the Aroneys of Narrabri and Tamworth, perhaps suggesting that the Aroneys of Grafton were connected. Jim, born in about 1902, arrived from Kythera in 1909/10 to work for an Anastasopoulos uncle who had established a substantial business from a three storey building off George Street near Circular Quay. This is probably 51yr old George Anastasopoulos, who was managing the restaurant at 9 Alfred Street for Nick M. Aroney (aged 45) in 1916.
Their staff included 14yr old schoolboy Jim Anastasopoulos, 36yr old Stratis Tsitsilios, 21yr old Victor Prineas, 22yr old Con Kypriotis, 57yr old Con Pauledes, 24yr old James Bouropoulos, 21yr old Arthur Psaltis, 38yr old Victor Notaras, 38yr old Dioniasios Castrissios, 27yr old Victor Castrissios and the 13yr old schoolboy James Castrissios. (Peter Castrissos, b. 1890, landed 1909 and became a waiter for Aroney in 1912 after spending 1.8mths at Wondai after arrival.)
Mick Aroney, b. 1892, landed Nov 1912 and went immediately to work for Jack Aroney at 9 Argyle St. The uncle died in a freak accident between a tram and his horse and buggy, and 15 year old Jim, who was at the time a student at Fort Street, took over the business, which also included an interest in the Sydney fish markets. Jim immediately sponsored out his younger brother Nick (born -1904) to assist in running the complex business, but a few years later they passed it on and Jim moved to Grafton. How the business was eventually disposed of, or who inherited it, is unclear. This restaurant was established by Nick M. Aroney who landed via Smyrna in 1902 and was still listed as the owner in 1915 and 16?
Jim and Nick figured that a simpler anglicized name might be easier for trading purposes, but didn’t want to adopt the traditional Poulos like everyone else, so they randomly selected Langley, the name of a prominent cricketer getting a lot of press in the 1920s.
S. Langley had a cafe South Grafton from 1927? They bought another cafe on the Grafton side of the Clarence, at 86 Prince Street sometime in the late
1930s, which they made over into Langleys’ Cafe, the alternate name under which the Paragon subsequently became known.
Nick married Kyriakoula Megaloconomou 1938 Grafton. Koula was the sister of George Conomos of Casino and Wauchope. They had three daughters: Chrissa married P.Vlandis (now of Yowie Bay, Sydney), Helen now settled in Greece and Alexandra, address unknown. Langley family still there in the 1940s/l950s but Nick and Koula Langley believed to have moved to Sydney after WW2? Jim and Angela were the only Langleys listed after 1948. But Nick and Koula were also listed at 128 Prince St., in 1953.
Jim married Angela Varipati from Kapsali, the sister of three Varipati brother's of Tamworth, in Grafton in 1940. James was listed as a pastry cook in 1949 and living in 44 Fitzroy St with Angela. J. Varipatis Refreshment Rooms in High St. Coffs Harbour in 1959. Kytherians from the southern end of the island were very rare in this neck of the woods. Maria Langley (b. —1943 Grafton) married Prof Harry George Poulos (b. 1940 Katoomba) —1962, Sydney.
Kalliopi Moustakes Anastasopoulou (Aronis) married Charles Sklavos 1945 Redfern. Peter Minucos, possibly he of Murbah, and the brother of Theo of Kyogle, married Maria Anastasopoulou 1941, Culcairn.
Langleys Cafe at 86 Prince St through to 1980s. Langleys Cafe at Skinner St., South Grafton and Langley Bros at 86 Prince St 1941. South Grafton cafe sold about 1950.
Jim and Nick sold out to their Castrissios nephews in 1961 and moved to Sydney; Nick to a deli in Brighton le Sands in Sydney, and Jim to become a real estate agent.
Nick Langley sponsored Mena Castrissios -1947.
Mina Castrissios (Koubouros?) had arrived in 1947 on the same boat as Harry Crethar of Lismore while his brother George, born in 1936, came in 1951. They were the sons of Arthur and Eirini (nee Anastasopoulos) of Kastrisianika. Their two sisters, Maria and Alexandra, still live on Kythera.
George and Mena closed the business 1999 after which Mena retired to Wollongong with his wife Chrysi, while George remained in Grafton (6642381). Minas: 68 Beverly Street Unanderra.
submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 02.06.2006
Dunno how these messy notes got into the hands of the historical society, but some clarification:
Thirteen year old Jim George Anastasopoulos landed with his father 1911 and worked for Nick Mina Aroney (Magonezos), George’s wife’s brother, 9 Alfred St Circular Quay, while at the same time attending Fort St School.
His uncle Magonezos died 1919 Sydney, shortly after which Mrs Magonezos, nee Athena Marinakis, took the family to Queensland where she remarried Theo Harry Katrakis of Beaudesert.
Jim’s circumstances thereafter are a bit hazy until he teamed up with his cousins James and Harry George Aroney (Papadopoulos), and perhaps Jim Margetis, to establish or acquire a shop at 75 Prince St, Grafton, in 1921.
Harry (Anagyrios?) Aroney’s early history is a mystery, but his brother James had landed 1913, aged 16, and gone to Murwillumbah to work for his Aroney (Theodoropoulos) cousins. He relocated to Sydney 1916 and was working for Victor George Margetis when he decided to move to Grafton.
It looks like James took a break on Kythera around 1927 while Harry hung on till ~1931 before disappearing to Sydney/Katoomba and thence to Kythera in 1937 with Manuel Vasilios Aroney (Magonezos) of Narrabri. He had sold the business, but not the freehold, to Peter Arthur Bernard.
In the meantime Nick Anastasopoulos had arrived in Grafton. In 1926 he and brother Jim acquired the Paragon Café across the river at South Grafton, probably initially as a branch of the original partnership. The Paragon was at 36 Skinner St but in 1932 moved into a new shop next door at 34 Skinner.
(Nick had landed 1923, aged 15, and spent some time at Riverview College in Sydney, followed by a couple of years in Katoomba and Sydney cafes before coming to Grafton.)
Jim was using the name Langley from at least 1924, so the adopted name must have an origin other than hero worship of Gil Langley, who didn’t start hitting sixes and headlines until the late 1940s.
[The Paragon’s ex-owners were probably Alex, Milton, Peter and Paul Dimitri Samios of Mullumbimby, Bangalow and Kyogle.]
In 1940 the Langleys acquired the Strand Café at 86 Prince St., possibly from ‘Manea & Varipati’, although Jack Moulos is believed to have established the place in 1936.
[Manea (aka Castrissios?) was probably George, later of Bowral, while Varipati was Jack who moved to Coffs Harbour.]
The Paragon was sold to the partnership of Alex Lekapoulos (Macedonian) and Nick Varipatis, brother of Jack of Coffs, in 1950.
In 1938 Nick Langley married Koula Conomos, the sister of George of Wauchope, Nick of Dorrigo and the later Mrs Metaxia Peter Poulos of Tamworth.
In 1940 Jim Langley married Angela Varapati. Her brothers Bill and Stan (apparently not brothers of Jack and Nick above) worked for the Langleys until they opened their own café in Tamworth post WW2.
The nickname of the Langley nephews, Mina and George Castrissios, is Spargos. Peter Mina Spargos of Trangie, the uncle of Mina and George, married Chrisoula Poteri, sister of George of the Post Office Hotel Grafton.
submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 27.07.2006
I mixed up ages and dates. First para of above comment should read:
‘Eleven year old Jim George Anastasopoulos landed with his father 1913 and worked for Nick Mina Aroney (Magonezos),….’
[Also on board was his cousin Jim George Aroney (Papadopoulos).
Jack and Nick Varipatis were the sons of Athanasios, while Bill and Stan were the sons of Emmanuel. Jack Ath and Jack Emm landed together late 1926/early 1927, both aged 14.]
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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