submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 09.02.2007
We always knew that our grandfather had an older brother, Emmanuel who had lived and worked somewhere in New South Wales early last century. Because grandfather died in 1948, many years before my interest in family history began, all of this vital information literally went with him to the grave.
My mother Rene (formerly Andronicos) remembered place names in association with her uncle, Casino, Kyogle and Coonamble, but nothing came of our enquiries with the respective local councils of these towns. A search of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages followed but revealed nothing. There seemed to be so many dead ends. Nevertheless we followed every clue.
Etched clearly in my mother's memory was the day she met her uncle, and even to this day she can describe his appearance, the clothes he wore down to the detail of the bow-tie at his neck. Her memory is usually very reliable. His visit occurred, she said sometime in the early 1930s when she was a young teenager.
Almost thirty years have elapsed since our search began and what seemed like a impossible task ended in success when his details were eventually found in the Pioneers Index. The Pioneers Index provided a registration number which then enabled me to send away for his death certificate. Australian death certificates provide a lot of information.
From the certificate we learned that our Uncle Emmanuel Andronicos had lived and worked in Coonamble, a country town in New South Wales, and that he was in business as a fruiterer and confectioner. His death occured on the 5th August 1910 and not in the 1930s as we had thought. He was still young, only thirty-three years old and unmarried. He died of a pulmonary tuberculosis haemorage in the Coonamble District Hospital. All other details matched those of my grandfather; born on the island of Cerigo, parents George Andronicos, tobacconist and Panagiotitsa Panaretto. Grandfather, who also resided in Coonamble was the informant on the certificate.
A search of the New South Wales Post Office directories listed his business for the years 1907 to 1912 under the name of E. Andronicos.
So many things went through my mind as I studied the death certificate. It is hard to explain the depth of sadness I felt as I took in this information. The uncle I had never met had died in the prime of his life and had lain in the Church of England Cemetery at Coonamble for almost one-hundred years - temporarilly lost but certainly not forgotten.
There is still one thing that puzzles me though. Who was the Uncle Emmanuel who visited the Andronicos family at Number 10 Craig Street, Red Hill in Brisbane in the 1930's?
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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