submitted by Vassilia Corones on 14.12.2006
Author: Vassilia Corones
Address: 28 Carabella Street,
Kirribilli, NSW, 2061
ISBN: 0 646 25692 0
An account of the life of Jim Corones who migrated from Greece in 1905, and lived his life in the tiny outback Queensland town of Quilpie with generosity, courage and good fellowship leaving the town the better for his unflagging involvement in all aspects of life in this "oasis" in a harsh country.
Leaving Kythira in the Greek Ionioan Islands with his uncle, Harry Corones, Jim Corones was eleven when he landed in Australia. From humble but typical beginnings, both Harry and Jim were to become extremely successful businessmen. The first years in Australia were years of low wages, long hours and terrible conditions. Moving from Sydney and cleaning fish to a better opening in Brisbane, Harry ensured that Jim had a good education.
Within five years Harry was in a position to buy a cafe in Charleville and thus the path of both men's lives was set.
From a cafe in Charleville, Harry and Jim were to become two of Queensland's foremost hoteliers. It was in Harry's Charleville Hotel that plans for the establishment of an airway were discussed, later to become Qantas. Jim and Harry were foundation shareholders.
By 1929, Harry's dream was realised with the completion of the first class Corones Hotel, graced over the years celebrity guests that included the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Charles Kingsford Smith, Amy Johnston and Gracie Fields.
Harry thrived in Charleville and in recognition of his services to the community, he was awarded the MBE in 1969.
Jim meanwhile had moved on to "nearby" Quilpie (138 rail miles from Charleville) and gave of himself to Quilpie as Harry gave of himself to Charleville. Devising a means to supply electricity, in 1933 Quilpie was an outback rarity - street night lighting and electricity to all the shops as well as the Corones owned hotels and properties.
As with the Corones hotels in Charleville, the Corones hotels in Quilpie were a delight to locals and travellers alike, situated as they were in the middle of nowhere but with decor, service and food expected only in the best hotels of Brisbane and Sydney.
Five hundred or more arrived from across Queensland and New South Wales for Jim's funeral in 1966.
In his panegyric, Brother Max Timbrell of the Bush Brotherhood said Jim "was a man of rich character, a man of great energy and talent. The monuments to his talents are visible in our town- public utilities which even today could not be closed because they were built to give service. That service was of a pioneering nature."
This book tells the story of these two men from the Greek island of Kythira who helped develop western Queensland, making Australia their home.
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