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submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

And the dancing went on and on and on and on

During the Canberra Cafe celebrations, 30th March, 2013.

The street had been closed off for the event.

Overview of the days events

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

And the dancing went on and on

During the Canberra Cafe celebrations, 30th March, 2013.

The street had been closed off for the event.

Overview of the days events

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 26.04.2013

And there was Greek dancing on the main street of Manilla

Probably the first time in Manilla's long history that such an event has occurred.

During the Canberra Cafe celebrations, 30th March, 2013.

The street had been closed off for the event.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 28.04.2013

Jim Kalokerinos, and Irene Cominos with Paul Calokerinos.

Jim is on the left, and Paul is on the right. Jim lives in canberra.

Irene Cominos is the wife of late Theodore Cominos. Originally in Mackey she now now lives in Brisbane. She is the mother of Katerina and Maria

At the Canberra Cafe celebrations, 30th March, 2013.

Overview of the days events

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

Viola Kalokerinos, wife of the late Vince Kalokerinos is on the left.

She is speaking with Paul Calokerinos (centre) and Bill Cassimatis, (right).

Many relatives attended the celebration of the Canberra Cafe, Manilla, NSW, travelling many hundreds of miles to do so.

Overview of the days events

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

The Canberra Cafe tea towels were one of the great hits

....on the stall, at the Canberra Cafe celebrations, at Manilla, NSW.

The Canberra cafe logo is a brilliant design.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 26.04.2013

Samples of the books and produce on sale at the Manilla panyiri

Sales were brisk.

Other items included the Canberra Cafe tea towel, and many other books by Sandy Thorne.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

During festivities Canberra cafe tea towels, books and produce was sold

Produce included Calokerinos family honey and olives. Books included a number of Sandy Thorne's books, and Tess Mallos's newly printed Greek Cookbook.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

The Calokerinos family with dignatories assembled together

after the presentation of the Council plaque.

It was an incredible day in Manilla, NSW, when the Canberra Cafe celebrated its inception.

Overview of the days events

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 26.04.2013

The Council awarded Paul and Helen (Elly) Calokerinos a special plaque

Both spoke with gratitude about receiving such a prestigious award.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 28.04.2013

The vintage car, owned by George Paris

added an authentic old world ambience at the celebration of the opening of the Canberra Cafe, Manilla, New South Wales. George is a local resident and has a Maltese heritage.

Overview

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 25.04.2013

Sandy Thorne interviewing Paul Calokerinos

....on top of the "makeshift stage". At the 30th March, 2013 "panayiri" for the Canberra Cafe, Manilla, NSW. Sandy asked some great questions. She obviously has a affinity with Paul.

Sandy Thorne is Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker. She is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

She entertained the audience for a half hour at the function.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 25.04.2013

Kathy & Mary Calokerinos, Paul's daughters, eho helped organise the Canberra Cafe function

The function, considering it's complexity, ran very smoothly.

Kathy, on the left, is wearing one of the especially printed Canberra Cafe T-Shirts.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive & Recreation Club on 25.04.2013

K4WD Trip to Bingara and Manilla. 28th March until 1st April, 2013

Paul Calokerinos at the front of the Canberra Cafe, Manilla, NSW.

Report. Peter Notaras

This was a road trip to see places visited a long time ago where I usually didn't stop long enough to see their history, as I went thru them to go camping or shooting. Now stopping and having a good look around I was quite surprised on how many Greeks and especially Kytherians have contributed to our rural heritage.

We left Sydney early and went to Gunnedah on the way to Bingara. Even Gunnedah had its share of Greeks in the town contributing to the town’s economy. There were quite a few Kytherians who lived here and their involvement in Gunnedah’s history has been commemorated with some of the council car parks named after them such as Kepriotes, Fatseas, Casey(Cassimatis), Vernados, Melitas, Comino , Zantiotis and Souris. Most of them have now gone, but their contribution to the town’s history is well documented and still evident.

From there we stopped at Manilla to say a short hello to Paul Calokerinos, the proprietor of the Canberra Cafe who is a remarkable man, a living legend, well liked and has been there for 63 years. The longest ever Kytherian ownership of a cafe worldwide. He epitomizes country hospitality at its best and you will be left with an impression of how wonderful he and his family are.

He has been in Manilla since he was 17 years old. A remarkable effort to be still working at his age, Paul, Helen and family are not planning on retiring yet. Paul says when he gets old he may slow down a bit but not yet. We were treated like royalty and he showed us around the shop. He was preparing for the official opening of his recently refurnished Canberra Café, which took place on Sunday 31st March at 2pm, as well as preparing to celebrate a tribute to "Jack Smiles" the founder of the Cafe in 1927. The cafe has undergone a 6 month refit to bring the furniture and walls back to what it looked like when it opened in the early 1900's, by Jack Smiles.

We arrived in Bingara late, after a lengthy stop in Manilla. Paul’s story is quite remarkable and you just can't leave, but want to stay and listen and be enthralled by his life's journey through his time in Manilla. So when going past Manilla, stop and have a break and say hello to Paul and his family.

After arriving in Bingara where we spent 3 full days exploring this beautiful spot. Bingara is truly a remarkable place and the Roxy Theatre is a testament to the vision that the three Kytherian partners had in such an isolated region of NSW back in 1936. What were they thinking when they built this beautiful art deco theatre. If the Roxy was built in any other larger city it may have survived its initial opening. But now after it's renovation and back to it's original state it's quite a draw card to Bingara. The adjoining Peters Cafe is a must to visit also. Pictures can't show how really beautiful the Roxy is. You just have to go and see it for yourself. We met George Poulos there on Friday who showed us around Bingara and the Roxy.

On Friday we met up with another Kytherian, Loula Cass from Sydney, who was also visiting Bingara.. She was heading down to Manilla also for the festivities on Sunday.

George Poulos showed us firstly the "Living Classroom" in Bingara. The Living Classroom is an ecological "wonderland", a research centre and showcase for the future of agriculture the city and country living. It is an inspiration for regional, national & international visitors, a centre for education and for experimentation for all generations, and for all levels of learning.

The project will turn 150 ha of degraded town Common land, into a highly productive "food forest – combining a wide range of agricultural activities with horticulture, aquaculture and forestry. It works with the synergies between these activities. Its focus is on food quality, and the connection between soil health, plant and animal health and human health.

The Kytherian Association has first bite at organizing a garden to grow what ever they choose. The learning centre and accommodation at the site have just been completed and school groups are already attending lectures and field days.

In the afternoon we headed for Delungra where we were to meet Sandy, the Roxy manager and her husband who manages a large cattle farm. We were shown how they feed and organize the feed lots for the cattle before they go to the abattoirs. We stayed onto the evening where we enjoyed some more country hospitality.

Saturday was Roxy Day and a good look at Peters Cafe. Firstly we had a look around Bingara town r before going to Peters Cafe for Lunch and met up with George and Sandy, who were to show us around the Roxy and the Museum upstairs. The Museum is to collect any memorabilia from any Greek who has owned a cafe or restaurant. This is to showcase how the Greek influence of cafe ownership was etched into Australia's history. Now how many country towns had a Greek cafe in it? I gave Sandy a plate and a couple of cups and saucers from my fathers Cafe in Rockhampton the "Orion Cafe" to be placed in the museum.

We then went downstairs to see the Roxy theatre and I was gob smacked, as the theatre is really something else in real life. How they built something so lavish and awe inspiring out here is still beyond belief. We had a good tour of the theatre by George as Sandy, which was preparing to show the movie "ARGO" that afternoon. So after our Roxy introduction we sat and watched this great movie in the Roxy and what a movie it was.

Sunday we left early after a big Peters Cafe breakfast for Manilla, for the Canberra Cafe festivities. The party and celebration was to start at 2pm. All went well with locals lining the street early and family and friends arriving. There were a lot of people, apart from locals, that came from all over such as Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. They estimated around 800 people attended. This just shows how much Paul is patronized and loved by the local community. The street was closed for the occasion and a stage erected on the back of an old dodge truck, with an old 1929 Essex behind, just to add to the atmosphere of the occasion reminiscing the era gone by when the cafe had opened.

The speeches were first, and then some local singers sang some old favourites. Then the Greek dancing began in the street out in the front of the cafe. This went on for a few hours with light refreshments being served. We had a short break and then the second round of festivities began with a sit down dinner for about 160 invited guests in the Restaurant next door. This reminded me of my childhood growing up in Rockhampton where families came together to celebrate a special occasion in similar fashion. Paul was absent for quite a while as he wanted to cook the food himself with a lot of help from some the ladies.

After the meals we had the speeches from friends and locals talking about their association with Paul and Helen and their family. Paul even gave us a bit of history on how he came to Australia.

Remember if you are driving through Manilla stop at the Canberra Cafe and have a chat with Paul, an icon of our Greek cultural history here in Australia. You will come away with a lifetime of knowledge that not many people have experienced from one of Kythera's true heroes that have come to this country we live in and are still here to share it with us.

And what about Bingara. All I can say is just go and see BINGARA for your elf the Roxy and Peters Cafe is another example of how Kytherians have influenced rural Australian culture. There have been similar establishments wherever you went over this great country. When travelling just stop and look around and you will see what I am referring to. With the Museum in Bingara collecting memorabilia and being able to showcase these amazing stories of the Greek influence we will not have lost the history of this facet in Australia’s past that is slowly diminishing.
Remember the Museum in Bingara is collecting any memorabilia to do with cafe /Restaurant ownership by the Greeks. So if have anything, please hand them in. It will be opening later this year and we are planning to be there and when we know the date we will let you know. With the numerous numbers of Greek ownership of cafes there should be quite a few people going to the opening. Ring Sandy McNaughton from the Roxy Bingara for any info 02 6724 2066.

It is amazing how the early Greeks went so far to establish themselves and integrate with the Australian way of life but still keeping their heritage alive.

Well done all Kytherians we should be proud of ourselves. ……..

Peter Notaras K4WD

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 25.04.2013

George Poulos, the "flag man" added much colour with his flag displays

At the celebration of the Canberra Cafe, March 3oth, 2013.

The Canberra Cafe and Skylight Restaurant are visible in the background.

The children all had a wonderful time.

Overview

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 25.04.2013

Part of the large crowd that attended the opening of the Cafe exhibition

They took over most of the street outside the Canberra Cafe Manilla.

Taken during the speeches and entertainment provided by the Calokerinos family on the day.

Later there was Greek dancing in the street.

The itinerary is outlined below.

Overview

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 25.04.2013

Paul Kalokerinos feted by another local dignitary

The "vintage" truck, parked at the front of the Canberra Cafe, acted as a very appropriate stage.

Greek flags are in abundance.

This occurred during the afternoon entertainment on the day, during which the main street was "closed off".

Overview

A special celebration will be held at the Canberra Cafe on Easter Sunday 31 March 2013 in the township of Manilla.

The program involves:
• a public celebration from 2pm to 5pm- (we envisage up to (2000) people to attend the afternoon session)

Background

Very few Greek cafes remain in Australia and of those that do, they have in many ways been modernised over the years.

“Jack Smiles” (Yiannis (John) Kalokerinos) built the Canberra Cafe in Manilla 86 years ago.

Paul Calokerinos, along with his wife Helen, and family (John Mary and Kathy) have continued to operate the cafe since taking on ownership in 1950.

The cafe has undergone a “back to the future” refurbishment recently to display its original (or as near to as possible) attributes.

To celebrate the original owner “Jack Smiles” and recognise 86 years of trading as a Greek Cafe we are a having this re-dedication day on the 31st March 2013.

Many Greek associates and the public will be in attendance to participate in the celebrations.

Obviously there will be a typical Greek influence on the proceedings.
Those present will include local dignitaries Mayor Col Murray and Tamworth State MP Kevin Anderson and local artist Sandy Thorne, internationally recognised author of “Old Timers” and several other notable books (Bush yarns & biographies) will also be performing and presenting her “bush yarns”.

Chronology

1927 – Jack Smiles build Canberra Cafe
1948 – Paul Calokerinos comes to Australia
1950 – Paul Calokerinos and John Travassaros buy the Canberra Cafe from Jack Smiles
1965 – Helen Calokerinos buys out John Travassaros share.
2013 - Why now? to celebrate the recent Cafe refurbishment and celebration of 86 years since its inception.

History of Greek Cafes in Australia

It is the Greek Festival of Sydney this month – note this SMH article on history of Greek Cafes


Recent Articles have been published in the -

- Manilla Express – article 26 March 2013

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

- Northern Daily Leader- article 18 February 2013

Canberra Cafe Event Program

AFTERNOON Session 1 – 2pm Sunday 31 March 2013

6:00am to 6pm road closure Manilla Street, between Court Street and Strafford Street

2:00 to 5:00pm Events

2:00 Official Ceremony commence (45 minutes)
• Welcome and Introduction – MC -Sandy Allan (5 min)
• Welcome dignitaries – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council (Col Murray), Kevin Anderson MP – Member for Tamworth
• 2:15 David Ridgewell – local personality - Setting scene “About the family and community– Paul Helen Kathy Mary John”
• 2:25 Sandy Thorn, internationally recognised author Interview Proprietor Q&A – to tease out history and background
• Paul Calokerinos – Owner Operator History 63 years of the cafe
• 2:35 Presentation – Mayor Tamworth Regional Council a few words
• Plaque unveiling - the plaque recognition of 3013 refurbishment and 86 years if cafe
• 2:45 Response – John Calokerinos Thank you on behalf of family (thank MC)
• MC concludes formality

3:00 to 5pm Entertainment (2 hours)

• Sandy Thorne – Australia’s favourite yarn spinner, Author, entertainer, public speaker (30 min). - Sandy Thorn is “Australia’s best-selling author of outback humour books, and of "OLD TIMERS”, which featured a fascinating mini-biography of Paul Calokerinos, that was, for many people, the highlight of the book. Sandy is also a stage performer of bush yarns and verse, who has had audiences laughing all over Australia, N.Z. and the U.S., for nearly thirty years, since she launched her first best-seller, “I’VE MET SOME BLOODY WAGS!”.

• 4pm - Easter Bunny - Scavenger Easter egg hunt for children
• Music – Live local talent 3.30-5pm

5:00 Public event concludes

6:00 pm Road opens – Manilla St

7:00pm - until late - formal sit down dinner for 160 people, to be held in both the Skylight Restaurant and the Canberra Cafe, next door.

All prepared and served by the Calokerinos family.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Kathy Calokerinos on 25.04.2013

Paul Kalokerinos & Helen (Elly) Kalokerinos

at the 30th March, 2013, celebrations.

March 31st, 2013

Manilla celebrates iconic Greek cafe

Northern Daily Leader.

31st March, 2013


THE main block of Manilla’s main street was closed to traffic yesterday as the town turned out to pay homage to the Canberra Cafe and the Calokerinos family.

Greek cafes are few and far between in the region now, but The Canberra Cafe and Paul Calokerinos and his family are continuing on the tradition and hospitality of these establishments that are an important part of Australia’s history.

The cafe celebrates 63 years this year and has enjoyed refurbishments.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray unveiled a plaque yesterday to mark the milestone.

Cr Murray said the occasion was a celebration of the culture of communities and said the plaque was to commemorate this important day in the history of Manilla. As part of the Easter Sunday festivities, members of the Calokerinos family travelled from near and far to Manilla, with speeches and memories shared with the town.

Manilla resident David Ridgewell des- cribed the cafe as a unique establishment and the occasion honoured the traditions of a very special kind.

“The cafe is only one of few remaining across our wild and rugged land,” he said.

Lightning Ridge poet and author, Sandy Thorne, interviewed Mr Calokerinos about his time in Manilla as he celebrated his special place within the town that he had embraced, and that had embraced him.

The town then joined with the family and dignitaries to enjoy nibblies and drinks in the street and to toast an icon of Manilla.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Northern Daily Leader on 25.04.2013

Manilla celebrates iconic Greek cafe

March 31st, 2013

Northern Daily Leader

Photograph: Sandy Thorne entertains the crowd with Paul Calokerinos.

THE main block of Manilla’s main street was closed to traffic yesterday as the town turned out to pay homage to the Canberra Cafe and the Calokerinos family.

Greek cafes are few and far between in the region now, but The Canberra Cafe and Paul Calokerinos and his family are continuing on the tradition and hospitality of these establishments that are an important part of Australia’s history.

The cafe celebrates 63 years this year and has enjoyed refurbishments.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray unveiled a plaque yesterday to mark the milestone.

Cr Murray said the occasion was a celebration of the culture of communities and said the plaque was to commemorate this important day in the history of Manilla. As part of the Easter Sunday festivities, members of the Calokerinos family travelled from near and far to Manilla, with speeches and memories shared with the town.

Manilla resident David Ridgewell des- cribed the cafe as a unique establishment and the occasion honoured the traditions of a very special kind.

“The cafe is only one of few remaining across our wild and rugged land,” he said.

Lightning Ridge poet and author, Sandy Thorne, interviewed Mr Calokerinos about his time in Manilla as he celebrated his special place within the town that he had embraced, and that had embraced him.

The town then joined with the family and dignitaries to enjoy nibblies and drinks in the street and to toast an icon of Manilla.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Northern Daily Leader on 28.04.2013

Manilla celebrates iconic Greek cafe

Northern Daily Leader

March 31st 2013

Photograph: Sandy Thorne entertains the crowd with Paul Calokerinos.

THE main block of Manilla’s main street was closed to traffic yesterday as the town turned out to pay homage to the Canberra Cafe and the Calokerinos family.

Greek cafes are few and far between in the region now, but The Canberra Cafe and Paul Calokerinos and his family are continuing on the tradition and hospitality of these establishments that are an important part of Australia’s history.

The cafe celebrates 63 years this year and has enjoyed refurbishments.

Tamworth mayor Col Murray unveiled a plaque yesterday to mark the milestone.

Cr Murray said the occasion was a celebration of the culture of communities and said the plaque was to commemorate this important day in the history of Manilla. As part of the Easter Sunday festivities, members of the Calokerinos family travelled from near and far to Manilla, with speeches and memories shared with the town.

Manilla resident David Ridgewell described the cafe as a unique establishment and the occasion honoured the traditions of a very special kind.

“The cafe is only one of few remaining across our wild and rugged land,” he said.

Lightning Ridge poet and author, Sandy Thorne, interviewed Mr Calokerinos about his time in Manilla as he celebrated his special place within the town that he had embraced, and that had embraced him.

The town then joined with the family and dignitaries to enjoy nibblies and drinks in the street and to toast an icon of Manilla.