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submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 28.04.2013

The itinerary of the Canberra Cafe panayiri

Photograph: The logo concept was devised by John Calokerinos in collaboration with local artist Marilyn Barnes and the cafe logo was designed by AM Printing Tamworth, The logo was used for the commemorative t-towel and t-shirts and also used on the brass plaque.

The logo is very attractive.

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 Manilla Express on 24.04.2013

Paul Kalokerinos honoured by the town of Manilla

A very enjoyable morning to celebrate Senior’s Week

Photo: Individual nominees (left to right) - Bev Wells, Daphne Tiberi, Paul Calakerinos, Dot Allwill, Norm Carter (winner), Jim Maxwell and Clr Helen Tickle.

This article was published on the front page of the Manilla Express. Download a .pdf copy of the front page and page 10 of the Manilla Express together here:

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

The Manilla Memorial Town Hall was packed for the Senior’s Week concert and morning tea last Wednesday.
Special guests were Tamworth Regional Councillor Helen Tickle and Indigenous Elder Mr Neville Sampson who also presented ‘Welcome to Country’.

The National Anthem was performed by Mr John Brand (left) and Mr Rex Dallas who were also part of the entertainment along with school students from the Manilla Central and St Michael’s following the awards ceremony.

Those in attendance were welcomed by MC’s for the occasion Mrs Belinda Laws and Mrs Sarah Thurn who then went on to introduce
the nominees for the Senior Week Awards.

Nominated for the group award were Manilla Hospital Auxiliary, Manilla Hospital Gardeners, Visitor Information Centre and Manilla Senior’s Cards Group.

Clr Tickle had the honour of naming joint winners of the group award as Manilla Hospital Auxiliary and Manilla Hospital Gardeners. Nominated for the individual award (service to seniors) were Dot Allwill, Vera Coupland, Daphne Tiberi, Bev Wells, Paul Calakerinos, Jim Allwill, Vera Coupland, Daphne Tiberi, Bev Wells, Paul Calakerinos, Jim Maxwell, Norm Carter, Jean Jensen, Pat Jehner and Bob McDonald.

The winner was announced by Clr Tickle as Mr Norm Carter. Clr Tickle also presented all nominees (individual and group) with a certificate to mark the occasion.

Clr Tickle congratulated the winners and the other very worthy nominees on their involvement with the seniors in the Manilla community. Clr Tickle also thanked the organisers of the concert, morning tea and also those who attended the wonderful event.

Following the awards ceremony a lovely morning tea was enjoyed by all in attendance before being entertained by Manilla school students.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Northern Daily Leader on 24.04.2013

Manilla Cafe celebrates a great Aussie tradition

Northern Daily Leader

February 18th, 2013

Download a .pdf of the article here:

Manilla Cafe celebrates a great Aussie tradition.pdf

A quiet Manilla Cafe, which for many provides a nostalgic escape to an era of hand cut chips, personalised service and double-malted milkshakes is about to celebrate a significant milestone.

The Canberra Cafe, a shop-front stalwart of Manilla’s main street, celebrates its 63rd year and to mark the occasion, the Cafe’s long-time owner Paul Calokerinos has some big visions.

One of the last true Greek cafes in the region, the Canberra still maintains all the hallmarks of the era when every country town had one.

Among the festivities to mark the longevity of the cafe and its Greek heritage will be a special function outside the shop on Easter Sunday (March 31), where in front of a number of invited special guests and members of the public, he will unveil some of the restorations that have taken place inside the cafe over the past six or more months.

Those renovations, for Mr Calokerinos, were about taking the building back to its original state, and making it feel more like the “olden days”.

He says, apart from modernising the shop front in the 1970s, not much has changed in the days since he bought the business in partnership with his cousin John Travassaros and his uncle, Bill Summers, in the 1950s.

Mr Calokerinos’ Canberra Cafe, which his son John now helps to run, is one of the few of its kind left in the region.

Each morning, in preparation of the day ahead, he stands and feeds potatoes into a peeler before hand-cutting his own chips.

He says there is a simple reason his cafe is still standing and preparing to celebrate the cafe’s 63rd anniversary, when many others are a thing of the past.

“It’s simple, I stayed when everyone left,” he said.

As part of the Easter long-weekend celebrations, which he says could attract up to a thousand people, Mr Calokerinos has been collecting a number of items from long-gone traditional cafes around the region to use in his renovations.

“Leadlights and old wooden wall framing,” he said.

Celebrations will include a tribute to the man who established the cafe, prior to it being bought out by Mr Calokerinos and his family, Yannis “Jack Smiles” Kalokerinos.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Manilla Express on 24.04.2013

Big day for the Canberra Cafe. Manilla, north west, New South Wales

Photo from an article on the front page of the Manilla Express, Tuesday 26th March, 2013. Continued on page 10.

Photo: Helen, Paul, Kathy and John. Inset: is Mary who was away when the main photo was taken

Download a .pdf of the front page and page 10 of the Manilla Express together here:

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

This coming Easter Sunday - March 31 - will mark a further milestone in the history of Manilla’s Canberra Cafe.

Celebrations are planned to mark the 63rd year of ownership and operation of the cafe by Mr Paul Calokerinos and family.

Paul Calokerinos would be Manilla’s oldest and longest operating businessman. The celebrations will also be an early 80th birthday recognition for Paul. His birthday is in early April.

The renovations carried out over the last six months or so have seen the cafe back to its original state and to make it feel more like the ‘olden days’. The restoration works have included fixtures and fittings - using a number of items collected by Paul from long-gone traditional cafes around the region. Photographs have also been framed and are displayed to remind patrons and others of some of the history of the premises.

The Canberra Cafe is one of the last remaining Greek establishments in Australia and highlights include lead-light and old wooden wall framing of days gone by. Fish and chips, pies, hamburgers, milk shakes, cordials, fruit ‘freezers’ - eat-in or take-away - are still the favourite fare of the Canberra.

Fruit products are now produced by Paul at his Tamworth Road Alexandrades property and sold through the cafe.

There was once five cafes in Manilla’s main street the numbers diminishing after the hey days of the building of Keepit Dam which was concluded in 1961. The Canberra is the sole survivor today in the main street.

More than 1000 people are expected to attend the Easter- Sunday celebrations. These will include several invited guests along with members of the Calokerinos family who will be travelling here from Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

The invited guests will include the Member for Tamworth, Mr Kevin Anderson MP, the Mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, Cr Col Murray and artist Sandy Thorne, recognised author of ‘Old Timers’ and several other notable books will also be performing and presenting her ‘bush yarns’.

The celebrations will also include recognition of the man who established the Canberra prior to it being bought out by Mr Calokerinos and his family, Yannis ‘Jack Smiles’ Kalokerinos.

During the first World War 1914-18, Jack Smiles came to Manilla as a cafe proprietor from Walgett. His cafe was situated where Sevil’s butcher shop now stands.

Jack Smiles built the Canberra Cafe premises in 1927. He was joined by a cousin Phillip Feros. Jack operated the Canberra Cafe and Feros was installed into the York Cafe - now the Manilla Bakery. The York had operated until 1965 and then closed, a victim of the business downturn after the completion of Keepit Dam.

The Canberra Cafe was so named from the opening of the Old Parliament House which was unveiled in Canberra the same year. Operating next door to the Canberra Cafe is the Skylight Restaurant established by Paul Calokerinos and his wife Helen and venue for many celebrations and meetings for the past 20 years.

Paul married Helen on the Greek island of Kythera in 1962. They have reared three children in Manilla. John is the right hand man in the business which also sees youngest daughter Mary assisting. After her early days in the cafe and schooling here, Kathy lives and works in Sydney.

Paul has two sisters - Maria and Kety - in Canberra along with a brother Jim. A second brother Vince had resided in Canberra also but passed away a few years ago.

The forthcoming celebrations will also serve as a family reunion with up to 50 descendants expected. Such reunions are very scarce, Paul said.
Originally owned by Kytherian-born John (Jack) Kalokerinos, the cafe was bought by a trio of relatives - Paul, his uncle Bill Glytsos and Paul’s cousin John Trevasaros.

Emigrating to Australia from Greece in 1948 at the tender age of 15, Paul Calokerinos was sponsored by his uncle Bill who lived in Tamworth. Paul spent 18 months working at the Walcha Cafe, cleaning, cooking, chopping wood and serving customers.

He then spent about six months at Tamworth’s Ritz Cafe before he and his relatives pooled their resources and bought the Canberra Cafe in 1950. Paul was just 17 years of age.

Bill sold his share of the business in 1954 while John opted out in 1965. Paul had operated the York Cafe until its closure and transferring to the Canberra. John is now retired and lives in Sydney while another cousin Peter who started in Manilla with Paul lives in Tamworth and formerly operated a cafe in Peel Street opposite the post office.

All residents are invited to take part in the celebrations on Sunday between 2 and 5pm.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Manilla Express on 24.04.2013

Big day for the Canberra Cafe. Manilla, northe west New South Wales

Articles on the front page of the Manilla Express, Tuesday 26th March, 2013. Continued on page 10.

Photo: Helen, Paul, Kathy and John. Inset: is Mary who was away when the main photo was taken

Download a .pdf of the front page and page 10 of the Manilla Express together here:

Manilla Express article Front Page & page 10.pdf

This coming Easter Sunday - March 31 - will mark a further milestone in the history of Manilla’s Canberra Cafe.

Celebrations are planned to mark the 63rd year of ownership and operation of the cafe by Mr Paul Calokerinos and family.

Paul Calokerinos would be Manilla’s oldest and longest operating businessman. The celebrations will also be an early 80th birthday recognition for Paul. His birthday is in early April.

The renovations carried out over the last six months or so have seen the cafe back to its original state and to make it feel more like the ‘olden days’. The restoration works have included fixtures and fittings - using a number of items collected by Paul from long-gone traditional cafes around the region. Photographs have also been framed and are displayed to remind patrons and others of some of the history of the premises.

The Canberra Cafe is one of the last remaining Greek establishments in Australia and highlights include lead-light and old wooden wall framing of days gone by. Fish and chips, pies, hamburgers, milk shakes, cordials, fruit ‘freezers’ - eat-in or take-away - are still the favourite fare of the Canberra.

Fruit products are now produced by Paul at his Tamworth Road Alexandrades property and sold through the cafe.

There was once five cafes in Manilla’s main street the numbers diminishing after the hey days of the building of Keepit Dam which was concluded in 1961. The Canberra is the sole survivor today in the main street.

More than 1000 people are expected to attend the Easter- Sunday celebrations. These will include several invited guests along with members of the Calokerinos family who will be travelling here from Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

The invited guests will include the Member for Tamworth, Mr Kevin Anderson MP, the Mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, Cr Col Murray and artist Sandy Thorne, recognised author of ‘Old Timers’ and several other notable books will also be performing and presenting her ‘bush yarns’.

The celebrations will also include recognition of the man who established the Canberra prior to it being bought out by Mr Calokerinos and his family, Yannis ‘Jack Smiles’ Kalokerinos.

During the first World War 1914-18, Jack Smiles came to Manilla as a cafe proprietor from Walgett. His cafe was situated where Sevil’s butcher shop now stands.

Jack Smiles built the Canberra Cafe premises in 1927. He was joined by a cousin Phillip Feros. Jack operated the Canberra Cafe and Feros was installed into the York Cafe - now the Manilla Bakery. The York had operated until 1965 and then closed, a victim of the business downturn after the completion of Keepit Dam.

The Canberra Cafe was so named from the opening of the Old Parliament House which was unveiled in Canberra the same year. Operating next door to the Canberra Cafe is the Skylight Restaurant established by Paul Calokerinos and his wife Helen and venue for many celebrations and meetings for the past 20 years.

Paul married Helen on the Greek island of Kythera in 1962. They have reared three children in Manilla. John is the right hand man in the business which also sees youngest daughter Mary assisting. After her early days in the cafe and schooling here, Kathy lives and works in Sydney.

Paul has two sisters - Maria and Kety - in Canberra along with a brother Jim. A second brother Vince had resided in Canberra also but passed away a few years ago.

The forthcoming celebrations will also serve as a family reunion with up to 50 descendants expected. Such reunions are very scarce, Paul said.
Originally owned by Kytherian-born John (Jack) Kalokerinos, the cafe was bought by a trio of relatives - Paul, his uncle Bill Glytsos and Paul’s cousin John Trevasaros.

Emigrating to Australia from Greece in 1948 at the tender age of 15, Paul Calokerinos was sponsored by his uncle Bill who lived in Tamworth. Paul spent 18 months working at the Walcha Cafe, cleaning, cooking, chopping wood and serving customers.

He then spent about six months at Tamworth’s Ritz Cafe before he and his relatives pooled their resources and bought the Canberra Cafe in 1950. Paul was just 17 years of age.

Bill sold his share of the business in 1954 while John opted out in 1965. Paul had operated the York Cafe until its closure and transferring to the Canberra. John is now retired and lives in Sydney while another cousin Peter who started in Manilla with Paul lives in Tamworth and formerly operated a cafe in Peel Street opposite the post office.

All residents are invited to take part in the celebrations on Sunday between 2 and 5pm.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 22.04.2013

Far from Kythera a Greek treasure is given new life

Author: Megan Johnston

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 12

MHDate: 03/11/2012

In 1936, three men from a Greek island took a gamble in country NSW and decided the little town of Bingara - population 1500 - needed a cinema complex.
Yet despite the new big screen, it was their revamped cafe that proved to be the drawcard.

In an era when pubs were a man's dominion and fast-food outlets were yet to line the state's roads, families would turn up at the new Roxy cafe after the hot, bumpy drive from Tamworth, looking for relief.

"You can only imagine [what it was like] when you arrived in town in a very uncomfortable non-air-conditioned car in the middle of summer and you were parched," said Sandy McNaughton, who manages the Roxy.

Fast-forward 76 years and the cafe has found new life.

The original complex didn't generate the fortunes its owners had hoped for. The early entrepreneurs from the island of Kythera went bust five months after the project was finished.

In the 1960s, the premises were turned into a memorabilia shop and, later, into a Chinese restaurant. But now the cafe, restored to its art deco glory, is back in business.

"Old people walk in and they touch the booths - you can see their hair standing up," said the cafe's new Romanian-born manager, Vio Nedianu, who has run the venue with his wife, Ayesha, since it reopened in June. "It looks exactly what it used to look like."

Greek cafes swept across rural Australia in the middle of the last century, serving up mixed grills and American sundaes and sodas. "The Greeks really transformed Australia's culinary and cultural landscape," Ms McNaughton said.

"Prior to the Greek cafes there really wasn't anywhere families could go. You could only get meals at certain hours served in the pubs and inns. If you arrived in town and it was before or after the opening or closing times of the kitchens, you literally couldn't get anything to eat."

Even during the Depression, locals would make an effort to visit the cafe."Coming into town was quite an occasion," Ms McNaughton said. "[One man told] me that when he was growing up in the '30s they had nothing to eat and once a month his father would ride the horse 30 kilometres to the neighbouring property to borrow the neighbour's car to take the family into town."

The theatre next door was restored and reopened its doors to patrons eight years ago and when the Gwydir Shire Council bought the Roxy cafe in 2008, it did so with similar plans to return the site to its art deco glory.

With funding from government and private donors, Ms McNaughton and her team have restored the original wood panelling and booths, and salvaged a neon sign from a nearby property. The geometric terrazzo floors were also uncovered.

Missing pieces - a counter, soda fountain and display cabinets - were sourced from a similar cafe in Inverell and the etched glass facade was reproduced from the originals.

But customers craving a taste of the Aegean might be disappointed by one detail of authenticity. In keeping with the original owners, Mr Nedianu never serves Greek food.

"People say, 'But this is a Greek cafe', and I say, 'I know, [but] this is Australia'."

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Milkshake maker, ice cream scoop and chocolate boxes

on display at the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Sundae glasses, soft drink bottle. menus and serving dishes

on display at the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Impressive display of crockery

on display at the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

A Bluebird Cafe chocolate tin on display at

the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition.

There were a number of displays of artefacts for Greek cafes at the exhibition.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

An impressive array of colourful cafe signage

on display at he the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition.

Advertisments for buttered crumpets with honey, Ice Cream Sodfas, Strawberry Frappe, American Beauty, Crushed Lemon and Soda, and Peach Melba feature amongst the signs.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

The extra large cafe photograph, was a very impressive feature of

the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition'.

George Poulos, Secretary of the Kytherian Association of Australia is standing in front of it.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

One of the attractive posters created for the the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition

In the photograph are Peter (Beneto) and Jack (Ioannis) Veneris at the Blue Bird Cafe, Lockhart NSW in 2002 Photo Effy Alexakis

Sponsors and supporters are acknowledged in the poster.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Kalokerinos family photo on display at the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition

Each photograph was allowed viewers to enter into the life and times of numerous cafe and shop owners throughout the country.

Short but telling vignettes accompanied the photographs.

The display was very impressive.

In this case the vignette reads:

John,Viola and Vince Kalokerinos,
Curtin Milk Bar
Curtin Place, Canberra, ACT, 2002

Vince migrated to Australia in 1962 and worked in Greek cafes in northern New South Wales before acquiring the Curtin Milk Bar in 1971 He married Viola Toraki in 1975. John is the eldest of their three children.

Vince: 'Our generation got caught. We had to work for our ourselves, then send money to our parents [in Greece], and also support our children - so we really had to work for three generations ... John is a lawyer and the other two are at university ...When the two younger children finish we will go to Greece for a holiday. Then we'll sell the shop and retire... The old milk bars are disappearing... This is one of only two [old-style] milk bars left in Canberra.'

John: 'I still work in the cafe to give Mum and Dad a break...With Dad working all day, it gives him very limited opportunity to get out and see what his children are doing, and what the world is doing... Mum's sense of duty is to her family... her support network [to raise the family] was largely limited to her own efforts and the support of her husband.'

Vince passed away in 2003.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Photo's on display at the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition

Each photograph was allowed viewers to enter into the life and times of numerous cafe and shop owners throughout the country.

Short but telling vignettes accompanied the photographs.

The display was very impressive.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

Lex Marinos - opening the exhibition

O Kosmos review:

The official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition was simply amazing.

Over 300 invited guests crowding into the Macquarie University Art Gallery's exhibition space. The gallery was so full that a video feed into the vestibule area of the building was organised to accommodate the overflow of people. The Master of Ceremony for the night was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie, Professor John Simons, who commented early on that the exhibition launch was one of the largest he had ever attended.

Speakers induded Nia Karteris, Director of the 2013 Greek Festival of Sydney, and actor/director and broadcaster, Lex Marinos, who officially opened the exhibition. Lex related his own experiences of growing up in his grandfather's cafe - the Bridge Cafe in Wagga Wagga - during the 1950s and very early l%0s, to the audience. His experiences both delighted and enthralled the gathering.

Guests included dignitaries such as: the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Honourable George Souris; the Greek Consul-General VasileiosTolios, the Greek Vice-Consul Theodora Toumanidou-Tolios; and well-known writer, Angelo Loukakis. Other artists, academics, mingled with past and present cafe owners and the general public.

On display were over 120 unique black and white historical and contemporary photos, as well as a diverse array of Greek Cafe ware and signage. A short film on the history of the Greek cafe in Australia, created by filmmaker Michael Karris, is also featured. Each photo in the exhibition is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of the cafe and/or the cafe proprietor or customer pictured.

The curators, photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, were kept very busy on the opening night giving thanks for the congratulations they received for mounting such a magnificent exhibition.

The exhibition will run until 1st May at the Macquarie University Art Gallery (Building E 11 A on the North Ryde campus).It will be open Monday to Friday from 10am - 5pm and on every Saturday in April from l0am - 4pm. Tel: 02 9850 7437.

A number of events have been organised at the gallery, including two lectures on the Greek cafe and milk bar by the curators - the lectures are on 11 and 23 April at lpm.

A Greek Cafe Forum is being held at the Greek Orthodox Community Centre in Lakemba on 17 April. For information about the Forum please ring: 02 9750 0440.

An 84 page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Entry to the display is free.

Download a pdf version of this article here:

Launch Greek Cafes Effy and Leonard.pdf


A review from a previous exhibition:

Review of Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis - Selling and American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe, National Museum of Australia.

Zora Simic

Zora Simic of the University of New South Wales reviews curators Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis’

Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 11 July 2008

– 16 November 2008. Admission: free.

In 1982, photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski launched the In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians project. Their mission was to gather as much evidence as they could of the historical and contemporary experiences of Greek-Australians. The fruits of their collective labour have been plenty: two books, an SBS documentary, partnership with the Australian History Museum (Macquarie University) and a series of touring exhibitions.

The latest of these is Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café, a mostly photographic exhibition, which recently finished at the National Museum of Australia.

Small in scale, but rich in detail, Selling an American Dream has as its focus the ‘Golden Age’ of the Australian Greek Café, the 1930s through to the 1960s. Yet as the exhibition documents, the influence of Greek migrants on the Australian hospitality industry dates back to the Gold Rushes, while Greek cafes still exist today, usually in revised fashion.

From the late nineteenth century, the cafes began to show American influences. By the 1950s, the Americanisation of Greek cafes was complete: the jukebox and dining booth became obligatory features, with hamburgers and milkshakes dominating the menu.

To capture this long history, the curators mixed period photography (including one of Spiro Bennett and his wife Ann Jane, dated 1870s) with photographs commissioned specifically for the exhibition. Contemporary Greek cafes are maintained by descendents of the first owners, and also by non-Greek families, such as Dawn and Frank Leahy, who have taken over the Silver Key café at Rutherglen in Victoria.

To enrich my exhibition experience, I invited my friends, ‘café kid’ Anne Bollinger (nee Pippos) and her daughter Marina, to join me. Ann, the daughter of Greek migrants from the island of Ithaca, grew up in Brewarrina, in outback New South Wales. She worked in the family café, built by her father George in the 1930s, throughout her youth. Members of her family still run Café de Luxe, now a take-away business. The café, or the ‘shop’ as the family have always called it, has consistently adapted to stay viable (the exhibition notes how Greek cafes not only survived, but also boomed during the Great Depression). In remote towns like ‘Bre’, a café is never just a café. It has also historically functioned as a one-stop shop for the locals.

The exhibition contained an image of the current generation of the Pippos family who still live and breathe the café: Angelo and Margaret Pippos are pictured behind the counter, along with Peter and John Pippos; the men are all former café kids now well into middle-age. Emblazoned on the art deco shop fittings behind them is: ‘Cleanliness and Civility is Our Motto’.

Variations on this theme decorate other portraits of Greek cafes. Marina, who spent her childhood summers in the café, is struck by the ubiquity and uniformity of Greek cafes. The small range of material objects were particularly compelling for her – the standard issue stainless steel ice-cream scoop and dishes, the milkshake maker and the tea pot on display are as she remembers them, yet it is almost unfathomable that Greek cafes across the country were working with identical tools of the trade.

Surely Café de Luxe was unique? One of the pleasures of the exhibition is how it manages to convey both the specificities of cafes and their locations, and the wider context they all share.

Ann was drawn to the photographs of people that she knows or has heard about, such as the daughters of café-owner parents who never let them marry. The exhibition stimulated her memory and anecdotes about
mischievous locals enacting their daily dramas in the café roll out.

Images of customers are relatively scarce in the exhibition, but the emphasis on owners and their families offers an unfolding history in itself. The proud propriety with which many of them are pictured behind shop counters, in door ways or specially commissioned signs ranges across the
decades, charting optimism, success, resilience and in some cases decline.

The compact size of the room initially suggested a relatively brief visit, but each black and white photograph, and its accompanying panel, commanded closer attention.

The main story told was how ‘Greek cafes in Australia were a Trojan horse for the Americanisation of this nation’s eating and socio-cultural habits’, though other themes were of equal or greater interest. These included the pain of migration (observe Maria Kosseris, nee Stathoulia, who fled to Australia after World War II, after seeing most of the men from her village killed by German soldiers); the enterprise and improvisation of new lives carved out in new and often inhospitable places (note, for instance, how names are changed: Joachim Tavlandes becomes Mick Adams); the shifting racial politics across the twentieth century (witness, for example, the damaging effects of the Kalgoorlie race riots of 1934 on George Kalaf’s Majestic Café: windows were smashed in, and the whole business was rendered inoperable); and most evocatively captured, the theme of family.

As we walked out, Ann wondered why there was no jukebox among the material objects (owners are probably reluctant to part with them). My minor criticism was the space: I craved more light and space. Marina noted what photographs cannot capture: how her grandmother, for instance, had never seen a black person before arriving in Brewarrina, or how hot it was working behind the counter in high summer. Still, a good exhibition ideally encourages the visitor to reflect both on what is documented and what is not, and Selling a Dream certainly did this.

EXHIBITION REVIEWS
13.1 HISTORY AUSTRALIA, VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1, 2009 MONASH UNIVERSITY EPRESS

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 08.04.2013

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

O Kosmos review:

The official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition was simply amazing.

Over 300 invited guests crowding into the Macquarie University Art Gallery's exhibition space. The gallery was so full that a video feed into the vestibule area of the building was organised to accommodate the overflow of people. The Master of Ceremony for the night was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie, Professor John Simons, who commented early on that the exhibition launch was one of the largest he had ever attended.

Speakers induded Nia Karteris, Director of the 2013 Greek Festival of Sydney, and actor/director and broadcaster, Lex Marinos, who officially opened the exhibition. Lex related his own experiences of growing up in his grandfather's cafe - the Bridge Cafe in Wagga Wagga - during the 1950s and very early l%0s, to the audience. His experiences both delighted and enthralled the gathering.

Guests included dignitaries such as: the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Honourable George Souris; the Greek Consul-General VasileiosTolios, the Greek Vice-Consul Theodora Toumanidou-Tolios; and well-known writer, Angelo Loukakis. Other artists, academics, mingled with past and present cafe owners and the general public.

On display were over 120 unique black and white historical and contemporary photos, as well as a diverse array of Greek Cafe ware and signage. A short film on the history of the Greek cafe in Australia, created by filmmaker Michael Karris, is also featured. Each photo in the exhibition is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of the cafe and/or the cafe proprietor or customer pictured.

The curators, photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, were kept very busy on the opening night giving thanks for the congratulations they received for mounting such a magnificent exhibition.

The exhibition will run until 1st May at the Macquarie University Art Gallery (Building E 11 A on the North Ryde campus).It will be open Monday to Friday from 10am - 5pm and on every Saturday in April from l0am - 4pm. Tel: 02 9850 7437.

A number of events have been organised at the gallery, including two lectures on the Greek cafe and milk bar by the curators - the lectures are on 11 and 23 April at lpm.

A Greek Cafe Forum is being held at the Greek Orthodox Community Centre in Lakemba on 17 April. For information about the Forum please ring: 02 9750 0440.

An 84 page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Entry to the display is free.

Download a pdf version of this article here:

Launch Greek Cafes Effy and Leonard.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Greek-Australian Cafe Culture on 06.04.2013

At the official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition

Left to right: Leonard Janiszewski (historian/curator), Professor John Simons (Executive Dean of Arts, Macquarie University), George Souris (NSW Minister for the Arts), Vasileios Tolios (Greek Consul-General), Nia Karteris (Director ofthe Greek Festival of Sydney), Effy Alexakis (photographer/curator), Theodora Toumanidou-Tolios (Greek Vice-Consul).

The official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition was simply amazing.

Over 300 invited guests crowding into the Macquarie University Art Gallery's exhibition space. The gallery was so full that a video feed into the vestibule area of the building was organised to accommodate the overflow of people. The Master of Ceremony for the night was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie, Professor John Simons, who commented early on that the exhibition launch was one of the largest he had ever attended.

Speakers induded Nia Karteris, Director of the 2013 Greek Festival of Sydney, and actor/director and broadcaster, Lex Marinos, who officially opened the exhibition. Lex related his own experiences of growing up in his grandfather's cafe - the Bridge Cafe in Wagga Wagga - during the 1950s and very early l%0s, to the audience. His experiences both delighted and enthralled the gathering.

Guests included dignitaries such as: the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Honourable George Souris; the Greek Consul-General VasileiosTolios, the Greek Vice-Consul Theodora Toumanidou-Tolios; and well-known writer, Angelo Loukakis. Other artists, academics, mingled with past and present cafe owners and the general public.

On display were over 120 unique black and white historical and contemporary photos, as well as a diverse array of Greek Cafe ware and signage. A short film on the history of the Greek cafe in Australia, created by filmmaker Michael Karris, is also featured. Each photo in the exhibition is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of the cafe and/or the cafe proprietor or customer pictured.

The curators, photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, were kept very busy on the opening night giving thanks for the congratulations they received for mounting such a magnificent exhibition.

The exhibition will run until 1st May at the Macquarie University Art Gallery (Building E 11 A on the North Ryde campus).It will be open Monday to Friday from 10am - 5pm and on every Saturday in April from l0am - 4pm. Tel: 02 9850 7437.

A number of events have been organised at the gallery, including two lectures on the Greek cafe and milk bar by the curators - the lectures are on 11 and 23 April at lpm.

A Greek Cafe Forum is being held at the Greek Orthodox Community Centre in Lakemba on 17 April. For information about the Forum please ring: 02 9750 0440.

An 84 page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Entry to the display is free.

Download a pdf version of this article here:

Launch Greek Cafes Effy and Leonard.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by O Kosmos on 05.04.2013

Official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition

The official launch of the 'Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe' exhibition was simply amazing.

Over 300 invited guests crowding into the Macquarie University Art Gallery's exhibition space. The gallery was so full that a video feed into the vestibule area of the building was organised to accommodate the overflow of people. The Master of Ceremony for the night was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie, Professor John Simons, who commented early on that the exhibition launch was one of the largest he had ever attended.

Speakers induded Nia Karteris, Director of the 2013 Greek Festival of Sydney, and actor/director and broadcaster, Lex Marinos, who officially opened the exhibition. Lex related his own experiences of growing up in his grandfather's cafe - the Bridge Cafe in Wagga Wagga - during the 1950s and very early l%0s, to the audience. His experiences both delighted and enthralled the gathering.

Guests included dignitaries such as: the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Honourable George Souris; the Greek Consul-General VasileiosTolios, the Greek Vice-Consul Theodora Toumanidou-Tolios; and well-known writer, Angelo Loukakis. Other artists, academics, mingled with past and present cafe owners and the general public.

On display were over 120 unique black and white historical and contemporary photos, as well as a diverse array of Greek Cafe ware and signage. A short film on the history of the Greek cafe in Australia, created by filmmaker Michael Karris, is also featured. Each photo in the exhibition is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of the cafe and/or the cafe proprietor or customer pictured.

The curators, photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, were kept very busy on the opening night giving thanks for the congratulations they received for mounting such a magnificent exhibition.

The exhibition will run until 1st May at the Macquarie University Art Gallery (Building E 11 A on the North Ryde campus).It will be open Monday to Friday from 10am - 5pm and on every Saturday in April from l0am - 4pm. Tel: 02 9850 7437.

A number of events have been organised at the gallery, including two lectures on the Greek cafe and milk bar by the curators - the lectures are on 11 and 23 April at lpm.

A Greek Cafe Forum is being held at the Greek Orthodox Community Centre in Lakemba on 17 April. For information about the Forum please ring: 02 9750 0440.

An 84 page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Entry to the display is free.

Download a pdf version of this article here:

Launch Greek Cafes Effy and Leonard.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 28.03.2013

Princess Theatre, Launceston, Tasmania

Mareeno Lucas (Lekatsas) Princess Theatre, Brisbane Street Launceston, built in 1911has played a key role in the cultural life of Launcestion for over a century. The establishment and success of this theatre is the inspiration for theatres established by Greeks in Northern NSW including J.K.Capitol Theatres at Moree, Inverell and Tamworth also the Roxy Theatre at Bingara NSW.
Launceston City Council (Tasmania) and the Gwydir Shire Council (NSW) are to be congratulated for securing these cultural icons of national significance for their communities.

Peter McCarthy
Research Consultant
Roxy Greek Museum
Bingara NSW