submitted by Peter Makarthis on 09.07.2012
Peter Makarthis (Mc Carthy) Principal Researcher, and Peter Giannes of Inverell, at the Roxy Bingara NSW with promotion for the Roxy Museum Committee on Orange Day 30 June 2012.
Contact Peter McCarthy by email.
submitted by Neos Kosmos, Melbourne on 19.04.2012
The First Page of History.
Neos Kosmos, 22 December, 2009.
A recently released facsimile of Life in Australia,, the first book ever published about Greeks in Australia, provides a rich insight into the individuals who shaped the Greek community at the start of the last century.
It is incredible to think that these men in an alien land, took the time to write a book which would assist new settlers from Greece to adjust to the Australian way of life. - George Poulos -
A genteel young man in high starched collars looks out of an inky photo with an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile across his face.
This is 1916 and people rarely smiled for the camera, but this young Kytherian, Kosmas Andronikou, or Andronicus, the successful coffee merchant, has established himself along with his brother Emmanouil in Sydney as flourishing businessmen.
Life in Australia,, the first ever book to be published in Greek in Australia is now available in English for the first time, due to the Kytherian community and Sydney businessman John Comino.
The Andronicus brothers along with fellow community member Georgios Kentavros are the co-authors of Life in Australia.
If nothing else is a compelling first chronicle of Hellenic involvement in Australia and an important snapshot of life in Australia in 1916.
While the mass of Greek immigrants arrived in Australia between 1949 - 1971, Kytherians began settling in NSW at the end of the 1800s.
A keen entrepreneurial spirit founded on mercantile traditions assured many of them economic success and a leadership role in Australia’s nascent Greek community.
The Andronicus’ “trading house” is described in the book as, “the centre of Hellenism, particularly for Kytherians.”
“It is incredible to think that these men in an alien land, took the time to write a book which would assist new settlers from Greece to adjust to the Australian way of life, “ said George Poulos, Co-Chairman of the book’s Launch Committee, to Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE).
Very few original copies of the the book existed prior to the Kytherian community, along with sponsors, taking on the task of reproducing Life in Australia.
Original copies are held in very few libraries arounf Australia, and are valued at over $6,000.
The book is a fascinating mix of almanac facts ranging from the demographic population of “white Australians”, facts on husbandry, legal information as well as biographical entries on Greek settlers.
Given who wrote the book, there is no surprise that there are entries which sing the praises of the Andronicus brothers.
As the book writes; “They, [Andronicus Bros.], possess considerable property in the form of shops, whilst their trading house might be better described as a house of trust and hospitality.”
Throughout the book there are references to the “patriotism and generosity” of prominent Greeks”, something Mr Poulos explains as being as a reaction to the racism and jingoism of Australians, and their concern about the loyalty of the early Greeks.
Greece had yet to declare its hand during the Great War. The Greek Royals, being related to the German monarchy, and Greece’s ‘neutrality’ were making things quite “tense for Greeks in Australia, until Greece sided with the Allies and Turkey with Germany” Mr Poulos said to NKEE.
Life in Australia, with its emphasis on “virtues such as hard work, honesty, diligence and civic duty,” was critical in assisting new arrivals from Greece to assimilate, according to Mr Poulos. “It helped to convince prospective Greek immigrants that they would quickly enjoy a very good life in Australia”, said Mr Poulos.
Clearly a healthy level of self aggrandisement is evident in the book, “Just as their trading house should be named The House of Confidence, so should the General Manager, Mr Kosmas Andronicus, be named the guiding intelligence of most Greeks in New South Wales.”
The 368 page book details the state of the Greek communities in 1916 and provides about 150 pages of biographies and photographs of Greek immigrants.
Many Australian families will recognise great grandparents, grandparents and other relatives in these pages.
“An extensive 2009 Epilogue has been added in order to outline events surrounding the period of its creation” said Mr Poulos.
Life in Australia does ensure that the descendants of a pioneering generation of Greek immigrants are aware of their achievements while gaining primary insight into this historical period.
These two impressive volumes are available for sale in Greek and in English.
To get yourself a copy, Contact George Poulos by email
02 9388 8320.
submitted by Stephen Samios on 27.05.2006
Phil Jorritsma's Biography of George Emmanuel Potiri
George Potiri. Post Office Hotel Grafton. 1929 or 1930
Owned by George Emmanuel Potiri, 1929-1930.
Compare this photograph of the Hotel, with one taken more than 75 years ago.
George Potiri. Post Office Hotel Grafton. 1929 or 1930
"The more things change....the more they stay the same."
submitted by Hugh Gilchrist on 30.01.2006
Indent Agents and Importers
From, Hugh Gilchrist.
Australians and Greeks. Vol I: The Early Years. p. 202.
From, Chapter XI
Subsection: The Shop-keeping phenomenon. New South Wales. 19th century to WWI.
"...From the Kythiran village of Mylopotamos came seven Andronikos brothers, of whom four built up a tea, coffee and chocolate business which, eighty years later, is still eminent in the beverage and confectionery field. Their interest in tea and coffee and in emigration is said to have been aroused by an uncle, Dr Karydis, a medical officer of the Suez Canal Company.
Nikolaos, the first to arrive (in 1897), acquired a shop in Tamworth, and in 1908 married Antigoni, a daughter of the Reverend Serafeim Phocas. He was followed by brothers Minas (Mick), who opened a cafe in West Maitland, Kosmas (Charles) and Emmanouil, who opened a shop in Tamworth.
In 1907 Charles and Emmanuel Andronicus opened a small shop at 127 York Street in Sydney. Charles visited Calcutta and Colombo and brought back chests of tea and coffee, and fish-frying oil and crockery and fancy goods. Emmanuel, armed with samples, travelled by train around New South Wales, seeking orders from Greek and other shop-keepers for tea, coffee, olive oil, sauces, crockery, cutlery and other items, advancing credit where appropriate.
As their business grew, Charles became a kind of unofficial arbitrator in disputes between up-country Greeks, and a mouth-piece for their grievances.
Ioannis, the youngest brother, after a month at Port Said with his uncle Dr Karydis, arrived in Sydney when he was 13 and lived with his brother Mick in West Maitland, where, for lack of English, he had difficulty in studying at school. When
Mick sold his cafe and moved to Sydney, Ioannis went to brother Nicholas in Tamworth, where he had a happy year at the local convent school.
Nicholas meanwhile had taken in as partner another brother, George, who had landed in Sydney in 1907.
In 1910 Charles, Mick and Emmanuel, joined by John, moved Andronicus Brothers from York Street to 197 George Street, where three of them lived in rooms over the shop. Young John was instructed in the techniques of tea and coffee blending and of packing goods for dispatch.
Mick returned to Greece and in 1912 Nicholas and Antigoni settled in Sydney, where Nicholas managed the Marathon Cafe at 72 Oxford Street. George Andronicus then joined forces with a cousin, Georgios Potiris (who had come to Australia in 1902 and had worked at Barraba), and bought the large Apsley Hotel in Walcha, which they managed until 1919.
Now 19, John Andronicus helped Emmanuel with up-country sales, working the towns near the Queensland border. With his friends John and Antony Notaras he went fishing and shooting at weekends, and on one such excursion his rifle accidentally discharged. The bullet passed close to his heart but John Notaras got him onto a horse-cart and into Grafton, where Dr Page (later Sir Earle Page of the Country Party) operated on him and saved his life; and after three more operations in Sydney he recovered.
After early difficulties, and by prodigious efforts, Andronicus Brothers prospered and its partners played important parts in the Greek community.
Other Andronicus relatives also arrived in Australia before 1915, including Stylianos, who partnered his brother-in-law Panayiotis Kominos in shops in Lismore and Muswellbrook and in a cattle property, and Kharalambos, who had the Club Cafe in Toowoomba.
Another cousin, Mikhail Potiris, who, like his brother George had been persuaded by an Andronicus to leave Mylopotamos for Australia, worked with George Potiris in Barraba and later had a shop in Queanbeyan, but sold it in 1914 and eventually became the second Australian Greek to graduate in medicine".
submitted by Ruth Ostrow on 18.01.2006
I wonder who holds the vast repository of Andronicus Brothers photographs - particularly those related to the growth of the Andronicus business - in Australia?
Photograph from the recently completed, 2005, Customs House, Sydney, Exhibition.
1 July 2005 – 31 December 2005
'Coffee Customs' is the stunning debut exhibition to coincide with the opening of the newly refurbished Customs House in Circular Quay.
Featuring over 80 fascinating photographs and original objects relating to Sydney's early coffee palaces of the 1880s through to the migrant-influenced bohemian café culture of the 1950s and 60s, 'Coffee Customs' explores the social history of one of Sydney's most significant imported commodities coffee.
'Coffee Customs' features a selection of objects from both public collections and private collections that have never before been on public display. Highlights include memorabilia and photographs from Repin's, a famous 1950s café that resided on Pitt Street; archival coffee advertisements produced in the 1940s-1960s; and the beautiful and atmospheric photographs of Max Dupain and Brian Bird. Bird's images of the Lincoln Coffee Lounge and Café in Rowe St depict what was an important Bohemian meeting place for Sydney's artists and post-war modernist thinkers as well as the birthplace of the 'Sydney Push'.
The exhibition draws upon the historical significance of the Customs House building, which until 1990 served as the headquarters of the Australian Customs Service and played an active role as the primary trade gateway for goods such as coffee and people flowing into Sydney and Australia.
'Coffee Customs' will celebrate the history of Sydney's coffee culture and offer a unique insight into a commodity that has become an essential part of our daily lives.
Exhibition located: Level 1, Library & Exhibition Lounge
For more information contact Customs House on 9242 8595
31 Alfred Street
Phone: (02) 9242 8595
Fax: (02) 9242 8599
Notes: The building offers the Customs House Library, the newest addition to the City Library Network, some of Sydney's best wining and dining venues, as well private functions spaces, meeting rooms, magazine and newspaper areas, and premium commercial offices.
Nearest Public Transport: Circular Quay trains, buses and ferries.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (Main Door) 8:00am – 12:00am
Sat, Sun (Main Door) 10:00am - 12:00am
Public Holidays: Closed
Mon-Fri (Library) 8:00am – 7:00pm
Sat (Library) 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sun (Library) 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Facilities: air conditioned, disabled access, food outlet
The opening exhibition features over 75 fascinating original objects, photographs and footage relating to the Sydney's coffee palaces of the 1880s through to the migrant-influenced bohemian café culture of the 1950s and 60s, Coffee Customs surveys the social history of one of Sydney's most significant imported commodities - coffee.
Coffee Customs will celebrate the history of Sydney's coffee culture, and offer a unique insight into a commodity which, having passed through the hands of Sydney's customs officials and into the hands of the post-war immigrants has become an essential part of our daily lives.
A catalogue will be also available for sale from the Information Desk.
submitted by George Poulos on 06.11.2004
Mr and Mrs Nicholas Andronicos, Sydney, 1996.
During the 1990's KEVIN CORK undertook extensive research into cinema's in Australia.
Tragically, he died before completing his work, but most of the chapters of his Ph.D. Thesis, were completed.
His wife and children have kindly given permission for his work to be reproduced.
Most Australian's would be unaware of the degree to which Greeks, and particularly Kytherian Greeks dominated cinema ownership in Australia - especially in New South Wales.
Chapter 7 of Kevin's thesis, is his attempt to provide a more intimate insight into the character and lives of the Hellenes and Kytherians, who owned, and operated cinema's in New South Wales in the pre-television era. Also to highlight the Cinema's themselves - and their importance in the Hellenic and Kytherian heritage in NSW, and Australia. This has been achieved by providing photographs of people and place.
The Chapter, in written form, flows as one piece. At kythera-family, I am posting the entries, photograph by photograph.
Kevin's Picture Gallery project was never completed. It was obviously meant to be far more extensive than appears in the uncompleted manuscript; designed to chronicle the lives of all Greeks and Kytherians mentioned in the thesis.
It is incumbent on Kytherians, and Australians, generally; in particular the descendants of those who have been the subject of his thesis, to help complete this project by posting the "additional" photographs to the web.
In the meantime, all photographs mentioned in Kevin's Picture Gallery section have been "tracked down", and posted to kythera-island.
The the importance of the Hellenic and Kytherian contribution to Australian cinema ownership and history is clearly demonstrated in Chapt 7, as in all other chapters.
It is difficult to know how to pass on to Kytherians the results of Kevin Cork's important research's.
In the end, I felt that the results should be passed on in the most extensive way - i.e. in full re-publication of Chapter's.
Eventually all Chapters will appear on the kythera-family web-site.
Other entries can be sourced by searching under "Cork" on the internal search engine.
See also, Kevin Cork, under People, subsection, High Achievers.
Special thanks to Julie Lee, (nee, Cork), Kevin's daughter, who painstakingly searched for the photographs referred to in Chapter 7; found, collated, and supplied them to me in electronic format. [See entry under Julie Lee.]
As she commented: "Finally we've found all the photos! It was very interesting to go through a lot of Dad's research to find these, but I think it was worth it. I can't believe how many drafts he had done of his thesis just to get to the point he finished at".
Chapter 7: Picture Gallery
"What a pity that humans, collectively, have not been endowed with more foresight than hindsight! There'd be more pride in the preservation of our heritage in all fields of endeavour."
"A picture says a thousand words", goes the old saying. This chapter is a photograph album, put together to show what the members of the subject group achieved. Photographs of the men and, in some cases, their wives and families, appear on the following pages as a record to show who they were. Some show people as they were many years ago, at the height of their picture-show days, while others show them as they were a year or two ago when the writer interviewed them. Also included are photographs of the picture theatres that they operated. Photographs of their refreshment rooms and streetscapes of the towns in which they worked are also presented, although these are more of a rarity.
The photographs come from a variety of sources, including the albums of former exhibitors and/or their families. Normally, they would never be seen outside of family circles. The writer was privileged to be permitted to have copies taken from them and to reproduce them here. The sources of all photographs have been acknowledged.
When one looks at streetscape photographs of Walgett and Lake Cargelligo in the 1930s, the architectural statement made by the new theatres is one of vibrancy - they cannot help but be noticed. Yet, there is a sadness associated with them. Picture theatres were meant to be seen at night, but were rarely photographed at night. C Day Lewis, in his poem Newsreel (1938), refers to the picture theatre as "the dream-house" - a place where dreamers can leave "your debts asleep, your history at the door". These buildings have an ambience which evolved because of what they represented. They were places where people socialised and were entertained. (In the case of some country theatres, they were also used for dancing.) The daytime snaps of picture theatres show prominent buildings but do not capture the magic of the buildings that was created once the sun had gone down and their lights came on. This was when they drew patrons to them who were eager for a night of socialising and entertainment. In her poem, Magic, Dorothea Mackellar writes,
"Would you see some magic?
Watch what comes to pass..."
She was writing about trams, not theatres, but the sentiment is the same. By day, trams were just trams. At night, with their lights on and with sparks flashing from their poles, they became "jewelled beetles" scurrying through the dark. Night time was the best time for picture theatres because their dimensions became blurred against the darkness that surrounded them and the only way to view them was by the aid of artificial lighting which, in turn, helped to create the magic associated with them.
With so many of the theatres demolished or altered, the photographs presented on the following pages are the only permanent record of what the men in the subject group achieved.
submitted by Peter Makarthis on 11.05.2004
Potiri Bros Canberra Dining Rooms in Queanbeyan NSW Australia c 1916. Second from right is Theo Psaros. Can any one identify the other men?
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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