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submitted by DAILY TELEGRAPH on 26.03.2013

How the milkshake shook up our cafes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), March 25. Page 30

Milk Bar interior, Martin Place, Sydney NSW in 1934. Photo courtesy L. Keldoulis

Saturday treats in a small town used to be simple affairs: freshly-cut ham and tomato on soft white bread, accompanied by icy strawberry milk-shakes in fluted stainless-steel mugs, enjoyed in a booth of mahogany-veneer benches around a faded red laminex table. As they fried chips, cut sandwiches and turned hamburgers, the Castellorizian proprietors of Gulgong's White Cafe in the central-west also provided a social hub for rowdy teens who dominated the first few booths.

The golden age of Greek-owned cafes -- from the 1930s to late 1960s -- is celebrated in a free photographic exhibition, Selling An American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe, at Macquarie University Art Gallery. Actor, writer and broadcaster Lex Marinos launches the display, compiled over 30 years by photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, on Wednesday.

Alexakis and Janiszewski write that small-town cafes reflected the social and catering traditions of Greek kafeneion, although the strongest reflection of their Greek proprietors was usually the establishment's exotic name. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), March 25. Page 30

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 26.03.2013

Milk bars and rock music: Living the American dream in a Greek cafe

Sydney Morning Herald, March 25, 2013, pages 10 & 11

Anna Patty
State Political Reporter

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


Early Greek migrants introduced Australians to American food well before they felt confident enough to treat them to their home-cooked moussaka.

They opened cafes with names such as the Paragon, Olympia and Parthenon, serving US and British cuisine. They became meeting points, especially in close-knit country communities.

Husband and wife Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski chart this chapter of Australian history in a photographic exhibition to be staged at the Macquarie University Art Gallery.

The exhibition Selling An American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe, will be launched on Wednesday as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Greek cafes comforted British-Australians with familiar mixed grills - meals of steak and eggs, chops and eggs, fish and chips, and meat pies. They also promoted American concepts of the soda fountain and oyster bar.

By the early 1930s, Greeks had opened US-style milk bars all around Australia. According to Mr Janiszewski, the introduction of US catering ideas was not surprising because of the strong connection many Greeks had to relatives and friends in the US.

''The United States remained a major drawer of Greek immigrants until the imposition of restrictions during the early 1920s,'' Mr Janiszewski said.

Greek cafes introduced thousands of customers to American sundaes, milkshakes, sodas, spiders and freezes.

Many Greek cafes adopted names such as Blue Bird, White Rose and Red Rose which associated them with US-style confectionery brands.

Mr Janiszewski said the Americanisation wasn't limited to food.

Many Greeks had links to cinemas and introduced jukeboxes in their cafes.

''It meant that we were hearing American popular music well before it was heard on the radio,'' he said. ''This is where people first heard rock 'n' roll music.

''Every time you pick up a Coke, enjoy a sweet chocolate treat, have an ice-cream at the cinema or listen and dance to the latest popular music hit, you can thank Australia's Greek settlers.

''It is a direct result of the Greeks and their cafes.''

The Greeks also introduced an American art deco style of architecture, colloquially known as the ship style.

Mr Janiszewski said Greeks did not feel safe introducing their cuisine to ''white Australia''.

It wasn't until the late 1970s, when supermarkets began stocking products such as tinned dolmades and olive oil that Greeks were confident enough to serve their traditional dishes.

At the same time, Australians were travelling more and becoming exposed to a variety of food.

''The Greeks introduced exotic American culture which represented modernity,'' Mr Janiszewski said. ''Traditional Greek food was seen as foreign and seen as peasant food. Greeks have been eating their own food behind closed doors since the 1850s.'"

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 25.03.2013

Milk bars and rock music: Living the American dream in a Greek cafe

Sydney Morning Herald, March 25, 2013, pages 10 & 11

Anna Patty
State Political Reporter

Photograph: The Demise of the Garden of Roses Cafe, Canowindra NSW. Photo Effy Alexakis

Early Greek migrants introduced Australians to American food well before they felt confident enough to treat them to their home-cooked moussaka.

They opened cafes with names such as the Paragon, Olympia and Parthenon, serving US and British cuisine. They became meeting points, especially in close-knit country communities.

Husband and wife Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski chart this chapter of Australian history in a photographic exhibition to be staged at the Macquarie University Art Gallery.

The exhibition Selling An American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe, will be launched on Wednesday as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Greek cafes comforted British-Australians with familiar mixed grills - meals of steak and eggs, chops and eggs, fish and chips, and meat pies. They also promoted American concepts of the soda fountain and oyster bar.

By the early 1930s, Greeks had opened US-style milk bars all around Australia. According to Mr Janiszewski, the introduction of US catering ideas was not surprising because of the strong connection many Greeks had to relatives and friends in the US.

''The United States remained a major drawer of Greek immigrants until the imposition of restrictions during the early 1920s,'' Mr Janiszewski said.

Greek cafes introduced thousands of customers to American sundaes, milkshakes, sodas, spiders and freezes.

Many Greek cafes adopted names such as Blue Bird, White Rose and Red Rose which associated them with US-style confectionery brands.

Mr Janiszewski said the Americanisation wasn't limited to food.

Many Greeks had links to cinemas and introduced jukeboxes in their cafes.

''It meant that we were hearing American popular music well before it was heard on the radio,'' he said. ''This is where people first heard rock 'n' roll music.

''Every time you pick up a Coke, enjoy a sweet chocolate treat, have an ice-cream at the cinema or listen and dance to the latest popular music hit, you can thank Australia's Greek settlers.

''It is a direct result of the Greeks and their cafes.''

The Greeks also introduced an American art deco style of architecture, colloquially known as the ship style.

Mr Janiszewski said Greeks did not feel safe introducing their cuisine to ''white Australia''.

It wasn't until the late 1970s, when supermarkets began stocking products such as tinned dolmades and olive oil that Greeks were confident enough to serve their traditional dishes.

At the same time, Australians were travelling more and becoming exposed to a variety of food.

''The Greeks introduced exotic American culture which represented modernity,'' Mr Janiszewski said. ''Traditional Greek food was seen as foreign and seen as peasant food. Greeks have been eating their own food behind closed doors since the 1850s.''

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 25.03.2013

Milk bars and rock music: Living the American dream in a Greek cafe

Sydney Morning Herald, March 25, 2013, pages 10 & 11

Anna Patty
State Political Reporter

Photograph: Cominos Refreshment Rooms, Warwick QLD in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of T. Samios

Early Greek migrants introduced Australians to American food well before they felt confident enough to treat them to their home-cooked moussaka.

They opened cafes with names such as the Paragon, Olympia and Parthenon, serving US and British cuisine. They became meeting points, especially in close-knit country communities.

Husband and wife Effy Alexakis and Leonard Janiszewski chart this chapter of Australian history in a photographic exhibition to be staged at the Macquarie University Art Gallery.

The exhibition Selling An American Dream: Australia's Greek Cafe, will be launched on Wednesday as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Greek cafes comforted British-Australians with familiar mixed grills - meals of steak and eggs, chops and eggs, fish and chips, and meat pies. They also promoted American concepts of the soda fountain and oyster bar.

By the early 1930s, Greeks had opened US-style milk bars all around Australia. According to Mr Janiszewski, the introduction of US catering ideas was not surprising because of the strong connection many Greeks had to relatives and friends in the US.

''The United States remained a major drawer of Greek immigrants until the imposition of restrictions during the early 1920s,'' Mr Janiszewski said.

Greek cafes introduced thousands of customers to American sundaes, milkshakes, sodas, spiders and freezes.

Many Greek cafes adopted names such as Blue Bird, White Rose and Red Rose which associated them with US-style confectionery brands.

Mr Janiszewski said the Americanisation wasn't limited to food.

Many Greeks had links to cinemas and introduced jukeboxes in their cafes.

''It meant that we were hearing American popular music well before it was heard on the radio,'' he said. ''This is where people first heard rock 'n' roll music.

''Every time you pick up a Coke, enjoy a sweet chocolate treat, have an ice-cream at the cinema or listen and dance to the latest popular music hit, you can thank Australia's Greek settlers.

''It is a direct result of the Greeks and their cafes.''

The Greeks also introduced an American art deco style of architecture, colloquially known as the ship style.

Mr Janiszewski said Greeks did not feel safe introducing their cuisine to ''white Australia''.

It wasn't until the late 1970s, when supermarkets began stocking products such as tinned dolmades and olive oil that Greeks were confident enough to serve their traditional dishes.

At the same time, Australians were travelling more and becoming exposed to a variety of food.

''The Greeks introduced exotic American culture which represented modernity,'' Mr Janiszewski said. ''Traditional Greek food was seen as foreign and seen as peasant food. Greeks have been eating their own food behind closed doors since the 1850s.''

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by George C Comino on 23.03.2013

Reflections of a Journey into the Past

George Christie Comino

The Greek Café


As a first generation Greek Australian (Kytherian decent) I spent my childhood in the beautiful country city of Armidale in the State of NSW.

My father (Christie Peter Comino) had been in partnership with his elder brother (George Peter Comino - my godfather ‘Nono’) since 1910 when they bought the then Central Oyster Saloon (later known as the IXL Café) from the Cordato Brothers in Armidale.

The Greek Café was the social centre and meeting place of young people and indeed the local community as a whole. Many farmers, as I recall, would meet and dine at the IXL on Saturdays when they came to town to do their weekly shopping.

The Roxy at Bingara

On the 23rd of February 2013 a group of Greek Australians (most members of the AHEPA Organisation including myself) traveled from Sydney to Bingara to view the Roxy complex which has been restored to its former art deco glory with unbelievable attention to detail.

This restoration, literally took my breath away, as I gazed into a world I knew so well from a time long ago.

Walking into Peter’s (Roxy) Café and seeing the mirrored glass, the restored neon sign, the milk shakers, the glasses, the cubicles and the general cafe atmosphere made the hair stand up on the back of my neck as I so comfortably fell into a nostalgic trance and reminisced about so many happy moments I had as a young lad at the IXL.

Then there was the Roxy Theatre itself, once again a dominant feature of the Bingara CBD standing proud as the legacy of three brave, perhaps a little foolhardy, but adventurous young Kytherian entrepreneurs.

The restoration of the Roxy Theatre can best be summed up in one word “magnificent”.

To me the complex is a living symbol of the unique contribution Greek Australians made to this country. The Shire Councils, The Federal and State Governments, the Kytherian Association, Sandy McNaughton (Manager of the Roxy), Peter Prineas (Curator) and Peter McCarthy and the Roxy Museum Committee need to be congratulated for supporting and developing this mammoth project.

The opening of the Roxy Museum this year will, in time and with the support of all those Greek Australians who have memorabilia from their parents and grandparents etc., become a most significant component of Australia’s cultural heritage. I have no hesitation, and in fact feel obligated to donate all documents and photos I have to the Museum for safe keeping and to be part of the historical record of this by gone era.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by Bingara Advocate on 11.03.2013

Order of AHEPA members find plenty to smile about at the Roxy

The top photo on this page from the Bingara Advocate, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, page 6, show the members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, AHEPA delegation who visited Bingara’s Roxy Theatre complex recently.

Download a .pdf of this file here:

Bingara Advocate Report Photographic.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

Peter McCarthy, from the Roxy Museum Committee

taking a small group of AHEPAN's on a tour of the Roxy Complex.

At the time of the visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

John Coulton, adressing the gathering of members of AHEPA and guests

At the time of the visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

The Roxy Cinema, laid out for the evening meal

At the time of the visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

Four more visitors and guests of the AHEPA visit to the Roxy complex, Bingara

Left to right: Bill & Koula Cassimatis, Violet and George Comino. (All Kytherians).

Visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to BingaraOn the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

Visitors and guests of the AHEPA group that visited the Roxy complex, Bingara

Left to right: Deanna McCarthy, Matina Kastrissios, Despina Fatseas. (All Kytherians).

Visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to BingaraOn the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 04.03.2013

TIMELINE - The Roxy complex, Bingara

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

1920 Emanuel Aroney (from the village of Aroniadika, Kythera) arrives in Australia

1921 Peter Feros (from the village of Mitata, Kythera) arrives in Australia

1923 George Psaltis (from the village of Frilingianika, Kythera) arrives in Australia

1924 Emanuel Aroney, Peter Feros and George Psaltis arrive in Bingara. They form a partnership called Peters & Co as equal partners and begin trading in a café under the same name on the site of the existing Roxy Café

1933 Peters & Co purchase the building which houses their café, together with adjoining properties. Architectural plans are commissioned for a modern picture theatre, café, individual shop fronts as well as a guesthouse at the rear of the complex

1934 Peters & Co relocate their café business across the road in Maitland St (adjoining Clifton’s Garage) to continue trading during construction

1936 The Roxy opens to the public on the 28th March. Peters & Co file for bankruptcy in September

1958 The Roxy Theatre closes as a cinema

1965 The Roxy Café and residence is annexed from the theatre and is sold as a freehold title. The Roxy Café ceases operation and becomes a memorabilia shop.

1989 The Roxy Café and residence is sold to a Chinese proprietor who opens a Chinese restaurant

1998 The Bingara Shire Council purchases The Roxy Theatre (and not the Roxy Café and residence that remains a freehold title and continues to operate as a Chinese Restaurant.)

2004 The restored theatre re-opens to the public as a cinema, performing arts venue, conference and private function venue. It houses the Bingara Tourist Information Centre

2008 The Chinese restaurant ceases operation. The Gwydir Shire Council purchases premises

2011 The restored Roxy Café opens to the public

2013 The Roxy Museum opens to the public

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 04.03.2013

John Theodoridis presenting John Coulton with a cheque from AHEPA

as their contribution towards the design and completion of the Roxy Museum, Bingara. John Theodoridis is the Grand President of AHEPA, NSW, and John Coulton is the Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council.

This occurred during the visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 04.03.2013

Con Fardouli. The Master of Ceremonies for the AHEPA visit evening dinner

Con ran a cafe for many decades in the neighbouring town of Inverell. He was one of the stars of the ABC Landline program.

Visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

Members of the AHEPA group that visited Bingara outside the Roxy Cinema entry

Left to right: l

Niki Kounafis, Helen Thomas, Despina Vanos, Helen Katsaros, Katina Stavrianos, Litsa Diakovasilis, Toula Plessi

Back row: Nita Poulos, Matina Comino


Visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 04.03.2013

John Theodoridis, Grand President of AHEPA, NSW presenting Peter Prineas

curator of the Roxy Museum, with a plaque to commemorate the visit of the order of AHEPA to the Roxy complex, Bingara.

The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

John Theodoridis, Grand President of AHEPA, NSW

delivering his speech to AHEPAN's and guests, during the visit of 47 members of Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

Short Biography of John Theodoridis, Grand President of AHEPA, NSW

Born in Greece in 1957 and migrated to Australia at the age of 11 in 1969.

Completed Secondary Schooling in 1976.

Completed Tertiary Studies at Sydney University in 1982 attaining a Bachelor of Economics with Honours and Bachelor of Laws.

Returned to further studies and attained a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Master of Arts for Macquarie University in 2009. Presently enrolled as a candidate for Doctor of Philosophy degree at Macquarie University.

He has been working as a solicitor since 1983 and is the Principal of Theodore Solomon & Partners.

Actively involved in a number of community organisations having served as President in such diverse bodies as his local perish of All Saints in Belmore to many years as a Director of Sydney Olympic Soccer Club.

He has been founding Chairman of All Saints College (a private school) from 1987 to 1997. During the same period he was also the Chairman of the Modern Greek Studies foundation at Macquarie University.

In the period 1995 to 1999 he served as a Councilor on Rockdale City Council and was instrumental in the establishment of a sister city relationship between Rockdale City Council and the Council of Glyfada in Athens Greece.

He joined AHEPA in 1990 and served as President in 2 of its NSW Chapters and as of 2011 has been President of the NSW Grand Lodge.

In the period 1991 to 1995 he served as a Councilor on Canterbury City Council.


The visit of AHEPA to Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 03.03.2013

Peter Prineass' Address to AHEPA NSW, Roxy Theatre, Bingara

The visit occurred on the 23rd February, 2013.

Peter Prineas OAM, is Patron of the Bingara Roxy and Curator of the Roxy Museum.

Speech:

Thank you members of AHEPA NSW for coming to Bingara to see the Roxy Cinema and Cafe and to hear about the Roxy Museum, a work in progress.

I have the honour of being the first curator of this Museum which we hope to open this year.

The Museum Committee met yesterday to consider bids from a number of highly qualified museum designers and I can tell you that the name of the successful design team will be announced soon.

I am not a Bingara person. Like many of you, I live in Sydney. But I have a connection with Bingara, through my grandfather, Peter Feros, who was one of the three men from the Greek island of Kythera who in the 1930s became involved in the Roxy development, comprising the Theatre, the Roxy Cafe, several shops and a guesthouse.

In 2006, I published a book entitled Katsehamos and the Great Idea. It told the Bingara Roxy story from a Greek-Australian perspective – something that had not been done before ¬– and it helped to claim the story and the Roxy buildings as part of the history of the Greeks in Australia.

We owe something to the late Kevin Cork, a teacher and cinema historian, who in the 1990s researched Greek participation in the early cinema industry in NSW for an MA thesis he was writing. Cork found that between 1915 and 1963 Greeks operated more than 120 picture theatres in 57 NSW country towns. Most of these men came to Australia at a young age and gained their language and business skills by working in cafes. They included men like Nicholas Laurantus and his brother George, Jack and Harry Kouvellis, George Conson, the brothers Peter and George Hatsatouris, the Conomos family and many others. Among them were the partners of Peters and Co who built this magnificent Roxy Theatre in Bingara.

Regrettably Kevin Cork died in 1998, before finishing his MA thesis. He left us these important words:
If we are to remember these Greeks for their contributions to Australia's social, architectural and technological advancement, then it is imperative that there be Greek landmarks which are acknowledged at local and state level - ones that point to the achievements of the Greek-Australian cinema exhibitors ... We cannot allow their histories to be forgotten, not when they provided services that positively affected millions of people, firstly, through their refreshment rooms and, secondly, through their picture theatres.

Kevin Cork's words have not been forgotten and in April 2011 hundreds of people came to Bingara to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Roxy Theatre and to hear the Mayor of Gwydir Shire, councillor John Coulton, make this promise:
The Roxy will become a place of national significance that conserves and protects the important cultural associations between people and place. It will provide opportunities for the celebration of Greek traditions that became embedded in Australia.

Some people might ask why a museum about Greek cafes and theatres should be located in a little country town like Bingara. The answer is that Bingara has the essential artefacts that every other place lacks. The distinguished academic, architect and cinema historian, Dr. Ross Thorne, summed it up in these words:

Few theatres built prior to 1950 exist in New South Wales in a usable state for cinema and performance. There are few 'Greek' cafes of the period still in reasonably original condition, but they are isolated from any of the old cinema-theatres. To possess both theatre and cafe in the one complex − restored − makes Bingara, historically and culturally, an extraordinarily important town.

The Roxy Museum mission is to be:
A museum of Greek settlement in country Australia with a focus on New South Wales and Queensland.

This Mission Statement is the ‘core’ of the Museum’s area of interest in line with the Bingara Roxy’s history as a pre-War country town cinema and café. However, in order to give this story its proper context some attention will need to be given to Greek settlement in the cities, in other States, and to events outside the period.

Our hope is that the Roxy Museum will in time become a place of national significance that conserves and protects important cultural associations between people and place. It is hoped the Museum will conduct research and develop collections that document the history of Greek settlement in Australia with the aim of facilitating the community’s understanding of the past, and engagement with issues affecting its future.

It is hoped also that Museum will establish links with educational, heritage, historical, cultural and community organisations in furtherance of its mission.

The partnership of Peters and Co operated a successful cafe business in Bingara for nearly ten years before they embarked on the Roxy development. For a various reasons, their Roxy venture failed commercially. The theatre was operated by a succession of exhibitors until 1958 when it closed and stood dormant for 40 years. Imagine this beautiful space lying silent and dark for all that time. It has rightly been described as a 'sleeping beauty'. In 1999 the Bingara Shire Council purchased the Roxy Theatre and restored it with the assistance of grant funds from the State and Commonwealth governments.

In 2007 the Council – by then the Gwydir Shire as a result of an amalgamation – purchased the former Roxy Cafe premises from Mr and Mrs Yeum who had operated a Chinese restaurant there for 18 years. In
2009-10 the Council restored the Greek cafe of 1936 and the art deco shop fronts using grant funds from the Commonwealth Government.

After the Mayor of Gwydir Shire, committed the Council to developing a Greek Museum within the Roxy buildings, the NSW Government announced a grant of nearly $95,000 under the Arts Funding Program for the development of the Roxy Museum. Donations for the Museum have also been received from non-government organisations, notably the Nicholas Aroney Trust which has given two grants totalling $50,000, and the Kytherian Association which recently decided to donate $10,000. We have also benefited from the generosity of individuals such as Mr Nick Politis.

Developing a museum is an expensive business, even when the local council has provided the premises. Our starting budget is $200,000 and although we are still some distance short of this target we remain hopeful that the gap will be closed

The Roxy Museum collection

The designer – yet to be retained – will influence the manner in which the Museum's content is displayed, however the design brief adopted by the Committee gives a clear outline.

• The purpose of the Roxy Museum collection is to tell the story of Greek immigration and settlement in the country areas of NSW and Queensland in the first half of the 20th century. This was a period when most Greeks owned or were employed in cafes and a considerable number owned and operated picture theatres.
• The Museum collection will aim to tell the story of the Bingara Roxy Theatre and Roxy Cafe and place it in its wider context so that the story can be understood.
• The collection of artefacts will help to evidence, illustrate and explain the Greek cafe and cinema era and also mark significant points in the Greek immigrants' journey from Greece and in their subsequent 'journey' towards becoming Australian.
• The collection of images showing Greek cafes in NSW and Queensland will extend over the most of the period and illustrate styles and trends in cafes over time, and many images will show the people who operated the cafes and members of their families and staff.
• The collection of cinema photographs will illustrate the significant involvement of Greek immigrants in the cinema industry in the country towns of NSW up to the middle of the 20th century; it will help to illustrate the link between cafes and cinemas in that period.
• The cafes and cinemas database is intended to be the beginning of a comprehensive coverage for NSW and Queensland.
• The collection of newspaper items about Greeks will add to understanding of the position of Greeks in Australian society in this period.
• A vintage confectionery packaging collection will re-create 'in the round' the sweets and chocolate packaging associated with the heyday of the Greek cafes and cinemas.
• There will be a display featuring prominent Greek-Australians. Our first subject, we hope, will be the late Dr Archie Kalokerinos, known for his work in the care of Aboriginal children. Dr Kalokerinos made a difference to the lives of many such children and their families. He also practised medicine for 10 years in Bingara and had his surgery in one of the Roxy shops.
• There will also be exhibits explaining 19th century Greek settlement in Australia and the era of mass migration from Greece after the Second World War.

Digital collection

In addition to text and graphics panels and artefacts displays, the collection is to be presented in digital form.

The digital collection at opening will include:
• A cafes and cinemas database – this database will present the available texts and images on Greek operated cafes and cinemas in NSW and Queensland and will be searchable. It will have the facility to receive data entered by visitors.
• Cafes and cinemas images – this will be an ongoing screen presentation with a facility for pausing images either so that an image can be better appreciated or so that the reference number can be noted in order to search the subject on the digital database.
• Newspaper articles about Greeks – an ongoing screen presentation of newspaper articles drawn for the National Library's Trove digital archive, with a facility for pausing and searching. Currently the database comprises more than 600 news articles about Greeks.
• Elements of the digital collection will be accessible on-line through the Museum's website.

Audio-visual display

A professionally produced film/video is to be commissioned. It will further explore and present the Museum's themes. This will be viewed on a large video screen purchased for the use of the Museum.

Operation of the Museum

The Roxy Museum will offer a self-guided tour. The displays are to be self- explanatory. There will be a guide-sheet to assist visitors. Digital and audio-visual displays are to be simple in operation and have limited functions so that visitors can easily use them and access the content. Volunteers will be relied upon for guided tours and booked tours with talks are envisaged.

Conclusion

In concluding, let me acknowledge AHEPA's work over many years in promoting interest in Australian Hellenic culture.

The aim of the Roxy Museum – a museum about the Greeks in Australia – is also to promote interest in Australian Hellenic culture. I hope that in the future we can support one another in furthering our common aim.

Thank you.

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 03.03.2013

Peter McCarthy's speech, delivered during the visit of 47 AHEPAN's to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

The visit occurred on the 23rd February, 2013. Peter is a valued member of the Roxy Museum Committee, Bingara, and a long term Roxyphile.

Speech:

Mayor Coulton, distinguished visitors, ladies and gentlemen.
Kαλωσόρισατε στο Roxy
To our distinguished visitors we welcome you to the Roxy Theatre.

Thank you Con, on behalf of the Roxy Museum Committee thank you for filling the gap at short notice as MC due illness by John Wearne. John and Wendy extend their apologies and are obviously disappointed not to be here on this momentous occasion. To Con and Dorothy (also Dianna) we welcome you here this evening as descendants of a founding member of AHEPA, that of your father Harry Fardouly, το this historic gathering.
(Do we have any other descendants?)

‘Welcome, friend!’ he said. ‘You can tell us what has brought you here when you have had some food.’
These lines from The Odyssey Book (1 Line 132,) Homer, underpin Greek tradition even unto today.

And with this, Telemachus (son of Odysseus) welcomed the goddess Athena to his father’s home.’
Since time immemorial Greeks have been travellers and valued the notion of being good hosts. Is it any wonder then, that Greeks have migrated to all corners of the globe and, particularly in the case of the early Greek settlers to Australia, have had their start in their new country in the café business?
It is fascinating to ponder the words of Telemachus, ‘what has brought you here.’

Undoubtedly your presence here today has been motivated by the presentation about the Roxy Theatre made to the National Conference of AHEPA held in Sydney last year together with positive exposure in the national media of the spectacular opening of the Roxy Café 2011. We at the Roxy are gratified with the response by AHEPA and you embarked on the long journey to Bingara to live the Roxy dream.

The stars historically crossed with planning of the Roxy at Bingara and the founding of AHEPA supported by the Greeks of this region in 1934. It would appear that the same event is happening here this evening with your presence at the Roxy.

Savour the moment, soak in the atmosphere and share the experience this marvellous and unique venue offers to those who dare to dream. I well remember my first experience with the Roxy when Nancy MacInnes asked me to provide some Greek background for Australia All over with Ian Mac Namara on a frosty morning in 2003. The broadcast was live across Australia from the small park across the street and we shivered at around minus four with the sun struggling rise. The Roxy was a forlorn sight on the opposite corner. Nancy and John dared to dream and we shared this dream with a waking Australia.

It is but fair to inform you who we are and how we function. The committee of the Roxy Museum is a constituted committee of the Gwydir Shire Council, the owners of building with whom we are partners.
The committee is led Sandy Mc Naughton the manager of the Roxy complex who is employed by Gwydir Shire – a conduit between council and the 5 member committee.

John Wearne OAM, a generational local identity and pillar of the Bingara community, founding father of the Roxy restoration and mentor to us all.
Peter Prineas, OAM, grandson of one of the founders of the Roxy, proctor, author, environmentalist and curator of the Museum.

George Poulos, Secretary Kytherian Association of Australia and conduit with the Greek Community.

Susanna Hughes, life- long Bingara identity and passionate Phille Hellene
Peter McCarthy as local historian of Greeks in the region.

The slide show on screen is of pictures of the early gatherings of AHEPA and the historic meeting at Armidale

We thank Mrs Katina Zerefos of Uralla, for the generous contribution to the Roxy Museum of the original photographs of the foundation meetings of AHEPA you have seen on the screen this evening, in addition I must also thank Mr Chris Maina of Tantawanglo Moutain for the additional photographs taken in Central Park and Sourry’s White Rose Café at Armidale. These photographs will be displayed as part of the Greek migration story at the Roxy Museum Bingara.

The Roxy Greek Museum will encompass the life of Greeks in the Australian community during those formative years of AHEPA to enrich the understanding of the café and theatre culture. You can be assured that the founding of AHEPA in Northern NSW will be included with in our display and historic data collection.

Finally, be assured we the committee of the Roxy Museum make no apology for our passion to the Roxy enterprise. The Greek partners in creating the Roxy had a dream, and now we have a responsibility to preserve, share, and above all, live this remarkable venue to its maximum potential.

We look forward to you to “tell us what has brought you here after you have had some food”.

Σας ευχαριστώ
Thank you

Photos > Cafes, Shops & Cinemas

submitted by The Roxy Complex on 05.03.2013

Visit of 47 members of AHEPA, Sydney, to the Roxy Complex, Bingara

On the 23rd February, 2013, a 47 strong contingent , mostly members of the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, (AHEPA), travelled by coach, on a Greek-Australian pilgrimage and heritage tour to visit the Roxy Complex, Bingara.

They left Sydney at 7:00 am, stopped for morning tea at Maitland, and for lunch at Tamworth.

They arrived in Bingara at about 5:00 pm, booked into their accommodation, and then attended a civic reception provided by the Gwydir Shire Council, at the Roxy complex.

Between 5:30 pm and 6:00pm, drinks and canapes were provided in the Peters and Co, Cafe - the Roxy Cafe.

Members of the Roxy Museum Committee, then took groups of ten on a tour of the complex, explaining the significance of various areas, including the Cafe, the Tourist Information Centre, (once the site of Archie Kalokerinos's medical practice), the Trade Hospitality Training Centre, and the Roxy Museum of Greek Immigration in rural NSW and Queensland. This is located above the Roxy Cafe, and is accessible by stairs and a lift.

At 7:00 pm, AHEPAN's, the Roxy Museum Committee, and other invited dignitaries and guests, including Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, John Coulton, and one of three Patrons of the Roxy, local resident and Roxy visionary, Nancy McGuiness. A second patron, Peter Prineas, OAM, was also present. Peter is a member of the Museum Committee, and the curator of the Museum, as well as author of the book Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the history of the inception of the Roxy complex. Peters' grandfather, was one of the three Kytherian immigrants who built the Roxy complex in 1936. The third patron, John Wood, actor, could not attend the evening.

As the 'pilgrims' entered the Roxy Cinema they were collectively overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the 'picture palace". Exclamations such as "this is unbelievable", "this is so incredibly beuatiful", "how did they manage to preserve this"? were audibly expressed.

The pilgrims and guests were then gathered for a group photograph. One of the group photographs heads this entry.

They were then seated for dinner, during which a number of speeches were made. Con Fardouli, long term cafe owner from Inverell, acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

Councillor John Coulton, Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, welcomed the pilgrims and guests to the town of Bingara and the region.

Peter Mcarthy, long standing member of the Roxy Museum Committee, and a resident of nearby Delungra, which lies 43 kilometres north of Bingara, then spoke about progress of the Roxy Museum, and how the history of AHEPA, forged as it was in the north west of the state of NSW, would become inexorably intertwined with the soon-to-be-completed Roxy Museum, and with the Roxy complex as a whole.

Sandy McNaughton, Roxy Manager, then provided an informative history of The Roxy complex, and iots role in the town and district.

Download a .pdf version of the Timeline, The Roxy complex, Bingara, here:

Roxy Bingara - Historical Timeline.pdf

Peter Prineas, spoke about the establishment of the Roxy Museum, and the scope and vision that the Roxy Museum Committee had for the Museum.

John Theodoridis, President of the NSW Chapter of AHEPA, spoke warmly about the Roxy, and of the persons who had the vision and capacity to preserve and maintain the building. John also presented to Roxy Museum Curator, Peter Prineas, a substantial wooden plaque, which "commerates the visit of the Order of AHEPA, NSW, to the Roxy Complex, on the 23rd February, 2013". John also presented to mayor, John Coulton, a cheque for $1000, as a contribution towards the establishment of the Roxy Museum.

Tasha Vanos, a Past National President, AHEPA, and Chairman of the AHEPA Medical Research Foundation, the chief organiser of the visit, spoke about his pride to be in the Roxy complex, and how important it was that such a place had been preserved.

Whilst the speeches were delivered, an exquisite meal was served by the proprietor of the Roxy Cafe, Mr Vio Nedianu, along with wife, Ayesha, their children, and members of their staff.

Various graphics, films and video were also played. These included a καλώς ορίσατε - Welcome - banner from the Shire of Gwydir to the members of the Order of AHEPA. Also screen footage of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing various dance routines, as well as cartoons from the 1930's, the era when the Roxy complex was built. Also viewed was the Landline program, (2011), which commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex. Later, dissolving photographs of the Roxy were screened, and finally, Greg Punch's DVD, which also commemorated the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Roxy complex, was also played.

Greek dancing was performed.

At the conclusion of festivities, Con Fardouli thanked all those who had travelled so far, and all those who had attended. He hoped that all had enjoyed both their visit, and the evening.

Download a copy of the AHEPA Itinerary, here:

Ahepa Itinerary 23 Feb 2013.pdf

Download a copy of the AHEPA Evening Meal Program, here:

Ahepa Evening Meal Program.pdf

The AHEPAN's were thrilled by their visit, and by the evening.

Christine Lynch, National Vice-President of the Order of AHEPA, Australasia later made the following comments about the visit and the function.

"We felt we were part of history- a “living history”. Everybody thought it was wonderful. We all felt very privileged. We were thrilled to be part of it. We were treated like royalty. The evening itself was ‘magic”. The whole Roxy complex is “magic”. We all look forward to coming back. Particular after the Roxy Museum is completed".

Tasha Vanos's assessment of the 'pilgrimage' and the hospitality received by the AHEPAN's echoed that of Chrisytine Lynch.

"The whole event was a “total success” as far as the 47 participants on the bus were concerned. We were amazed at the hospitality. The Roxy Museum committee were a wonderful group of people. The organisers and Sandy McNaughton in particular had obviously put a great deal of effort into the evenings. The gift packages we all received, which promoted the Roxy complex and the town of Bingara were exceptional, and deeply appreciated.

We were amazed at the Roxy complex. It’s wonderful. It’s a credit to Gwydir Shire Council for the commitment they have made to preserving this heritage building. As Greek-Australians we felt were made to feel very proud.

The evening function was one of the most exciting and entertaining that members of AHEPA had been to for years. The entire group felt like they had been treated like royalty.

The organising of the activities for our group in Bingara was outstanding.
We thank all members of the Roxy complex and Roxy Museum committee .I have received wonderful comments from our fellow travellers. It was a credit to the group of dedicated people who must have worked so hard to give us a royal time.

The support I received form Sandy McNaughton was great .
The food was most enjoyable and the company was excellent.
Thank you to all our new friends".

Roxy THEATRE Main Page

Roxy CAFE Main Page

Roxy MUSEUM Main Page. Overview of the history of the Roxy, published in the Royal Historical Society magazine

Katsehamos and the Great Idea, the BOOK, Main Page

Download the history of the Roxy article as a .pdf:

The_Roxy_RAHS_Magazine_June_2010.pdf