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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 May 2015
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Thirsty Summer Hill Farewell to George Poulos, the man who made milkshakes in Summer Hill for 63 years George Poulos hadn't been feeling well lately. Even though he was hospitalised, he begged to return to The Rio. "He needed to go back and open his business," says Nik Poulos, his son who found him dead inside his milk bar last Wednesday. "The business was his whole life. He'd be open until 10 o'clock at night sometimes just for one person to come in and get one drink," Nik adds. "It just kept him alive; he didn't make any money from it. He literally worked until the last day." The Rio, a small milk bar adjacent to the old Summer Hill movie theatre, however, was a little gold mine through the '50s, '60s and '70s. "We used to open until 11 o'clock waiting for the picture show to come out," says Nik Poulos. "They were three deep there waiting for milkshakes. We had the old-fashioned seats there. "We had people like Johnny O'Keefe and Lionel Long (come in) … I was the f-- Fonz before the Fonz was even thought of. The best milkshakes in the whole of New South Wales were made by my Dad." George Poulos was a Syd- ney urban legend. He had a strong presence in the local community and everyone knew him. He might not have had as many customers as back in the day, but he undoubtedly made the richest milkshake in NSW. George Poulos with his family behind the counter of The Rio in its golden years. From left: Stavroula, Nik, Aphrodite, George holding Margaret and George’s father, Philip. “We used to open until 11 o’clock waiting for the picture show to come out,” says Nik Poulos. f s "He remained with the shop, the things that he knew; he knew that he was a recognisable character within his urban scene," says Macquarie University historian and curator Leonard Janiszewski, who, with his colleague Effy Alexakis, interviewed Poulos for their project In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians. The northern Greek who sailed into Sydney in 1952 on the Cyrenia - the former troop carrier converted into a migrant vessel - was a war hero in Greece. George Poulos had fought in essel was a war World War II and the Greek Civil War before migrating to Australia to join his uncle, Chris, and his father Philip, War hero: George Poulos as a Greek soldier. George behind The Rio counter. Once, the shop was a goldmine and people queued out the door or milkshakes. Ge wa or who'd already been in Australia for more than a decade cutting cane in Queensland. wh rea in A ia f tha ade tin in Q land Soon after he moved and started working, he sent for his wife, Stavroula, son Nik and daughter Aphrodite, while his younger daughter, Margaret, was born nine months after his wife came to Australia. "My father still lived like he was in Greece," Nik Poulos remembers. "After Stavroula died in 1998, a female in-law would send him letters at Christmas. He refused to open them because she was a married woman. "That's how old-fashioned my Dad was." RIP George. Source: Sydney Morning Herald 42nd Street memorial takes shape Organisers target $12k for completion of Battle of Crete Anzac monument MICHAEL SWEET One year before its inauguration in 2016, the '42nd Street' Anzac memorial - financed by the Greek Australian community and the Municipality of Chania - is nearing completion. The memorial marks the location of one of the final actions by Anzac forces during the last days of the battle for the island, and one of the few occasions when Australian and New Zealand troops fought side by side. On 27 May 1941 hundreds of Kiwi soldiers and diggers counter-attacked advancing German forces near the village of Tsikalaria, buying precious time for the Allied retreat to the coast and evacuation. The action - known as the charge at 42nd Street - became a legendary part of the Anzac story in Crete. With the site never having been marked, four years ago the family of an Australian soldier who fought at 42nd Street - Captain Reg Saunders of the 2/7th Battalion - began a campaign to erect a monument at the site. Captain Saunders' eldest daughter Glenda Humes established the Friends of 42nd Street - a charitable trust to manage and fundraise for the project. This week Ms Humes paid tribute to Chania mayor Tassos Vamvoukas, telling Neos Kosmos that his support had ensured the memorial's speedy progress. "We're very grateful. For the Municipality of Chania to give its financial backing to the project - at a time of immense economic difficulty in Greece - shows how committed they are to emphasising, in new ways, the deep bond Construction of the 42nd Street memorial’s main structure was completed this month. The road to the left is Odos Tsikalarion - known as 42nd Street during the Battle of Crete. PHOTO: MIKE SWEET. that exists between Australia, New Zealand and the Cretan people," said Ms Humes. "We now need to push on and find the cash to help finish the job - to have a monument worthy of the duty and sacrifice that it depicts." While a bronze plaque was created last year as the centrepiece for the monument, it now looks unlikely it will be used, with the municipality citing concerns over security at the open site. As Greece's economic crisis worsened in recent years, a number of cases of monuments being stolen for their raw material value have occurred. The 42nd Street bronze now takes pride of place in a special display at the Nautical Museum of Crete's permanent Battle of Crete exhibition, and project organisers are looking at alternative options for the central display at the memorial. Meanwhile, with its main concrete structure in place on the 170m2 site, the work remaining - estimated to cost $12,000 - includes landscaping, tree planting, the installation of an automated watering system and the construction of a footpath. To date the project has cost some $30,000, with the Municipality of Chania contributing $14,000 and Greek Australian community associations and private donors covering the rest. The project's major donors include the Cretan Association of NSW, the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, the Greek Community of Melbourne, and the Andriotakis family of Sydney. Artist’s impression of the memorial. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CHANIA.
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