submitted by Gilgandra Weekly on 18.11.2005
Gilgandra Weekly, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1984.
On October 14, 1934 a 22 year old Greek woman arrived in Gilgandra to work for her brother in the A.B.C. cafe.
Mrs Chris Kelly, then Miss Chris Poulos, had absolutely no knowledge of the language or the customs of this new country.
Mrs Kelly was born on the Greek island of Kythera, and she arrived in Sydney on October 4, before continuing her journey to Gilgandra.
The building in which the Cut Price Supermarket now operates was built by relatives of Mrs Kelly.
In 1926 Mrs Kelly’s brother, Manual, went into partnership with another gentleman (Mr Baveas) but during the 1930’s Manual’s partner decided to return to his home country and sold his share to Manual.
After five and a half years in Australia Mrs Kelly and her brother decided to go on a holiday to Bombala where she met her husband Paul Kelly.
“I remember a favourite story my husband used to tell our children,” said Mrs Kelly. “I was walking down a street in Bombala and Paul was packing bananas in a shop window when he saw me walk past, he instantly fell in love with me.”
‘When I returned to Gilgandra after my holiday Paul came to visit me and we were married six weeks later in Sydney.”
"In 1939 my husband and I bought the paper shop. During that time I had the misfortune of losing my brother, Manual. We owned the paper shop for 12 months, then sold it and went into partnership with my other brother, Peter, with the Cafe"."
Some time later Peter sold his share of the business to my husband and myself and left the district,” Mrs Kelly said.
“Both my husband and I carried the business on until his death in 1971.”
The building continued as a cafe till 1978 and then was converted into the Cut Price Supermarket in partnership with her daughter Stella, and son-in-law David Aird and son Theo who has since left the business and district for Sydney.
“I have seen many changes since being in Gilgandra over the last fifty years,” Mrs Kelly said.
“I have seen drought, the Great Flood, dust storms, but over the last fifteen years many people in the area have built up lovely gardens.”
She continued to say, “I have also seen very very happy times and some sad times. 1 have been happy to live in Gilgandra and the people have been wonderful tome over the years. I have raised my family here, one daughter, Stella (Mrs. Aird) and two sons, George, who now lives in London and Theo who lives in Sydney. I also have four granddaughters and one grandson.”
In the 50 years that Mrs Kelly has been in Gilgandra she has endeared herself to all who have known her for her kindness, understanding and christian ways.
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