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submitted by Kytherian Newsflash on 28.06.2011

The ragamuffin who founded multimillion-dollar aged care empire

The ragamuffin who founded multimillion-dollar aged care empire - _MG_7752

Photograph: The beautifully appointed Feros Care facility, at Bangalow, northern, NSW.

Northern Star

28th May 20th

Jennie Dell

Contact Jennie, by email

The little old Greek man who pounded the pavements of Byron Bay in 60s and 70s, ringing a loud bell and carrying a brightly-painted donation box, would have had no idea that after his death he was to become known as the founder of a multimillion-dollar aged-care industry.

George Feros was passionate about fundraising to provide facilities for the aged, at a time when there were none in Byron Bay.

Called George: his passion, it tells “the story behind the story” of this much-loved Byron identity whose efforts have resulted in a multi-award winning, aged-care empire, Feros Care, now with its headquarters in Coolangatta.

“He was a pioneer,” Ruby Feros said. “It was sometimes embarrassing for me, as his daughter, to see this ragamuffin figure being called a ‘dirty Dago’ to his face as he shook his donation box and rang his bell, asking people to give him money.”

But George Feros’s efforts were not in vain. The Australian Orthodox Home for the Aged, near the Byron railway line, was the first fruit of his fundraising. When he died in 1981 there was not enough money in the kitty to get the first Feros Village, in Byron Bay, started.

His dream had always been to provide a nursing home, and it was not until after his death that dream came true, with the opening of the Feros Care Home in Bangalow.

“George would be so happy to know his daughter was continuing to contribute in some way to Feros Care,” Ms Feros said. “I’m donating all proceeds from the book to them.”

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