submitted by The Roxy Complex on 03.03.2013
The visit occurred on the 23rd February, 2013. Peter is a valued member of the Roxy Museum Committee, Bingara, and a long term Roxyphile.
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”.
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