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submitted by Phil Jorritsma on 07.05.2004

Potiri George Emanuel

Potiri George Emanuel
Copyright (1915) Phil Jorritsma

 

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submitted by
Phil Jorritsma
on 04.11.2004

130:George Potiri was the first of his immediate family to migrate to Australia from Kythera at the young age of 20. He arrived in Melbourne from Athens onboard the SS 'Austral' on Christmas Day 1902. George moved to Tamworth for 18 months then moved to West Maitland for 18 months before moving to Barraba where he lived for two and a half years. It appears that George and his brother Michael both moved to Walcha during 1908. On 22 September 1911, George Potiri's youngest brother Peter arrived in Sydney joining George and Michael in Walcha. In 1912 George Potiri is registered as running the Oyster Saloon in Walcha. In July 1912, the Andronicus brothers sold their restaurant business and also moved to Walcha where their first cousins the Potiri brothers lived. Both George Potiri and George Andronicus became business partners and licensees of the Apsley Hotel on the corner of Derby & Hamilton Streets Walcha. George Potiri married Elpiniki Vrachnas in the Greek Orthodox Church in Paddington, Sydney in 1916. They had 3 children, Emanuel, Maria and Penelope. George and his family moved to Grafton (C.1928) where George ran the Post Office Hotel at 58 Victoria Street. They lived there for approximately 2-3 years. The Potiri family moved back to Sydney during the depression before George established Potiri's Café in River Street Macksville in 1933. George's son Emanuel became involved with the cafe and continued to live upstairs after his marriage to Winnie Forrester. George, or Pop as he was known to all that knew him, loved to fish in the Nambucca River in front of the cafe. In 1958, after 25 years, George Potiri and son Emanuel sold Potiri's Cafe and moved to Canberra. When arriving in Canberra they lived above the Capital Cafe in East Row, Canberra City. Life in Canberra was not the same as what Pop had experienced in small country towns like Macksville, Grafton and Walcha. George Potiri spent less than six months in Canberra before he passed away in 1958 at the age of 76.