Nikos Yiannou (Nick) Stavroulakis (Cretan)
|First name||Nikos Yiannou (Nick)|
|Last name||Stavroulakis (Cretan)|
|Country of Origin||Crete, Greece|
|Date of Birth||12Mar1900|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1939|
|Submitted by||Helen Cretan|
The Story of Nick Cretan Part 2
In 1938 a business partnership in Holbrook, with Jim Pavlakis, Snr, eventually meant moving south. They leased the ‘Old\’ Peter Pan CafŽ, opposite the Post Office. Nick was called up in October 1941, so sold his Cowra business and reported to the Sydney Army Barracks in May 1942. He was exempted, so went onto Holbrook to work in his cafŽ after being an absentee partner. Pavlakis also managed the Ajax CafŽ, in nearby Tarcutta, and in 1950 Nick bought his Peter Pan CafŽ share.
Marriage had crossed Nick\’s mind in the 1930s and in 1946 something eventuated. Nick\’s letters to brothers were involved in the bride\’s selection. Aphrodity Kandilierakis, known to his family, was accepted and she arrived in Sydney in May 1947, and married Nick on 15 June, 1947. Best man was Nick Theodorakis, who owned the Poplar CafŽ, Cootamundra; groomsmen were George Frangiskakis (cook at the Peter Pan CafŽ, Holbrook) and Vic Ramon Ð all from Crete.
Nick and Aphrodity had three children: Helen, Kathleen and John. Business and a sign of the times played a part in changing his surname to Cretan Ð denoting his Crete connection. It is significant to note Nick\’s only grandson, Nicholas James Cretan, changed his surname to Stavroulakis in 2010 Ð in a more accepting era.
Nick loved Holbrook and the locals held him and his family in high esteem. He became a supporter of sports and other organisations. In 1956, when the old cafŽ\’s lease expired, Nick moved into the new art dŽcor Peter Pan CafŽ, part of a three shop complex he had built. In 1962, the cafŽ was leased when they moved to nearby Albury to educate the children. The buildings were sold in 1982. The cafŽ was converted into the National Australia Bank in 1989. Nick employed many young Greek men, offering work to new arrivals Ð helping as he was helped.
The Prineas CafŽ was another Greek-owned cafŽ in Holbrook while the Australia CafŽ, was leased by Australians and Greeks.
Nick\’s North Albury cafŽ was “The Olympic CafŽ” Ð part of another three-shop complex he had built; the cafŽ operating until 1999. During 1950s-1960s there were at least five Albury Greek-owned cafes. By 2000 only one remained.
Nick retired in 1966 and enjoyed his garden that reflected his village produce: olives, figs, grapes (leaves for dolmades), walnuts, almonds, pomegranates, herbs, summer and winter vegetables (including artichokes and greens known as horta). His first trip to Crete in 1967 was too late to see his parents, and he revisited in 1978.
Long cafŽ hours meant Nick enjoyed a siesta Ð even in retirement. He passed away peacefully during siesta, 71 years to the day after arriving in Australia on 2 September, 1997.
Nick loved Crete and Greece but loved Australia more as it offered opportunities and the quality of life he so much enjoyed.