Mosman Daily, 22 JUNE 2012
BY KATE CRAWFORD
Picture: DAVE SWIFT
Paul Dracakis was awarded an OAM in the Queen's Birthday honours.
Restrained by the need for secrecy, Mosman jeweller Paul Dracakis fortunately did not get up on his roof and shout about his Queen's Birthday honour.
Mr Dracakis, 72, whose first job in Australia was washing potatoes, says he burst with pride when he received his official letter.
"When I found out, I felt like jumping on the roof and telling the world but I couldn't because you have to keep it secret for a while," he said.
Mr Dracakis has been awarded the Medal of the Order (OAM) of Australiafor his services to the Manly-Warringah community and to business.
It is not surprising that Mr Dracakis is so gratified by the award, particularly in the light of his modest beginnings in Greece where his mother supported her six children by working on farms. The day after he arrived in Australia at the age of 18, Mr Dracakis was working in a fish and chip shop washing potatoes.
Mr Dracakis said he had always loved jewellery and eventually was able to open his first jewellery store in Manly in 1980, later moving to Warringah Mall.
Seven years ago, the family opened a second store at Spit Junction. The two stores are now run by his sons Nick, Peter and Theo.
A resident of Seaforth, he also served as an alderman in Manly Council in the 1980s. "The good people of Manly-Warringah and Mosman gave me everything," he said.