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History > Oral History > Peter Pentes. Victory Cafe. Some stories.

8548: History > Oral History

submitted by Pat Heaney on 19.11.2005

Peter Pentes. Victory Cafe. Some stories.

1. I recall that Peter had the cafe during the war. I am sure he had it in 1940. It became the Victory Cafe after the War.

2. Peter was extremely generous. He was always good to us as kids. If we needed to, he would let us book things up and pay him later.

3. I would often see swagmen at the back of Peter's shop. He would give them a free feed. Peter was always kind and generous.

4. I remember Peter, one time, becoming very excited. He had just ordered a bike, with a big round basket at the front. It was going to come by train. And as the time approached for it to arrive, he became more and more excited.

Eventually the day came, and he caught a lift up to the railway station to pick it up.

He rode it back down to town. But when he got down to the Tatt's Hotel, opposite where the Post Office would later be, he was stopped by a group of wild yelling men.

They put a 9 gallon keg in the large basket at the front of his bike, and sent him on his way.

He couldn't control the bike, weighed down as it was with the large keg, however, and it crashed heavily into the gutter - ruining all the wheels.

The men had been so excited, because they had just learned that WWII was over.

Peter was so happy that the war was over, that he couldn't care less that his brand new bike had been ruined.

5. Mr Garbutt, the bootmaker, who was crippled, and rented a small shop at the rear of Jack Pentes corner shop, used to come to the shop, and teach Peter's wife English. Oh, I remember that!

[Adminstrator: Pat's life is interesting from a Kytherian perspective because his mother was one of 3-4 Aussie business competitors to the Kytherians in Gilgandra.

Pat Heany's shooling .."..began on 14th November, 1940, in Coonamble. At age 7 he was living back in Gilgandra. His parents marriage had failed, his mother Ivy rented a shop in Miller Street, next door to the old stables of the Royal Hotel for 7/6d a week. Opening first as a Hairdressing Salon and later converting it to a mixed business, where she also sold Hamburgers and hot food. Today the old building houses a second hand shop.

...From the very first day he arrived back in Gilgandra, Pat became friends with a young Jimmy Naudin, whose parents also owned a shop in town. The pair were to become as brothers, their freindship lasting a lifetime. It was Pat who taught Jimmy to smoke in the first couple of days of their meeting. Pat, aged seven, was already "rolling his own", which intrigued Jimmy to the point of trying to smoke himself".

Pat Heaney:

Mrs Naudin's family were from Toorawenah. Mr and Mrs Naudin met, while both were working at the Western Stores. They left to open a business at nearby Armatree See map at:

Includes map of Gilgandra & District

After selling "a tin of jam a week", they decided to move into Gilgandra. Initially they owned what would later become "Jack" Pentes corner store - ........Miller Street Gilgandra.

After the War, they moved from that shop and opened a mixed business in premises near the turn off to the Bridge. They ended up in the shops that for a long time became Enid McDonald's Antique Shop.

Eventually the Naudin's sold to Fyfes, who maintained a mixed business there for some time.

The Naudin's left Gilgandra, and moved to West Ryde in Sydney. Mr Naudin never, ever came back to Gilgandra. And he never ever wanted to come back to Gilgandra. Nothing could persuade him to visit again."

[Adminstrator: Thus we are introduced to 3 of the Kytherian Gilgandrians chief business competitors over the years:

Mrs Ivy Heaney
Mr and Mrs Naudin
The Fyfe family.]


To read more about Pat Heaney, see, Coo-ee Calls September, 2005, Number Eighty Six. page 1-8.

Published by Robyn Walton.

Pat Heaney
25 Iris Street
Gilgandra. 2827

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