submitted by George Poulos on 27.05.2004
Andronicus Olympia cafe at Allora
Does anyone know the history of the Andronicus's who owned the Olympia Cafe?
A quiet service centre in the Darling Downs.
161 km south-west of Brisbane, 58 km from Toowoomba and 467 m above sea level, Allora is known as the 'best little town on the Downs'. Its name is probably a corruption of the Aboriginal word 'gnallorah' meaning 'swampy place'. If it is accurate translation it would be an apt description for this pleasant little town which is located at the point where the New England Highway crosses Dalrymple Creek.
The area around the present-day site of Allora was first explored by Europeans in the early 1840s. Grazier Patrick Leslie moved into the area in 1840-1841 with a stud of combined merino and German sheep.
The area gained in importance when the government of New South Wales decided to establish the town as an outpost. In 1859 the site was surveyed and became a municipality a decade later. The town prospered as a service centre for the agriculturally rich surrounding districts and as a stopover point for the itinerant workers who travelled through the area en route from Warwick to Toowoomba. Its chances of ever becoming a major centre disappeared when the Toowoomba - Warwick railway bypassed the town.
submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 05.06.2004
Nick John Andronicos, who very appropriately adopted the name Johnson (although the folklore goes that he did so because of a startling resemblance to the boxer Jim Johnson), took over Mick Theo Patrick’s Olympia Café at Allora in 1917. He landed as a 16yr old in 1910 and spent 7yrs at Warwick before accumulating the bananas for this venture. In about 1923/24 he bought the freehold, but shortly afterwards sold up and went to Tweed Heads and/or Coolangatta to work or manage for Nick Koukoulis. He went with Nick to Murwillumbah in 1932 and took over the Regent Theatre, but disappears off the radar in the late 1930s.
It looks like the first Greek came to Allora in ~1908 when the shingle of G. Zaunders appeared on an Oyster Saloon shop front. He can’t be George Emmanuel Zaunders (Zantiotis), who landed as a 13yr old in 1913 and went direct to nearby Oakey, but his brother Peter may have had a look in at some stage. He landed in 1897, aged 15, and by at least 1908 was in nearby Dalby, where the next brother, 16yr old Jack, went upon landing in 1909. George and Jack later settled in Taree.
The Patrick Bros were in Allora by at least 1912, but in the interim were Con Criticos and ‘Crassas & Comino’. That’s a high turnover rate.
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