A Party in Bingara

Bingara, in central New South Wales, really knows how to throw a party: white tablecloths decorated with olive twigs, great food eaten beneath the stars, a touch of 1930s glamour glittering in the candlelight, and Greek music bouncing through the wide streets of this delightful country town. Not to mention dancing and plate-smashing in the main intersection. Dinner on Saturday night was the highlight of a weekend of events that marked the opening of Bingara’s Greek Café Museum.

Congratulations to curator Peter Prineas, who has brought together a collection of artefacts, old photographs, films, interactive displays and stories representing the history of the Greek shopkeeping phenomenon in Australia. Still a work in progress, the museum is destined to grow as travellers from all over the country add their experiences of café life.

Breakfast in the nearby restored Peter’s Café was equally delightful. For two days the new proprietors were inundated by a hoard of visitors hungry for bacon and eggs, coffee and toasted sandwiches and, my favourite, Gypsy Omelette. It must have been like this when troops swamped cafés in the forties, or in the decades before television, when Greek cafés and picture theatres like Bingara’s Roxy were the centre of social life on Saturday nights.

As celebration of the Greek presence in Bingara grows—from picture theatre to café to museum and, potentially, guest house—there’s every possibility that this little town will become a mecca for Greek-Australians and, perhaps,the site of a Greek festival that is a significant event on the national calendar. I can’t wait for my next visit.ImageImage

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3 Comments

Filed under Greek Cafes

3 responses to “A Party in Bingara

  1. Carolyn (Carly) Rose

    Hello again Toni, I met you in Bingara near the old Gwydir Cafe but since that time due to personal circumstances, my sister and I have our property on the market and you can see it on owner.com.au under Bingara or Property Number16322. As you know Bingara is a fantastic place to settle down, my family all come from there, and our low set multipurpose shop and residence on the main street would be just ideal. Maybe some of your followers would be interested? It’s just a thought!

  2. Carolyn (Carly) Rose

    It was nice to see the large cupboard behind the counter restored to its former glory in your photograph. i actually donated it to the cafe from the Gwydir Cafe.

    • toni risson

      Hi Carolyn. I remember our chat. I didn’t realise the cupboard was originally from the Gwydir Cafe. Do you mean the first cupboard as you come in the door-behind the soda fountain? I am currently writing a chapter about Peter’s Cafe for the new book. And it should acknowledge that contribution. Do you have any information or old photos about your shop?

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