VALE Dimitris Danas who Founded Danas Deli Cafe on Illawarra Road which was open back in 1962 has died. His death was made known via Twitter by the post made by user Albert Martinez @newsinnerwest,” VALE Dimitris Danas who has passed away. The founder of Danas Deli Cafe on Illawarra Road #Marrickville which he opened back in 1962.
Dimitris Danas was born in Papparousi, a small village in Evrytania, Greece, which is part of the municipality of Karpenisi. At the age of 19, he travelled to Australia via AROSA KULM and arrived at the Bonegilla Migrant Reception on 28 January 1955. The 32 day trip on board was pleasant but he felt worried about his future in Australia because he was heading to the unknown. A few days later he was appointed his first job: grape picking in Renmark, a town in South Australia’s rural Riverland area. He went there with his cousin. His employer was a Greek named Panayiotis and his first salary was 12 pounds/week. His employer lived with his mother and they were provided accommodation. Dimitris remembered his employer’s mother who had a small farm with various animals, one of which was a cow. He asked what the value of the cow was. They told him 12 pounds which was his week’s worth salary. Dimitris then thought that if he had the cow back in Greece he would be considered rich. Thus, he drew his first conclusions that this country had great potential and there were opportunities for a great future. His next job was picking tomatoes. From there he worked in Port Pirie at the steelworks and before moving to Sydney he worked at the railways. He worked in various fields before deciding to open his own business. In 1971 he bought a liquor store which he kept until 1983. He had also bought a shop in Marrickville which he slowly transformed into a Mediterranean Delicatessen. This shop held a special place in his heart, it was like his village back home.
He was contemplating moving back to Greece with his family, but this was not meant to be. He travelled to Greece many times and could see the new opportunities that arose with the progress of the country. Dimitris sadly passed away on the 10 February 2022. He witnessed all the changes in Marrickville but proudly promoting and selling Greek products across Australia.
The above information was published in Greek in the book Successful Greek-Australians and New Zealanders. A more detailed biography is included in Vasilis Vasilas’ book “Little Athens” Volume I
- VALE DIMITRIS DANAS (1935- 2022): TET x TET με τον Βασίλη Βασίλα
- Vasili’s Taxidi: Danas Deli Café – Marrickville’s longest running shop