The Canowindra News has received a request recently to track down the elusive Stathis Cup- played for by local Rugby League teams in the 1920's to 1930's.
With family connections to the lost trophy, John Minchin has provided the following information in the hopes that someone may be ableto provide information on the trophy- or better yet, maybe it's sitting in someone's shed, lounge room or storage room, just waiting to be discovered.
If anyone can provide any information please contact John Minchin on 03 62471115 or 0418 316 034. John can also be reached at email@example.com. Alternatively, contact the Canowindra News on 6342 1044.
Background of Peter Stathis
Panagiotis Giorgos Stathis was born in Keramouto on the island of Kythera, Greece on 24th October 1891, son of Fr. Giorgios who was a priest at a church in Keramouto.
In 1909 at the age of 18, Panayiotis migrated to Australia, arriving in Sydney on 22nd May.
He changed his name from Panagiotis to Peter , and commenced working for Mr Z Cominos in Pitt St Sydney. In 1910 he ventured away from the city to work for Mr G Potiri at Walcha. Then to Brisbane to work for the Frigilis Brothers in Edward St.
By August 1910 he was in partnership with a Mr Macree in Townsville.
Between 1911 and 1919 he lived and worked as a shopkeeper in Hay, NSW. His brother Emmanuel arrived in Australia in 1914 and they were business partners in a Refreshment Room , providing "Fresh Fish and Oysters twice a week."
The Stathis family in Canowindra
In 1920 Peter moved to Canowindra and operated a Fruit and Confectionary Shop or "Refreshment Rooms", firstly with a Nicholas Calocherry, then on his own.
In October 1920, Panagiotis Chlentzos arrived in Australia from Kythera, Greece accompanied by his daughter Stamatina Chlentzos (aka Bylos), presumably to find her a husband or as part of an arrangement with the Stathis family. In any case Peter Stathis married Stamatina in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Surrey Hills Sydney on 13th December 1921.
In Canowindra, they began their family with George in 1922, and Irene two years later in 1924. Two of Stamatina's brothers, Angelo and Con Bylos lived nearby in Cowra.
In April 1926 a fire completely destroyed the building owned by Mr T Callan that housed the Stathis shop and three others (a Tailor, Stock and Station agent, and a hairdresser).
Sometime after this in 1927 they were back in business operating the Garden of Roses cafe which is still operating today. From photos of the time, it appears that the Garden of Roses may have been built on the site of the original building. Daughter Eleni, and youngest son Peter were born in 1927 and 1929 respectively. The family lived in rooms above the shop.
The Stathis Cup
Many press items discovered in the National Library newspaper archive Trove recently mention rugby league teams in the Boree Shire, playing for the Stathis Cup. Towns mentioned include Grenfell, Woodstock, Lyndhurst, Cudal, Mandurama and Canowindra. The newspaper reports date from 1925 - 1936. It is assumed that the Cup was likely to have been donated by Peter Stathis as a marketing tool. There is evidence that a number of other Greek business people in that part of NSW also had Rugby League competitions named after them. The Stathis Cup competition may have included a money to help pay for uniforms, fees or maintenance of grounds. The descendants of Peter Stathis would be very interested in discovering the whereabouts of the cup, if it exists. Photographs of winning teams from the time with the Cup would also be fascinating to see. Perhaps someone from the area can help with recollections or information.
In 1930 the family left Canowindra and moved to Tumut where Peter commenced operating the newly built Montreal Theatre; he took over the lease a year later and the theatre was operated by the family until the late 1960s. The family were well respected members of the Tumut community. Peter was active in the local bowls club, and won many local competitions. He died suddenly in 1959 whilst in the midst of planning a trip back to his birthplace. His wife Stamatina remained in Tumut where 3 of her children had remained and had families of their own. She died in 1972 following some years of bad health.