Brewarrina’s longest-serving council member never wanted to be a councillor
In 1974, a young, twenty-five-year-old Angelo Pippos had no desire to be a councilman, nor could he have dreamed that he’d be known as Brewarrina’s longest-serving council member forty-eight years later.
Nor would he imagine being the mayor or the deputy mayor.
“I was conned into joining the council in 1974,” Councillor Angelo Pippos laughed, leaning back in his chair, reminiscing about the old days.
“I was elected in a bi-election, and they promised me that when the election came up again, they would get me off the council.
“At that time, I was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in our family café – the Café Deluxe – and of course, when the election came around 18 months later, I said ‘righto you better get your mates to take over because I’m pulling out,’ but that never happened, and 48 years later I’m still here,” Angelo said.
Angelo’s father, a proud Greek immigrant from the Island of Ithaka, came to Australia as a young man to work on the cane fields before he saved up enough money to open a cafe.
“The cafe that my parent’s owned and operated was one of the first Greek cafes in Australia,” Angelo said. His father, George Pippos, opened the Café De Luxe in 1926, with the motto: Cleanliness and Civility.”
“I took over from my parents when I was very young, and unfortunately, eight years ago, on a Sunday night of 24th August 2014, it burnt down from an electrical fire.”
The blaze destroyed the building which included the residence of Angelo and his wife Margie.
When the fire destroyed the cafe, then Brewarrina Shire Council General Manager, Dan Simmons described the scene as a tragedy.
“Angelo had lived his whole life out the back of that café, and the story of his family is one of immigrants coming out and making a great contribution to the Brewarrina community,” Mr Simmond said at the time.
At that time, Angelo found himself at a crossroads – whether to leave the town he loved or not – but, thanks to the community support, his decision was easy.
“I love Brewarrina,” he said, “I love the people.”
“After the fire, we thought we’d leave, we had plans to go up to Toowoomba, but the way the people in this town looked after us, the support we got from everyone, you wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
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