THE STORYTELLERS

MARIA TSOROMOKOS

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Maria Tsoromokos

Maria Tsoromokos

 

MARIA TSOROMOKOS: I was born in the area born - and bred in Concord. My parents have lived in Concord since 1965. I think, yeah, they were in Links Avenue, then they went to Arthur Street just across the road and then they finally bought their own house in McNamara Avenue, where they’ve been there for 37 years.

OLEV MUSKA: Wow, and you run a business.

MARIA: In the area? Yes. Slightest Touch Hair Design. I’ve owned the salon for 22 years.

OLEV: Wow that’s a long stretch.

MARIA: We’ve had a change ourselves, ‘cause at 12 years ago, I was on the corner of Concord Road and Wellbank Street and then we moved out of there into another premises ‘round in Davidson Avenue. So we had a change, but again stayed in the same area … which was good!

OLEV: And that’s quite a long time to be in the local area, so what have you seen over time? What things have changed? What has stayed the same?

MARIA: A lot has stayed the same but there has been a lot of changes. The area’s getting more populated: as in ‘busier’. There’s more people living in the area, ‘cause unfortunately every time there’s a house or two for sale, they get knocked down and units get put in so, you know, when there was one family of four or five, then there’s thirty people living on that same space.

The shops along Concord Road, they’ve had a lot of changes over the years, as in different types of shops have come and gone. But then there’s always been a few that have stayed - have been there even a lot longer than myself, like the Skorin Deli. There’s the butcher, David. He started his apprenticeship there. They’ve bought the business and he’s still there, which is about 40-odd years. I think, yeah, he did his apprenticeship there. There’s the other Salon, Scanlon’s. They’ve been there for over 30 years. They’ve had a couple of different hands change as well. Where the lady that I bought the salon from before we were Slightest Touch Hair was Val’s Hair Corner. She had it for 12 years. That corner - Wellbank and Concord Road - that was actually a salon from the mid 60’s, apparently. It just had different owners the whole time. There’s no banks up the road anymore when we … years ago, I always remember there was always a couple of banks across there. Mario, the little Italian man on the corner, the greengrocer. Liu Rose has been there for years. I still remember when Arnold House was Arnold House - the orphanage – ‘cause I went to North Strathfield Public and some of my friends from school were kids that lived there … yeah … I remember that when it used to still be operating as the orphanage.

OLEV: You also had the big factories in the area.

MARIA: Yep, Arnotts – geez, I miss that smell …oh, that was the best! You always knew when they were baking, oh! My mum worked at Arnotts - local - she worked local, so she worked at Arnott’s and she also worked at the nursing home in Flavelle Street before it was Red Leaf. We used to just call it Concord Nursing Home, but its all re-done now.

OLEV: Tell us about the smells because that’s one kind of smell …

MARIA: Aah …

OLEV: … what are some of the other smells?

MARIA: You’d get up some mornings and you just knew Arnotts were baking. And different smells - it was, like, we used to go, “Is that Scotch Finger Biscuits or is that Sao Biscuits” – like we used to try and guess.

OLEV: So you knew the brand …

MARIA: Yeah, you knew they were baking different types of biscuits because the smell was slightly different. And other smell we miss around here is the coffee, when Bushells used to actually roast down at Cabarita, yeah!

Arnotts tin lid

 

BACKGROUND

In response to community consultation, a number of local residents were interviewed and recorded. The sessions took place in December 2012 and February 2013 at Concord Library.

A short excerpt from each resident appears on this website. Together, they form a cross-section of insights into the wonderful community that is of and around the North Strathfield area.

The full interviews will be archived and available for borrowing at the City of Canada Bay Council Library Services.


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