Kytherian radio announcer Haralambos Kritharis awarded by NSW Premier

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Proud Kytherian and radio announcer Haralambos Anargyrou Kritharis, better known as Harry Crethar, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards on Thursday, August 24.

Harry Crethar receiving his award.

The winners were announced by NSW Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper in recognition of the important contributions made to supporting NSW’s diverse communities.

Mr Crethar is best known as a radio presenter on Lismore’s longest running community radio station, 92.9 River FM, and as a member of Radio KAA.

Earlier this year, Mr Crethar celebrated his remarkable 40-year milestone on radio.

Harry Crethar accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

Mr Crethar was born in Piraeus, Greece and migrated in February 1948 to Lismore NSW when he was 11 years old. His father, Eric (Anargiros) Kritharis, nicknamed ‘Balomenos’, was born in Kythera in Karavas.

“We got our nickname Balomenos due to the fact that when my grandfather, Vrettos Kritharis, was born, he was born with a red mark on his face. Balomenos in Greek means to patch up,” Mr Crethar explained.

“My father arrived in Australia in 1937. I arrived in Lismore, NSW in 1948 with my mother. I had not met my father until I was 11 years old. I couldn’t speak a word of English. I left school in Lismore at the age of 15 and started working in my uncle’s cafe in Molesworth Street, Lismore. 

Harry Crethar celebrated 40 years on radio earlier this year.

“It was called Crethar’s Airconditioned Café. It was the first airconditioned café in Lismore. I worked for my uncle for a while then wanted to expand my horizons and worked in other cafes,” He added.

Mr Crethar continued to work in cafes for five years until he bought his own café, The Wonder Bar, in 1956 from Spiros Coronakis, who became his father-in-law eleven years later.

“I married his daughter, Maria. I guess you could say I married the girl next door because when Spiros Coronakis sold The Wonder Bar to me, he opened a fruit shop right next door which is how Maria and I met,” Mr Crethar remembers.

 “I went into partnership with my father Eric Kritharis and we worked at The Wonder Bar together.” 

Harry and Maria Crethar with Publisher of The Greek Herald, Dimitra Skalkos.

The Wonder Bar operated for 24 years from 1956 until it was sold in 1980. Mr Crethar then established Premier Picture Framing and Art Supplies in Lismore and operated until the horrific flood in 2022. 

“We were highly supported by the locals in Lismore for 66 years,” Mr Crethar said.

In 1983, he was approached by Peter Carr who was working as the presenter of the Greek Radio program which had been broadcast for eight years. “I have a great love and passion for music, therefore I could not refuse the offer.” Mr Crethar said.

The program started as a half hour program once a week and now is a two-hour weekly program. The program is live on air every Tuesday on 92.9 River FM Lismore, www.2ncr.org.au.

“You can find me every second Tuesday from 6-8pm NSW time. On alternative Tuesdays, you will find Patricia Gizas.” Mr Crethar added.

“I am excited to be celebrating my 40th year live on air. I’m happy to know my listeners have been putting up with me for this long, I am now 86 years old. 

I have been married for 57 years to my beautiful wife Maria (nee Coronakes). I have four sons and four beautiful grandchildren.”

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