By Marijaneta Tomašić
Haralambos Anargyrou Kritharis, popularly known as Harry Crethar and a member of Radio KAA, is celebrating 40 years on radio. A friend of Harry’s, Marijaneta Tomašić, brought this remarkable milestone to The Greek Herald‘s attention.
In Harry’s words:
“I was born in Piraeus, Greece and migrated in February 1948 to Lismore NSW when I was 11 years old. My Father Eric (Anargiros) Kritharis, nickname being 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.
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.
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.
I worked in cafes for five years. I bought The Wonder Bar in 1956 from Spiros Coronakis, who 11 years later would become my future father-in-law as 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. I went into partnership with my father Eric Kritharis and we worked at The Wonder Bar together.
The Wonder Bar was open for business for 24 years from 1956 until we sold the business in 1980. In 1980, we established Premier Picture Framing and Art Supplies in Lismore and operated until the horrific flood in 2022. This flood was the most devasting flood on record, the previous devastating flood was in 1974. We were highly supported by the locals in Lismore for 66 years.
In 1983, I was approached by Peter Carr who was working as the presenter of the Greek Radio program which he had been broadcasting for 8 years. I have a great love and passion for music, therefore I could not refuse the offer.
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.
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.”