The Niagara ~ Gundagai

Richard  Stanley

Canberra, Australia

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Wall Art

Home Decor



Artist's Description

The Niagara is one of Gundagai’s best known traditional Greek/Australian milk bars – established in 1902, and remodelled to art deco style in 1933 which is retained today.

An image of Niagara Falls is painted over the front entrance and repeated on the china and serviettes. The Niagara’s main claim to fame concerns the unexpected visit of a small party that arrived under cover of darkness at the height of World War II. A loud banging on the cafe’s front door interrupted Jack Castrission as he was locking up about midnight one night in 1942. He peered through the glass to find the wartime Prime Minister, John Curtin, standing on his doorstep. Along with Artie Fadden and Ben Chifley, Curtin was returning to Canberra after a fundraising trip for the war effort. Jack let them in, and the Niagara Cafe put on the best it had to offer, a huge plate of steak and eggs.

Badly in need of hot food and a brief respite from the cold, the visitors were so impressed with the generous meal and the equally generous measure of country Greek cafe hospitality that they returned regularly and increased the Niagara’s tea ration into the bargain. Castrission celebrated the occasion with new cafe china that was emblazoned with a monogram commemorating the visit, and this is still on display in one of the front windows.
~ Sydney Morning Herald.

We had a sensational meal of hamburgers with egg and bacon there!

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Artwork Comments

  • chijude
  • Richard  Stanley
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