by Marijaneta Tomašić
The winners of the Premier’s Multicultural Media and Communications Awards NSW for 2023 have now been named, these awards recognise the important contributions they make to supporting NSW diverse cultures and communities.
NSW Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper announced the winners at a very special ceremony on Thursday, August 24 which was held in Sydney.
“These awards acknowledge that diversity and I commend everyone who entered because providing information in community language is what keeps our society strong.” Mr Minns said.
“NSW is proud of its record as one of the most successful multicultural states in the world.”
More than 140 entries were submitted for the awards, with winners and finalists decided across 12 different categories for this event.
Among the winners of the Premier's Multicultural awards was proud Kytherian, Haralambos Anargyrou Kritharis, popularly known as Harry Crethar who won the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023.
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.
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.
“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.”
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."