While the names of Dan, Dahdah, Solomon, Yarad and Saad are well-known in the region, some shoppers may be unaware these Lebanese families have lived and worked in the town continuously since the 1930s.
From their base at Redfern, families on their arrival were often given suitcases of materials and haberdashery to sell in rural NSW as hawkers (people who travel to sell goods).
Once they had raised enough capital, they started businesses such as drapery and clothing stores in these rural towns.
In Taree and Wingham there were at least 30 Lebanese families who contributed enormously to the fabric of our modern towns.
These families generously gave back to their community by instigating sporting clubs, participating in civic duties and supporting organisations such as Apex, Rotary and Lions.
Walk highlights contributions to community
The legacy of these families was celebrated at a recent twilight walking tour, hosted by MidCoast Stories.
MidCoast Stories' Janine Roberts hosted the walk and provided an introduction to the history of Lebanese people in NSW.
She then led a 80-strong crowd along Victoria and Manning Streets to highlight key businesses.
Philip Solomon, Peter Dahdah, Bruce Yarad, Mick and John Saad, and George Dan each described their families' journeys and businesses in Taree.
At the end, walkers were treated to tables laden with traditional Lebanese food cooked by Mon Saad.
The crowd learnt about the unique occupational patterns of Lebanese people in Australia and, in particularly, NSW.
On the evening, lanterns were lit to signify the position of other prominent Lebanese businesses in Taree, including the Kaleel, Malouf, Saroff, Assef and Ambour families.
The day was capped off with news MidCoast Stories was named joint winner of the National Trust Heritage (NSW) heritage publications category.
A long, rich history in Taree
One of these businesses, Yarads Menswear, has stood the test of time for almost 86 years.
The business was established by Lebanese immigrant Callile Yarad in 1933 and became synonymous with the growth of the Manning Valley throughout the 20th century.
As the years went by, Yarads kept up with the latest styles and trends.
It was the first business to sell surfwear in the region before establishing Iguana next door.
Fast forward to 2019, it still calls Victoria Street home under the ownership of the fourth generation of the family, Michael and Jo-Anne.
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