It’s the end of an era for the Sarros name in Pier Street with the retirement of Altona pharmacist Tom Sarros.
Mr Sarros has sold his business after 33 years, meaning it will be the first time since the Second World War that Pier Street is without a Sarros family business.
His late father, Ilias, migrated from Greece in 1950 and with his brothers established a general store in Pier Street.
In the 1960s, Ilias opened a snack bar further along Pier Street and “boasted they had the second cappuccino machine in Melbourne,” Mr Sarros said.
Mr Sarros said he felt a duty to say thank you and farewell to his customers from the former Tom Sarros Pharmacy.
“To be afforded or charged with the responsibility and the trust to dispense your medications and advise on medical and other related matters was not only a privilege but an honour,” he said.
“It is something that I will cherish and uphold with the utmost of respect today and forever.
“My patients were my life and I took my job extremely seriously.
“The level of trust was huge … for them to actually trust what I would recommend to them, I took that with a huge amount of responsibility.”
The Sarros family so formed part of the fabric of Altona that there is a street named in its honour.
Mr Sarros said he recalled the words of his late mother, Magdalene, when she returned to Greece after 30 years.
“She said, ‘I’ve waited 30 years to come back to my home but this is no longer my home: my home is Altona,” Mr Sarros said.
“It was very profound because all of my [life], all I’d heard about was the old country.
“She said, ‘I love Altona’.”