‘Dan Bros’ was an early business in Gloucester established in 1929.1 The brothers who emigrated from Lebanon were Wadih Amin, Toufic ‘George’ Amin and Nicholas Dan. George and Nicholas emigrated from Beirut in 1927 with Wadih having emigrated earlier with his father. Part of the business involved the brothers travelling the rural areas hawking haberdashery, clothing and materials as was common with early Lebanese immigrants. Dan Bros expanded to Taree in 1932.2
In 1936, the old wooden building that Dan Bros operated from was demolished to make way for a new building owned by Robert Kendall. The new premises at 61-65 Church Street, Gloucester was a two-storey brick building with two shops downstairs and two offices upstairs.3 Dan Bros was the first to occupy one of the downstairs shops, opening just in time for Christmas trading.4
In 1939 Dan Bros dissolved their partnership. George retained the Gloucester shop while Wadih and Nicholas focused on the Taree businesses.5 George Dan called his shop ‘The Bargain Arcade’ and sold everything from clothing, drapery, and manchester to military boots during WW2.6
In 1941 a fire broke out next to George’s shop destroying the neighbouring wooden building. Apart from a broken plate glass window, his shop fared very well.7 In 1952, after 22 years of business, George sold his drapery and mercery business to Mr R W Harpley and moved to Sydney with his family.8 Harpley sold the business to Noel Sansom two years later and Sansoms continued the clothing business for several decades afterwards.9 Today (2019) the shop is Gooch’s real estate.
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Gloucester Advocate, 21 May 1929, 2.
2 Newspaper articles and information from the Dan family.
3 Gloucester Advocate, 8 December 1936, 2.
4 Gloucester Advocate, 24 December 1936, 2.
5 Gloucester Advocate, 3 March 1939, 2.
6 Gloucester Advocate, 14 August 1942, 1.
7 Gloucester Advocate, 28 February 1941, 2.
8 Gloucester Advocate, 25 November 1952, 2; 4 November 1952, 2.
9 Gloucester Advocate, 23 March 1954, 5.