Paul Dracakis, the leading Sydney jeweller with a long-standing business on Military Rd, has died aged 83.
Mr Dracakis died peacefully at his Seaforth home on Sunday, surrounded by his family.
Stores in Mosman, Brookvale and Castle Hill were all closed on Monday as a mark of respect for the man who emigrated to Australia aged 17, from the Greek Island of Kythera in 1957.
Mr Dracakis emigrated to Australia from Greece in 1957, aged 17. His, is a true Australian success story.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Paul Dracakis, a remarkable man who was not only a loving father, devoted husband, and cherished grandfather but also a true inspiration to all who knew him,” an announcement on the Dracakis Facebook page says.
“As we mourn the loss of this extraordinary soul, let us also celebrate the beautiful life he led and the profound impact he made on each of us. Rest in peace, dear Paul. Your legacy of love and kindness will continue to shine brightly through the lives you touched.”
Mr Dracakis, who served a term as an alderman on Manly Council from 1983-1987, was a member of the local Liberal Party and a close supporter and friend of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The popular jewellery store was closed on Monday out of respect to Paul Dracakis.
Upon arrival in Australia, he lived in the NSW Riverina township of West Wyalong before moving to Manly, where he opened a delicatessen at 30 The Corso.
In 1980 he opened his first jewellery shop in Manly, moving to Warringah Mall in 1986.
In 1987, Mr Dracakis opened his Spit Junction shop front, where he became renowned for his exquisite “Hearts on Fire” diamond jewellery.
There is now also a third store at Castle Hill.
Mr Dracakis also served as an Alderman on Manly Council between 1983-1987.
Locals have flooded social media with tributes to the gifted craftsman, a “pillar of the community”.
“There was nothing Paul was more proud of than having his three sons working in the jewellery trade with him,” one post reads, “he built an impeccable reputation in the trade, and you have all continued to maintain it. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with you and your whole family.”