As the news spreads around town that the Addison family has sold their garage, the reaction from many is disbelief.
While details are still sketchy, The Bugle can confirm the property has been sold to a family from the Wingecarribee, and the petrol/newsagent/retail business on-leased to another party trading as Kiama Fuels. The Addisons are in the process of clearing out their effects, but are not running the business any more.
Fred Addison built his service station on Manning St (then the Princes Highway) back in 1952, with the help of his father and mother’s uncle who were both master builders.
For many years, it was the only petrol station in town, surviving the pressures that saw the other ten operating in Kiama’s heyday close.
During its prime, Fred operated a car dealership (notably selling Austins and Leylands), amongst other things. Its proximity to Kiama High meant that he also sold an extraordinary amount of lollies to generations of locals.
A few years ago, Addisons bought Cohen’s Newsagency business, which it relocated to the service station. Last year, Fred hung up his famous green overalls for the last time and moved to live at a retirement home in Queenbeyan near his daughter Lisa. He will turn 87 in December.
“People say to me that it’s strange not having him here, but no one feels that more than us,” says daughter Wyn Addison. “Our main reason for selling is simply that it is not the same without Dad here.
“The petrol industry is so different now, it has been a big ask to keep it going without him.”
Rumours that Harts Garage in Gibbs St has also been sold are without foundation.