24. 2001 – Peace of mind

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

In 2001 Amir Bodenstein returned to Australia with the intent of bringing his family out to join him in the following year.

He happened to walk past a shop located at 39 Glebe Point Road, Glebe on which there was a “For Lease” sign. He met the owner, Mr Voukelatos, who told him he was looking for a new tenant for the property who would give him “peace of mind”.

Bodenstein saw the property, a two storey Victorian terrace with a shop on the ground floor and a residence above, as a place where he could settle his family when they arrived.

His wife could run the restaurant on the ground floor and he could help her while continuing to operate his MPSA firm. His children could attend the Glebe Primary School which was just opposite.

39 Glebe Point Road was close to the MPSA studio in Mitchell Street, Glebe and its side wall would offer an opportunity to showcase Morden Paint’s special finishes.

1. The landing
2. Peace of mind
3. A birthday present

1. The landing

On 1 December 2001, I returned to Sydney for a fourth time with the intention of completing, within four months, the preparations for the relocation of my family. I planned to return to Israel by April 2002 and bring my family to settle in Sydney some time after August 2002.

2. Peace of mind

On or around 7 December 2001, few days after my fourth trip to Sydney, I was passing the shop that is located on 39 Glebe Point Road and  I saw a ‘For Lease’ sign and someone inside.

I introduced myself to Mr Voukelatos who was waiting for some tradesmen at that time. The only time that I took special notice of this shop prior to our meeting was at the end of May 2001 during my third visit to Sydney. When I was on my way to the nearby Broadway Shopping Centre I witnessed squatters being evicted from that premises.

Mr Voukelatos introduced himself as an Accountant who lived for the last 10 years in a hotel that he owned on the island of Lefkada in Greece. He said words to the effect of “I was forced to come to Australia because the real estate agent L.J. Hooker had mismanaged the property, causing me to lose several months rental income” and that “I will try to recover the outstanding rental from the tenant through court and I might sue L.J. Hooker for their negligence”.

Mr Voukelatos also said words to the effect of “I am considering managing the property myself” and that “I want a tenant who will give me peace of mind as I am living 10,000 miles away” and that “before I left for Greece ten years ago, my family had lived in the premises on the first floor and my wife had operated a sandwich shop on the ground floor”.

3. A birthday present

The Building is an 1880’s two-story terrace on the corner of Francis Street and Glebe Point Road, Glebe, containing a shop on the ground floor with a residence above, which fronts Glebe Point Road with the eastern sidewall adjoining Dan Minogue Park.

I was not looking at leasing a shop at that time and although the premises seemed to be in bad shape, I saw them as an opportunity to establish my family in Australia and I shared my enthusiasm and plans with Mr Voukelatos:  


It provided an opportunity for my wife to utilize her skills at running a restaurant on the ground floor. After the establishment of the restaurant I would continue managing Morden Paint together with Evos whilst also helping my wife to operate the restaurant.

I was considering the option of expanding the operation of the ground floor restaurant to the first floor residence after two or three years as it would bring a better financial return. Few days after 12 October 2001 I said to my Partner to the effect: “I have a birthday present to you and it is a restaurant for our family”. 


The premises are situated opposite the Glebe Primary School adjacent to a little park 200 meters from a kindergarten and the Broadway Shopping Centre. The location of the premises in the local neighborhood seemed to offer an excellent way for my wife and my two children to socially settle in Australia.

My idea was to live with my family on the first floor and to help my wife in the operation of the restaurant on the ground floor. Living with my family above an active noisy restaurant seemed to me like a good plan just for few years. This was another reason why I was thinking about the option of combining the first floor residence with the ground floor to be used solely, in the long term, as a restaurant.   

Morden Paint’s showcase   

The building’s position on a corner of Glebe’s main street with a 20 metre exposed sidewall offered an excellent opportunity to show Morden Paint special finishes.

It was also located close to the Morden Paint studio in Mitchell Street, Glebe. The fact that Morden Paint and I were operating in the building trade would have significantly reduced the cost of the required renovations of the premises.