Retiring Dapto newsagent makes the news himself

End of era: Danny (Draga) Gugucevski is handing over the reins of NewsXpress Dapto Mall to new owners Ian Hutchison and Leonie Robinson. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
End of era: Danny (Draga) Gugucevski is handing over the reins of NewsXpress Dapto Mall to new owners Ian Hutchison and Leonie Robinson. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

For the past three decades popular Dapto newsagent Danny (Draga) Gugucevski has been getting up early every day to work in the business at Dapto Mall.

But at 67 he has decided it is time to retire and has sold the business to Dapto couple Ian Hutchinson and Leonie Robinson who took ownership last week.

Mr Gugucevski is working at NewsXpress at Dapto Mall until Christmas to help the new owners out.

He said he is not sure how he is going to handle the last day because many of the customers he has been serving for 27 years.

And they keep telling him how much they will miss seeing him.

"I am still active but it is time to retire," he said.

"I'm coming in until Christmas to help the new owners settle in. I can't imagine what the last day is going to be like because I have worked all my life. It is going to be a big change for me. And for my customers."

Mr Gugucevski migrated to Australia from Macedonia in 1977 and originally settled in Warrawong before moving to Blackbutt two years later and then Flinders after another 16 years.

"I came to Australia with $75 in my pocket and went to work as a fitter and turner at the Port Kembla steelworks," he said.

I came to Australia with $75 in my pocket and went to work as a fitter and turner at the Port Kembla steelworks

Danny (Draga) Gugucevski

Mr Gugucevski did that for many years before managing tobacco shops in the Gateway building at Wollongong Central and Corrimal Court.

When the tobacco shop was sold his children were still young and he decided to take them on a family holiday from Victoria around to Port Douglas.

"After that we decided to spend a couple of months at home but I got bored because I had been working all my life. I realised I had to do something and found an empty shop and decided to open up a newsagency from scratch."

Mr Gugucevski, his wife Melisa and daughter Alexandria all worked in the business.

"It has changed a lot over the last 27 years. Especially the new computer systems that have come which are all completely different."

But now his children have all grown up they have children of their own and he and his wife want to spend more time with their grandchildren.

"I want to thank all my loyal customers from the bottom of my heart for their support," he said.

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This story Retiring Dapto newsagent deserves a sleep-in first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.