Anich, Tony (Tex), was born in Sućuraj (island of Hvar) in 1919. His father Ivan was from Slivno (in the mainland), and he came to Sućuraj with his brother Josip. Both married local girls, Ivan Lucija Vuljan and Josip Ana Kumarić. Ivan went to New Zealand. In 1929, at the age of 10, Tony followed his father. They both worked hard, because they wanted to create the conditions to bring the rest of the family from Hvar. Ivan went to get them in 1936, and Tony stayed to wait for them in New Zealand. He did not know that then, at the age of 17, he saw his father for the last time. Namely, when he came to Sućuraj, Ivan could no longer go back. The Second World War began, and Ivan died in 1941. His wife Lucija died in 1945 in the refugee camp in Valpovo. It was to be 20 years before Tony saw his brothers.

Tony started a family in New Zealand. He married Darinka (Dot) Alach from Drašnice, who came to New Zealand in 1946 with parents Ante and Kata and sister Firmina. They had seven children: Ivan, Steven, Zeta, Sonja, Peter, Cushla and Venessa.


Tony and Darinka with childern around 1969. Standing: Sonja, Ivan, Steven i Zeta, sitting: Peter, Tony, Venessa, Darinka and Cushla.


The Aniches in the late 1960s, from the left: Steven, Ivan, Darinka, Tony, Zeta, Sonja, Venessa, Peter and Cushla.


A young couple, Tony and Dot, started life in Warkworth, 60 km north of Auckland. They opened Tony’s Fish Shop, Cafe De Lux coffee shop and teahouse. They expanded their business in 1952 by opening Tony’s restaurant, where they offered fish specialties. They were widely known for their delicious food and affordable prices. Their fish market was also popular with the locals as well as those passing by. They procured fish from fishermen in the ports of Leigh and Mahurangi. The government then introduced the so-called Quoter Management System, which changed the way of doing business. An individual could no longer work alone, and besides there was more paperwork.

Tony used to fillet and prepare the fish himself. Dot cooked and served, and they also made their own chips. He was a master at smoking fish, which he offered on Thursdays, which the customers remembered well. For dinner, the family ate what was prepared that day.

For a short time Tony-Tex had his own fishing boat. He hired a skipper and a crew. They hunted at the Sandspit location.

The Anich couple ran Tony’s Fish Shop for 31 years, until 1977. Then they took it up again in the early 1990s, but only for two years. They worked 7 days a week, with only one day off a year, and that only at Christmas.

Anich brought two nephews from Sućuraj, brothers Ante and Ivan Kumarich, as well as niece Antica – Tonka Jelicich. Ante married Dragica, and Ivan married Cvita. Tonka married Paul Marinovich. They all lived with Tex and Dot and worked in the fish market until they became independent. Over time, Joe Jelicich, a relative from Auckland, started coming to help them when it was the season and there was a lot of work, but also when Tony and Dot wanted to go to Hvar. It was like that until Tony died in 1992.


Venessa, born in Warkworth in 1965, resource management planner and president of Dargaville Dalmatian Cultural Club. Photo on the left was taken in 1992 when Venessa was helping her father to smoke fish.



Cushla, born in Warkworth in 1964, civil engineer, and her son Mark with her mother Dot


Some Anich’s family photos:


Branka Bezić Filipović