A LINK to Albury's business history dating back to the late 1890s has been broken with the death of Allan Abikhair.
Mr Abikhair, who died at Albury hospital last Sunday, aged 84, was the grandson of Saad Milham Abikhair, who arrived in Australia from Lebanon with two cousins Betro and Nicholas Abikhair.
They initially started out as hawkers before starting a real estate empire in Albury by establishing the Beehive Building on the corner of Dean and Townsend streets.
Saad then opened the Federal Store in Olive Street before purchasing a vacant block on the corner of Olive and Swift streets where he would establish S.M. Abikhair General Draper, Boots & Shoes in 1928.
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The shop, which operated for seven decades, was split into men's and women's wear with drapery and manchester in between.
Men and women had separate entrances from Swift Street in addition to a general entrance on the corner.
Berto also built The Australian Building on the corner of Dean and David streets and the Regent Cinema building which started out as the venue for live theatre and silent movies in the 1920s.
Saad's property interests expand beyond Albury into Henty, Urana and Culcairn.
When Saad died in 1932, the business was continued by wife Shefia and children Thelma, Walter and Amien.
Amien was Allan's father and he died in 1999, aged 93.
Amien and his wife Ada purchased Osborne's Gift Shop in Dean Street and the shop remained in the family at the time of Allan's death.
The family home was built in Forrest Hill in the 1950s with Ada passing away in 2004, aged 91.
When the Abikhair shop on the corner of Olive and Swift streets closed in the mid-1990s, Albury Council purchased the merchandise and stock and later formed part of an exhibition.
The exhibition replicated the original layout of the store with boxes stacked to ceiling height, original plaster models and clothing, and advertising posters over the decades.
Allan, who didn't marry, continued to oversee the family's large property portfolio up until his death.
He has one sister, Audrey, who lives in Albury.
Members of the Abikhair family are buried in Albury's Pioneer Cemetery and there is a lane named after the family off David Street in central Albury.
Albury-Wodonga was a popular destination for Lebanese with later arrivals including Bounader, Malouf, Nesire, Corban, Farrah, Azzi, Batrouney and Mannering families with many making large contributions to community, business and sporting pursuits.
Funeral details are still being confirmed.