Search This Blog

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Italian Presence in Queensland; An exhibition...

In a previous post I wrote about our morning spent at the little museum in William St, Brisbane. We went specifically to see the present exhibition there, which features aspects of Italian migration to Queensland throughout the years. My sister in law Mary, and I, are both children of immigrants,  from mainland Italy 
and, in my father's case, from Sicily.
I was thrilled that we were allowed to take photos of the I did of course!

This the traditional hat of the mountain warfare commando units known as the Alpini (northern Italy) which  were originally formed  in 1872.  (Also in the photo are 2 examples of Murano glass)
There are still units of Alpini soldiers in the present day but many units were disbanded. According to sources that I checked, these soldiers are  presently serving in Afghanistan. And this photo below shows what the uniform looks like now...the old felt hats were quite impressive but I guess not very practical in modern warfare.

An old piano accordion of an Italian immigrant... 

A very ornate tureen/covered dish/ serving bowl
 The Tamborine in the foreground of this photo is one which was painted by my SIL for some cultural events ( folk dancing)  held by the Sicilian society.

A display featuring Italian immigrants such as Ross Mangano and the famous early Australian architect, Andrea Strombuco. The latter was responsible for many beautiful buildings just in Brisbane alone.

An OTT soup tureen from 'the old country'

Examples of bombiere (handed out at weddings) 

One of the information boards

Photos showing Italian immigrants and their culture...

Knitted lace items...

 Below is the display board about Italian immigrants in the Stanthorpe area...where my father did go to take up farming prior to WW2.
The part of the exhibition that I was most interested in was the Italian presence in Queensland's sugar industry. My father left Sicily in 1924 to join his brother in cutting cane in the Innisfail district...

There was a cane knife on display
And there was a display board with photos of workers on the cane fields of north Queensland...
And these are my photos...well they belonged to my father....someday I must find someone or some place where I can donate copies of these old photos. Then one day they might be in an exhibition like the one in the Commissariat Store. :-)
My dad is kneeling at the front on the right... some of the men are holding  stalks of cane...

Clowning around dad is in the middle!
My SIL and I became entirely immersed in the displays and excitedly recalling memories of our childhoods where we 'lived' between 2 worlds...and two cultures.

Discs for an old style pasta machine

This is a large chest/trunk similar to the one that my SIL's mother brought out from Italy
 And this is not part of the Italian presence's a lovely old grandfather clock just inside the entrance to the museum.
It was great stepping back in time for an hour or two. 


Janice said...

Really fascinating...and |I love the photos of your father. J.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Maria. I'll see if I can get over there and check it out.

Justjen said...

Interesting exhibit, I used to work with an Italian girl who's family also lived in Innisfail - surname Gonzo.