Historical Stories

Help document and preserve the history of the Ithacan community in Melbourne and across Victoria and Australia.  Share your family stories, personal accounts, newspaper reports and clippings etc relating to Ithacan our community - people, places and events. Submit by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 


1917 GCOV Ladies committee

Pioneering Ithacan Women
Prior to the 1920s there was only a handful of women in Melbourne's Ithacan community.
It was during these years as chain migration was emerging that women also started to
arrive; brothers brought out sisters, uncles their nieces, husbands their wives, and as
happened on occasion, wives journeyed to find long lost husbands.
Read the stories of some of these pioneering ladies.
Sophia Alexandratos (nee Paizis)
Photographed left:  Members of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria's
Governing Counil of Greek Women 1917, established to provide social interaction for Greek
women who had settled in Melbourne during the early 20th century . 
A number of the ladies on the Council were from Ithaca.  

             1954 Ithaca Cu

 Memories of the Tuesday Night Dances at the Ulysses Club 

by Kaliope Paxinos
 
Now all these twenty years, in the island of Ithaca, Penelope had watched for her husband’s return. At first with high hopes and then in doubt and sorrow (when news of the great war came by some traveller), she had waited, eager and constant as a young bride. But now the war was long past; her young son Telemachus had come to manhood; and as for Odysseus, she knew not whether he was alive or dead.     
(Old Greek Folk Stories – Josephine Preston, Peabody, 1897)
The Penelope Predicament: The Women Left Behind
 Read the stories of the women left behind during the years of early Ithacan migration.
Peking

 

The Skiotis of China by Diolnysios (Denis) Skiotis.

The fascinating story of early Ithacan settlement in China.

Blacks cafe Ad
Early Ithacan Entrepreneurs  
Read the stories of these early Ithacan immigrants who settled in various parts of Australia. 
Irini Pappas

 Irini Pappas  

The story of this inspirational Ithacan Australian. Irini did not believe in the social and cultural limitations people placed on others, nor, in what people might think and proved that it is never too late to take control of one’s life and make something of it. In doing so, she achieved the status of a true multi-cultural person in Australia decades before her time.

 

Elly Lukas2

 Elly Lukas by Rosa McCall.  

The story of this remarkable woman who migrated from Ithaca to Australia in 1947 and despite the odds was able to succeed at a time when opportunities were scarce and women were not encouraged to take a leading role in the business world is her greatest achievement. Through her natural ability, elegance determination and multilingual skills, she rose from being a cosmetic salesgirl to become one of Australia’s top fashion and photographic models of the 1950s.

fruit shop
Living Behind the Shop  Early Ithacan immigrants were a community of shopkeepers – in particular, cafes and restaurants, fish and chip shop, fruit shop and market stall owners. Read the reminiscences of second-generation Ithacans who grew up ‘behind the shop’.
Stokehouse

 

The Stokehouse’s Ithacan Connection by Olga M. Black (Mavrokefalou).

Read Olga’s account of her family's connection to Melbourne’s iconic Stokehouse restaurant.