Connecting Aeolian Generations

Nestled in the cradle of the Tyrrhenian Sea between Naples and Sicily, the Aeolian islands of Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi were forged by the clashing of tectonic plates.

Ongoing seismic activity and the decimation of Malvasia vineyards lead to a mass migration in the early 20th century to countries like Australia, where today some of these families span four generations.

Known in Sydney for their Italian fruit shops, Aeolians established a vast number of independent businesses in their newly adopted home – some becoming household names such as Mezzapica Cakes and Gelato and the Mediterranean House reception centre.

They have also become leaders in the community with prominent Aeolian figures including journalist and political commentator, Bob (Bartolomeo) Santamaria;  co-founder of AIE and former councillor and Mayor Drummoyne, Rossario (Ross) Maniaci;  artist Vergil (Virgilio) Lo Schievo;  singer Natalie Imbruglia;  and founder of JB Hi Fi, John Barbuto.

By  1921, Aeolians were the largest regional group to become naturalised Australians and by the 1950s the community swelled to 30,000.

With a desire to support newly arrived relatives, the first regional Italian society, the Circolo Isole Eolie was founded in 1903 and operated until WWII.  Reborn in 1971, the Associazione Isole Eolie continues to hold events focused on culture, food and family.

From the 1950s, the City of Canada Bay Council and the Municipality of Lipari formalised a Sister City partnership to foster cultural and educational links.  To celebrate 25 years of this relationship, a monument was erected in Piazza Eolie at Fred Kelly Place in 2013.

From Volcanoes We Sailed:  Connecting Aeolian Generations was developed in collaboration with the Aeolian community of Sydney to celebrate Aeolian Italians in New South Wales.  Curated by Cristina Neri, the exhibition From Volcanoes We Sailed was first developed in collaboration with the Aeolian community of Melbourne and the Immigration Museum of Victoria in 2016.

This Exhibition, sponsored by the City of Canada Bay, was a featured component of the 2022 Ferragosto Festival.

It will be on display at our Museum, 1 Bent Street, Concord on 2, 3, 5, 8, 12 & 15 October from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

It will be officially launched on Saturday, 1st October at 6:00 pm.  If you would like to attend please email heritage@canadabayheritage.asn.au as soon as possible as places will be limited.

 

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