Lilydale Historical Society - Italian Heritage

Lilydale Historical Society - Italian Heritage

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Posted 2024-05-23 by Neil Follettfollow
Italian migrants came to Australia in waves during the Victorian gold rush and after World Wars 1 & 2.

Many came to the Yarra Valley, and their history is the theme of the Lilydale Historical Society's latest display in the old Lilydale Court House at 61 Castella Street, Lilydale.

The display consists of detailed photo display boards covering the history of the Italian influence in many aspects of local life and history.

The areas covered are:
Immigration. A detailed history of ten immigrants is given, from when they arrived in Australia, then gravitated to the Yarra Valley, often because relatives were already domiciled in the valley.

Visitors who had ancestors from Italy could mark on a map of Italy which region they came from.

Business & Industries. The Italian community were involved in various occupations, including, fishmonger, market gardeners, orchardists, and motor trade.

Farming. This was the most popular occupation of the early immigrants, growing a wide range of fruits and vegetables. One family was that of Antonio Violi, whose grandson is Aaron Violi, the federal member for Casey.
Aaron Violi and family.
Dame Nellie Melba. Dame Nellie was associated with many Italian immigrants. In her career. Musicians, composers, singing teachers, workers at Coombe Cottage and a stone mason.


Valentino Celotti was the gardener at Coombe Cottage during the late 1920s and 1930s, living with his family in the gardener’s cottage. Celeste Stroiazza was a stone mason and constructed the stone walls around Coombe Cottage. He also constructed the stone gateway entrance to Melba Park.

Upper Yarra & Silvan Dams. Many Italian migrants came to the Yarra Valley to work on the Upper Yarra and Silvan Dams.
Silvan Dam
The opening ceremony featured the Tony Caruso Trio entertaining with their musical talents.

The Yarra Valley Italian Cultural Group and the Lilydale Historical Society liaised to research and mount the display.
%%Members of the Yarra Valley Cultural Group at the opening ceremony.
The display is open on Sundays from 11.00 am – 4.00 pm until June 30th, 2024.

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286710 - 2024-05-23 10:02:18

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