In 1897, the Worker (Brisbane) claimed ‘Stanley Street has become Syrian town’ where ‘towel-capped merchants’, an ‘undesirable class of aliens’, establish ‘business stands in one of the leading thoroughfares of the city and under-sell white shopkeepers’ (20 February, p. 2).
Dr Anne Monsour in order to dispel this misconception is undertaking the project, A CONTINUOUS THREAD: THE LEBANESE PRESENCE IN SOUTH BRISBANE, WOOLLOONGABBA AND WEST END to reveal the unacknowledged history of Lebanese in Brisbane. This project is funded through the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for local history and also supported by the Australian Lebanese Historical Society (ALHS).
Tracing the connecting thread from the early Syrian hawkers and shopkeepers of the nineteenth century through the twentieth century to the present, A CONTINUOUS THREAD endeavours to give voice to people often overlooked in official histories, acknowledge their contribution, and add to the understanding of Brisbane’s diverse history.
The project, A CONTINUOUS THREAD, will engage with immigrants, descendants and the broader local community to establish connections and to weave this narrative. Using material gathered from oral histories, photographs, personal documents and archival records, a website, a book, and a mobile exhibition will be produced.
The project’s timeframe is July 2019 to June 2020.
If you are of Lebanese heritage and have a connection with the South Brisbane/West End/Woolloongabba area of Brisbane, Anne is keen to hear from you.
Contact: Dr Anne Monsour