Michel Asmar was already a Master Tailor when he came to Australia from Lebanon in December 1924. He worked for Pike Brothers Menswear Emporium as a tailor but within a short time started working for himself as a Ladies and Gents Tailor. By 1935, he had set up the clothing factory at Hardgrave Road, West End. Six of his eight children were trained by their father and worked in the business which flourished. While family members did the designing, cutting and managed the business, the factory also provided employment for at least twenty machinists. Selling to retailers all over Australia, this family enterprise lasted for about 56 years.
Caption: Asmar Family. Left to right: Phillip. Back row: May, William (Bill), Rose (Rosaline), Hilda. Front row: Renee, Symia (Annie), Michel (Michael), Nell, Rudy, Brisbane, n.d.
Handcrafted antique wooden chair
This chair was among the furniture brought to Australia by R.D. Arida. The brothers, Joseph Dominique Arida and Richard Dominique Arida were from Bsharri, Lebanon. They came to Australia in the 1880s and by 1887 had founded Messrs. J. & R. D. Arida, Merchants of Charters Towers and later established a chain of stores across North West Queensland. Joseph eventually returned to Lebanon but Charters Towers was Richard’s definitive home.
This classic, antique wooden chair was handcrafted and has intricately designed inlay patterned wood and mother of pearl. Beautifully crafted, it is functional and stylish.
Caption: Handcrafted wooden chair brought to Australia by Richard Dominique Arida, Brisbane, 2015.
This tablecloth was made by Laura Saady who was born in Bechmizzine, El Koura, north Lebanon. She came to Australia as a young bride with her husband, Assad Saady, in 1929. The tablecloth was made during Laura’s early years in Australia. Considering its size and the fine work involved, it would have taken time to complete. Laura learned the skills used to produce the tablecloth from her mother. This is a family treasure that will be preserved for the next generation.
Caption: Anthony Saady with the tablecloth made by his mother, Sydney, 2015.
Leo Hotel, Clermont
Isaac and Footeen Nasser came to Australia from Kousba in 1893 with Isaac’s brother Nicholas and his wife, Karemi. Starting out in Rockhampton, they developed a successful hawking business. They moved to Clermont in 1896 and operated a General Store and Drapery for twenty years. After the death of Nicholas in the devastating flood of 1916, Isaac and Footeen became successful publicans. The Leo Hotel was operated by the Nasser family for 50 years until 1966.
Caption: Leo Hotel, Clermont, Qld, 1923.
Elien George and wagonette
Elien George who arrived in Australia sometime between 1896 and 1899 saw the opportunity to establish a business providing clothing and other essential items to the people of Rockhampton and Central Queensland. The 20 year old started out with a couple of pack horses, but soon saw the need to expand and organized the building of a four wheeled wagonette from Messrs Nelson & Co of Rockhampton. Travelling in this wagonette drawn by five horses, Elien established his territory from Mackay to Many Peaks and Emerald to Emu Park and was a very welcome sight on hundreds of Central Queensland properties. The wagonette was eventually replaced by a 1929 Chev, which is still seen today at George’s premises in William Street Rockhampton.
Caption: Elien George and his hawker’ s wagon, n.d.
Adele Moriaty delivering bread
Adele Moriaty (nee Maroon) grew up in Redfern in the 1930s. Due to World War Two labour shortages, she was able to find paid employment firstly in the Post Office and later as a bread delivery person at Gatrell & White’s bakery that operated in Great Buckingham Street, Redfern. Her run was in the nearby, but much wealthier, suburb of Bellevue Hill. Adele was in fact the first female bread carter in New South Wales, an opportunity she was able to take up because the bakery was not able to find a male bread carter at the time.
Caption: Adele Moriaty, Sydney, n.d.