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Subject: Cultural Studies »

Concetta Benn on her Italian grandfather

Concetta Benn.

Concetta Benn reflects on her Italian grandfather



Date Added:

26 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.8 MB






My mother’s father skipped ship, he was a sailor. And he skipped ship in 1890 in Melbourne. And stayed here and worked here and there and around the place. And finally did what a lot of Italian men did, got himself an Australian girlfriend and then after a while went to Italy and got himself a wife, which he then brought back and they had five, six, seven children. He still kept the girlfriend by the way. Tucked away in one of those – I think it was Little Lonsdale Street in Melbourne. Where all the prostitutes used to live in the old days.


My mother tells a wonderful story of how as a little girl she – one day was with her – with her mother in the kitchen and her brother, for some reason, had some sort of stroke and he couldn’t see and couldn’t talk and the mother got terribly anxious about this and she made my mother go to find her father in Little Lonsdale Street where he was with the lady. And I’m telling you something that’s quite – was quite common in those days, you know. Chaps had their own girlfriends. I suppose they still do in many ways.


End transcript