I spent the public holiday initially upset because I had intended to go to work until in the morning, after I had prepared my To Do list, I realised everything was closed. It turned out to be a blessing because I took a coffee with my father and he asked me how he might back up some old photos he had possession of after my grandmother passed away. A whole array of emotions sprung up from the photo album as I turned the pages. There is first that rush of curiosity as you can't believe your eyes with all the visual stimulation you get. "But who was that?" "And how was he related to us?" "But we don't see them any more?" "Is he still alive?". As my father and I went through the pages I showed him that he could take photos with his smart phone, in my case a Samsung S4, and then synchronize it with your drop box. It was a great moment shared and I hope to go over there again over the coming days and give him a hand taking pictures of all our old photo albums.
Fashion wise, seeing the old photos reminded me how much Australian's had lost their way in terms of elegance of dressing. My grandfather, Con, was by no means a wealthy man but his passion to dress well is evident in every photo. Particularly close to my heart was to learn that this man, whom I did not know well and who died when I was very small, was in fact a bow tie aficionado and had, according to my father, a great deal of bow ties in his wardrobe. Although I believe my grandmother, pictured below, was constantly in her twilight years hanging all sorts of insults on his memory, the photos serve to discredit those insults. She always felt she had married below her station but I feel that the photos reveal a woman who was rather happy with him and a man who did not seem to be as uneducated and rough around the edges as we were all lead to believe.
If history gets around to record the stories of many of these migrant Greeks who came to Australia seeking a better life, I hope it records their passion to dress well regardless of their circumstance.
|Con and Mary Atgemis circa late 1940's|