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Bull Ornament - Tenerife, 1969 Object Reg. No: HT 7320

Bull Ornament purchased by the Nina Nicoletti at a shop in Tenerife in 1969 as a memento of the migration journey to Australia. Ports such as Tenerife (one of the Canary Islands of North West Africa) were regarded by passengers as exotic and souvenirs were acquired as mementoes of both the place but also of the experience, which was generally regarded as a 'trip of a lifetime'.

Nina Nicoletti, her husband and three children departed Italy on 15 August 1969 to migrate to Australia on an assisted passage. They travelled on the Angelina Lauro, via Tenerife and Cape Town. Nina recalls the trip as 'the cruise of a lifetime'. In Tenerife, the family went to a restaurant with three other families and had lots of fun, wine and the thrill of requesting grilled fish and choosing from a live selection. Nina recalls participating in all the shipboard activities and making many friends on the way - most of the passengers were Italian. She and her children stayed in the women's quarters, sharing with a Yugoslavian woman. She remembers rough seas between Cape Town and Fremantle whereby passengers had to hold on to ropes to move around the ship, and the ship nearly being toppled by a huge wave.

The family arrived at Station Pier at night time and were loaded straight onto a bus and were taken to Maribyrnong Hostel which she recalls as 'awful'. She remembers her three year old daughter becoming ill and asking why they had left home and feeling unable to answer her. They then rented in Moonee Ponds before buying a house in Brunswick and later Templestowe. Nina's husband was a television technician and got work easily. Nina had worked in a tailor's in Italy, but was employed at St Vincent's hospital from 1970 until the early 1990s as a nursing assistant which she enjoyed. She spoke no English and learned via the television, newspapers and from the hospital patients. Nina describes the early years as very difficult, but notes that now they would never return.
Metal bull with six holes in its neck into which slot five miniature swords.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms. Nina Nicoletti, 2005
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 71 mm (Height), 38.5 mm (Width), 117 mm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Measurement of bull ornament only without swords.

More information

Tagged with: migrant hostels, ports of call, shipping lines, station pier, italian communities, italian immigration
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Travel - Shipboard Life
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
User: Ms. Nina Nicoletti, Victoria, Australia, 1969
Place & Date Purchased: Tenerife, Canary Islands, 1969

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