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Postcard - Letho Sigalas to Lili Vrahamis, Cairo, 29 Aug 1921 Document Reg. No: HT 2255

Postcard from Letho Sigalas to his fiancé Lili Vrahamis. It was written on 29th August, 1921, while Letho was travelling from Greece to Melbourne via Cairo.

Letho was the son of James Sigalas, a Greek migrant who settled in Australia in 1901 and opened the Anglo-American café in 1906, and the Centenary café, in the mid 1930s, both in Bourke Street Melbourne. Letho worked in his father's café's and in 1920 was engaged to his cousin Lili Vrahamis.

Lili (Eleni) Sigalas (nee Vrahamis), born in 1904, was the daughter of Callirrhoe Dressler and Stavros Vrahamis, both from the Greek Island of Sikinos, who also lived for some time in Istanbul. Lili completed her secondary education in Athens, her father ensuring she was reasonably well educated, as he was unable to settle a dowry on her. In 1920 Lili was engaged to a cousin Letho (Eleutherios) Sigalas, and in 1922 migrated to Melbourne on the 'Largs Bay' with her father-in-law to be, James (Iakovos) Sigalas, and her elder married sister Alex. Letho and Lili were married at the Greek Orthodox Church on Victoria Parade, on 18 July 1923, just eight days before Lili's 19th birthday. They had two daughters - Dan'e in 1924 and Magarita Babette in 1931.

Letho worked in his father's cafés and the young couple moved in a very sociable set that included their own young Greek cousins, going to numerous dances, the races, and nightclubs. The family lived at the St Kilda Road house until 1948 when they moved to Kew. In 1930 the family toured Europe and travelled to Greece to see Lili's parents, and again in 1939. In 1937 Lili enrolled in an arts course at Melbourne University (her English now excellent), and during the 1940s, she became a committee member of the International Club, established by Ivy Brookes, which organised cultural events at the St Kilda Town Hall. She was also a member of the Greek Red Cross during the War, participated in organising significant theatre productions and worked as a correspondence teacher of English by the Migrant Education Department. Letho passed away in 1964 and Lili rejoined her family in Greece until 1987, having returned to Melbourne for extended periods during this time. Lili passed away in the 1990s.
Postcard with sepia image of a group of men seated on a rug in a room. Each man wears a robe and headdress. There is a small window at the back of the room through which palm trees can be seen.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Babette Sigalas, 2003
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 90 mm (Height), 142 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: immigration, weddings, greek communities, greek immigration, correspondence, arranged marriages, travel
Themes this item is part of: Lili Sigalas, Greek Migrant, 1922, Sigalas Family Collection, Migration Collection, Leisure Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Processing - Planning & Departure
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Inscriptions: Printed on Front of Card: Nr 174 Cafe arabo
Handwritten on back of card: Cairo. / le 39 Aout 1921 / My Darling Lili, / just to let you / know that I have arrived safely / in Cairo, where I will stay two days. / I arrived in Alexandria yesterday / (Sunday) at 10A.M. I left the same / afternoon for Cairo, I miss you / very very much. How are you? / Give my love to mother, / father, Alex and remember me / to Kotsos. Your ever loving letho X / xxxxxx
Sender: Mr Letho Sigalas, Cairo, Egypt, 29 Aug 1921
Addressed To: Mrs Lili Sigalas, Greece, 29 Aug 1921

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