A ‘communion’ of Albanians

Albanian Language class in Yarraville
Albanian language class in Yarraville. Teacher Bahri Bregu was also an Albanian language broadcaster on Melbourne’s Radio 3EA (now SBS) for many years.
Source: Laura Hougaz

Despite or because of the difficult circumstances, Albanians in Australia set about creating a sense of community for themselves in their kurbet home. They maintained their distinct cultural heritage and language by building, in the 1960s, the first mosques in Victoria, establishing Albanian Sunday language classes, sports clubs, community welfare and religious associations, and by organising Albanian community events. Celebrations of the annual Albanian National Day, commonly referred to as Flag Day, and the end of Ramadan continue to be community focuses.

The community has established a number of soccer clubs across Melbourne, which provide major occasions for socialising and interacting with members of the Albanian and wider community.

Following the example set by the earlier generation, later migrants built places of worship where they settled, such as in Dandenong and Preston.