Wollongong Heritage and Stories

Category tag: immigration, itsowel virtual museum of italian immigration in the illawarra, leisure

roll out the barrel

For those who have travelled across the seas to settle in the Illawarra, Life in Australia was new and challenging. Having moved to the other side of the world, our new Italian residents had to adjust to a new way life, new environment, new culture and new food.  Obtaining the things they were familiar with, such as spaghetti, cheeses and olive oil, was difficult.  It is often mentioned that olive oil could only be purchased in chemists!

Photographer Bruno Ballesi enjoyed a beer down the club or pub with friends on a Friday evening.  But what he really desired was a glass of wine. To obtain their desired drop, Bruno and his French father-in-law had barrels of wine shipped from Griffith in NSW.

And then the fun began!  As the barrels were heavy, the wine had to be siphoned with a hose from the barrels and into empty beer bottles the family had secured from a local hotel.  60 gallons of red wine and 20 gallons of sweet wine later (that’s over 300 litres), the wine was bottled and ready for drinking.  Although not of the quality they were used to, Bruno says it was ‘drinkable’.

These photos show Bruno and his wife Lilian, along with her mother having some fun during the bottling process.
Collection: ItSoWel – The Italian Social Welfare Organisation of Wollongong

To hear more about these experiences visit this link, provided courtesy of 97.3 ABC Illawarra.
These photos are from the image collection of ItSoWel – The Italian Social Welfare Organisation of Wollongong.

ItSoWel Virtual Museum of Italian Immigration in the Illawarra

21 Stewart Street Wollongong NSW

(02) 4228 8222