History in the making

Tzanis Palioudakis outside his great-grandmother’s Mount Hawthorn home.

HISTORY in the making will be a big focus at this year’s Vincent Local History Awards, with a call for entries that document the impact of Covid-19 and restrictions on the community.

Along with entries on historic people, places or events in Vincent, the Local History Centre is hoping to see modern day documentation of drive-by birthdays and Anzac Days in driveways.

Vincent mayor Emma Cole says it’s the 20th anniversary of the awards: “We mark this during a year of great challenge and change. A lot of people used their time staying home to spring clean their homes and trawl through old boxes. We would love to see any historic photos, slides or documents that were unearthed.

Christina Kongras and her husband Dimitri.

“We are also keen to collect more recent diary entries, documents or photographs that tell the story of what it was like to live through Covid-19 in Vincent,” Ms Cole said.

Leederville resident Tzanis Palioudakis is working on one of the historic entries having spent the past five months learning about his great-grandmother Christina Kongras, a pillar of the Mount Hawthorn community.

She migrated from Greece and owned and ran the Olive Oil Fishmonger on Scarborough Beach Road from the 1940s to 1980s.

He told the Local History Centre: “Although she died before I was born, I want to honour her life and make sure her story is known.”

He says she was “a strong, independent woman with a head for business as well as her family and community. She opened a shop in war stricken times in the 1940s and I feel that was an achievement in itself.

“She ran her shop at 151 Scarborough Beach Road at a time when women, especially those from non-English speaking countries, were expected to play secondary roles to men in these fields.”

Entries close September 30, and there’s more info at the Local History Centre (9273 6534, or at the centre inside the Loftus Street library weekdays 9am to 1pm). 

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