Summary

Folding deck chair purchased by Michele Grosso in Messina for use onboard his immigrant voyage to from Italy to Australia in 1952. Michele came from Grammichele in the province of Catania, Sicily. He was 22 years old when he made the decision to emigrate to Australia after being offered a job by his aunt working in the market gardens at Werribee on the outskirts of Melbourne. He travelled unaccompanied on the Flotta Lauro Line ship MV Napoli, arriving in Melbourne on 18 March 1952.

He purchased the chair before boarding in Messina after being told that the Napoli was more of a transport (freight) ship and had only basic passenger facilities. He also bought a novel which he didn't get to read because he found he was so busy during the voyage with onboard activities organised by the shipping line. He kept the chair as a reminder of that great experience on board the ship and a symbol of his adventure in Australia.

The MV Napoli was one of the pioneer Italian-owned migrant ships to undertake Australian voyages during the post World War II years and established an involvement of the Flotta Lauro Line in the Europe-Australia passenger trade that was to last for 25 years.

Physical Description

Timber-framed folding deck chair with arm rests and blue, yellow & red stripped fabric seat.

Significance

This deck chair provides a rare example of an immigrant's 'brought object' carried primarily for use on the voyage to Australia rather than as a personal memento or for professional or domestic use when settled in Australia.

More Information