Summary

Black and white photograph of the Dervish family in Polis in north-west Cyprus, circa 1935.

Yildiz Dervish (back row, right), born in 1925, migrated from Polis in north-west Cyprus on the 'Corsica' in December 1951 and arrived at Station Pier in Melbourne in January 1952. She had married Redjeb Eyyam by proxy (a male relative standing in for the absent groom) prior to leaving; Redjeb, born in 1922, had already migrated to Melbourne in 1949 to escape the economic hardships of post World War II Cyprus. They had never met. His name was changed to Eyiam at the passport office in Cyprus. Neither spoke English and they were among only a small number of Turkish Cypriot migrants to come out to Australia. Redjeb found no work in his trade as a bootmaker and worked in factories, taking in boarders to help pay the mortgage in Footscray. The couple had four children and over the years sponsored other relatives to migrate to Australia. Yildiz returned to Cyprus a number of times; Redjeb never went back.

Description of Content

Group of standing and seated young and older women and one elderly male in front of a building (family home in Polis). Identified in back row: Vahibe (third from left), Refika (fourth from left); middle row: Serif (Yildiz' mother) first from left, Heniye (Yildiz' grandmother) third from left, Yildiz' father (fourth from left); front row: Museref (Yildiz' sister) first from left; Naime (Yildiz' youngest sister) second from left; Yildiz (third from left).

Physical Description

Black and white photograph

Significance

This item is part of a collection which represents a small and lesser known community of migrants in Melbourne - Turkish Cypriots. The collection of photographs, documents and the suitcase also all help to tell stories relating to proxy marriage (common particularly amongst the Italian, Greek and Maltese migrants), and the practice of changing the names of migrants both before and after arrival in order to adapt to the demands and expectations of an English-speaking country.

More Information