Postcard from Lili Vrahamis to her fiancé Letho Sigalas, written in French, while he was on his return journey to Australia from Greece.

Lili (Eleni) Sigalas (nee Vrahamis), born in 1904, was the daughter of Callirrhoe Dressler and Stavros Vrahamis, both from the Greek Island of Sikinos, who also lived for some time in Istanbul. Lili completed her secondary education in Athens, her father ensuring she was reasonably well educated, as he was unable to settle a dowry on her. In 1920 Lili was engaged to a cousin Letho (Eleutherios) Sigalas, and in 1922 migrated to Melbourne on the 'Largs Bay' with her father-in-law to be, James (Iakovos) Sigalas, and her elder married sister Alex. Letho and Lili were married at the Greek Orthodox Church on Victoria Parade, on 18 July 1923, just eight days before Lili's 19th birthday. They had two daughters - Dan'e in 1924 and Magarita Babette in 1931.

Letho worked in his father's cafés and the young couple moved in a very sociable set that included their own young Greek cousins, going to numerous dances, the races, and nightclubs. The family lived at the St Kilda Road house until 1948 when they moved to Kew. In 1930 the family toured Europe and travelled to Greece to see Lili's parents, and again in 1939. In 1937 Lili enrolled in an arts course at Melbourne University (her English now excellent), and during the 1940s, she became a committee member of the International Club, established by Ivy Brookes, which organised cultural events at the St Kilda Town Hall. She was also a member of the Greek Red Cross during the War, participated in organising significant theatre productions and worked as a correspondence teacher of English by the Migrant Education Department. Letho passed away in 1964 and Lili rejoined her family in Greece until 1987, having returned to Melbourne for extended periods during this time. Lili passed away in the 1990s.

Physical Description

Sepia toned postcard featuring sculptural rendition of couple in a gondola. The reverse of the postcard has handwritten text in French in black ink.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Migration & Cultural Diversity, Leisure

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Babette Sigalas, 29 Mar 2004

  • Sender

    Mrs Lili Sigalas, Sikinos, Cyclades, Greece, 1921

  • Addressed To

    Mr Letho Sigalas, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1921

  • Inscriptions

    Written on back in black ink: Mon cher Letho, Avec grande joie j'ai veçu ta letter de Colombo. Je voyais que tu m'a déjà oubliée parcque ta letter a tardé. J'ai appris avec plaisir que tu a fait un bon voyage. Ton pere est venu de Sikinos il y a trois jours. N'aie pas peur d'??? ce que tu veux, je comprend, tout, mot a mot. Est-ce-que toi tu comprends il que je t'??? Bien de choses a ta mere cherie ami qu'a tous nos parents. Mille baisens de ta Lilia Translation: My dear Letho With great joy I received your letter from Colombo. I thought that you had already forgotten me because your letter was late. I was pleased to hear that you have had a good voyage. Your father came to Sikinos for three days. Do not be afraid of ??? what you want, I understand everything word for word. Is that how you understand ??? Best wishes to your dear mother. from all our parents. A thousand kisses from your Lilia.

  • Classification

    Migration, Processing - planning & departure, Correspondence

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    13.8 cm (Length), 8.8 cm (Width)

  • Exhibition Collection Management

    142 mm (Width), 90 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Arranged Marriages, Correspondence, Greek Communities, Greek Immigration, Immigration, Weddings, Travel