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Tailor's ruler used by Costas Melidis

Date: pre 1964
Overall: 550 x 320 x 6 mm
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Costas Melidis
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Ruler
Object No: 00032463

User Terms

    This tailor's ruler belonged to Costas Melidis who migrated to Australia from Greece in 1964. Two edges of the triangular-shaped wooden ruler have markings in centimetres.
    SignificanceGreek tailor Costas Melidis brought his tailoring tools with him when he migrated to Australia in 1964, ensuring his independence and livelihood in his new homeland. This tailor's ruler represents the skilled European immigrants who came to Australia during the 'second wave' of post-World War II migration in the 1950s and 1960s.
    HistoryCostas Melidis migrated to Australia from the Greek Island of Limnos in 1964 on the Chandris liner ELLINIS. Sponsored by his brother in Australia, Costas used all his savings and sold his sewing machines to pay 12,000 drachmas for the ticket to Australia. Costas believed there was little future for himself and his family in Greece. He saw Australia as an opportunity for a new and prosperous life, where he would start his own tailoring business.

    ELLINIS was built as LURLINE for the American Matson Line. It was bought by the Chandris Group in September 1963 in response to the boom in the Australian migrant trade. After a brief refit it departed on its first voyage to Australia in December 1963.

    During the voyage to Australia on ELLINIS, Costas won first prize in the fancy dress competition, with a captain's costume he made out of crepe paper. He had seen the competition advertised in the ship's newspaper. Costas was allowed to use the sewing machine on board the ship to sew the costume. He also made a Napoleon-style costume for a fellow passenger to wear in the competition in order to cheer him up. Costas received a Chandris Line key ring as a prize for first place.

    Once in Australia, Costas quickly found tailoring work through his Greek contacts. His first job was at a factory in Taylor Square, Sydney, where he worked for three months before becoming self-employed. Eight months after arriving in Australia, Costas had saved enough money to send for his wife Maria and their two young daughters who were still in Greece. The Melidis family were among 160,200 Greeks who came to Australia between 1947 and 1971.
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