George Iosifidis

Hostels

Semaphore

George Iosifidis came to Australia from Greece in 1955 as a young man looking for work and better opportunities. He thought initially that he would work in Australia for ‘a couple of years’ and then return to Greece.

The government came and put [an ad] in the paper, they used to come and say they were looking for men to go to Australia … Put an application in, go to Salonika, through the doctors and that's it.
George Iosifidis, interviewed 2012
 

George was sent first to Bonegilla, where many new arrivals were processed, and then to a farm near Murray Bridge to work, before moving on to Adelaide. When a friend from George’s home town in Greece helped him find a job at Port Adelaide George moved to the hostel at Semaphore, known at that time as Glanville.

Glanville was alright we were getting plenty of bread. They probably got the message, they said ‘Greeks want bread’, they can't eat without the bread.
George Iosifidis, interviewed 2012
 

He stayed at the Glanville, or Semaphore, hostel for about three months, working for the Waterworks digging trenches and cleaning pipes by hand. George found it hard to adjust at first, he was homesick and didn’t like the accommodation, but gradually as he made friends he got used to life at the hostel. George liked the meals, he remembers nice meat and soups, that the food was cooked well and the hostel provided sandwiches to take to work.

There were a number of other Greek men living at the Glanville  hostel.  When they had time off the men would go to the beach, the Greek clubs, cinemas, and  restaurants. George remembers catching the bus every weekend to go to a popular Greek restaurant on Hindley Street.

George did not have the money to return to Greece so he continued working, and after four or five years in Australia he met Lorraine, who became his wife. 

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