In this publication, Fitzroy People, our research has focussed on twenty personal stories of early inhabitants who lived and or worked in Fitzroy.
The enthusiasm, commitment, and collaborative researching of volunteer members of The Fitzroy History Society has enabled this project to come to fruition. The collection of stories reflects lives of ‘ordinary’ people living in Fitzroy. Most were not known to us prior to this project. All had died by about 1970.
The stories come from 5 English, 4 Irish, 3 people born in Australia (one in Fitzroy), 2 Scots, 1 Ukrainian (Russian), 1 Chinese. Of interest there are 5 publicans /restaurateurs; 2 labour activists; 3 health workers (nurse, herbalist and clairvoyant); 6 in the trades (baker, butcher, machinist, clothing; bricklayer; cycle manufacturer) and traders (grocer, clothing); 3 managed to develop land as part of their business operations.
The stories amplify a flavour of life in the suburb. Several were immigrants to Australia and their stories tell how they explored and utilised their skills in manufacturing and small business, others were owners and licensees/ publicans. Not surprisingly several were strong women striving to maintain business and care for family. The impact of the World War One altered peoples’ lives, and some stories show the profoundness of its consequences.