Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Margherita Stefani cooking at the Amalfi Wine Saloon, c. 1950, courtesy of Margherita Stefani.
    Details

Exhibitions

  • Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

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Stefani, Margherita (1928 - )

Born
5 May 1928
Cimbergo, Brescia, Italy
Occupation
Business owner
Alternative Names
  • Bonomini, Margherita

Summary

Margherita Stefani ran the Amalfi Boarding House and wine saloon in Kalgoorlie with her husband.

Details

Margherita Stefani migrated with her mother and her sister Maria to Western Australia in 1940. The family had waited for nine years for their father to send money for their migration. Margherita's mother, aged 38, had four more children in the eastern goldfields mining town of Gwalia, Western Australia. Margherita was forced by her father to remain at home helping her mother with the children and do ironing and washing for single miners until she was 21 when she went to work at the Leonora Hospital as a domestic. She married ex-miner and internee Romeo Stefani in 1953. He had bought the Kalgoorlie Wine Saloon and, after changing the name to the Amalfi, he and Margherita fed, cleaned and cared for young migrant Italians, visitors to Kalgoorlie and those wanting a good home-cooked meal. Margherita worked from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week, leaving her little time for politics or socialising. She was assisted by her mother, who helped in the kitchen and cared for her grandchildren, her sister Maria who worked as a waitress and other married women who needed part-time work and young single girls. Margherita's work and that of the women who assisted her was essential to the operation of the mines of the Golden Mile because the many miners without family support would not have remained in the town without it. Margherita retired to Perth in 1983 after twenty years of hard work.

Sources used to compile this entry: Criena Fitzgerald and National Foundation for Australian Women, Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Australian Women's Archives Project, December 2012, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/wikb/wikb-home.html; Interview with Maria Guidarelli and Margherita Stefani, OH3562/30; State Library of Western Australia.

Archival resources

State Library of Western Australia

  • Interview with Maria Guidarelli and Margherita Stefani, OH3562/30; State Library of Western Australia. Details

Digital resources

Title
Margherita Stefani discussing her working day
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani discussing work skills
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani describing the first takeaway spaghetti and cutlets in Kalgoorlie
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani describing her working day
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani - no days off work
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani discussing education for her daughter
Type
Interview
Source
Criena Fitzgerald

Details

Title
Mrs Marinka, waitress at the Amalfi Restaurant
Type
Image
Date
c. 1950
Source
Margherita Stefani

Details

Title
Margherita Stefani cooking at the Amalfi Wine Saloon
Type
Image
Date
c. 1950
Source
Margherita Stefani

Details

Title
Amalfi Restaurant, Kalgoorlie Boulder
Type
Image
Date
c. 1950
Source
Margherita Stefani

Details

Criena Fitzgerald

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124