Molina Family

by Pia Francesca Dwyer
(Melbourne)

<font color=#0000a0 face=verdana size=1>Melbourne 1905</font>

Melbourne 1905

My great-grandparents came to Australia in approximately 1905 - Ernesto Molina from Turino and Francesca Bo (Petazzi) from Rochetta Tanero (near Asti). Ernesto's sisters also came over to Australia and settled in country Victoria.

Ernesto and Francesca set up Italian restaurants in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, which have been noted in many historic records as contributing considerably to the great restaurant cosmopolitan centre that Melbourne is today. They made a good living and many photos from the 1920's show them visiting relatives in Rochetta Tanero.

When we visited in 1998, Francesca's very elderly cousins, Pina and Antinella, still had her Bombolla doll (it was 100 yrs old) and spoke with great pride that Francesca had come home with money and had toilets installed in all her relatives' homes in Rochetta (approximately 5 homes!!).

Ernesto and Francesca had three children, Yolanda (my nonna), Giuseppe(Jo Molina), and Luciano (Lou Molina). Yolanda married Pio Maquignaz (born in Val d'Aosta) in 1940 and they had The Ritz restaurant in Lonsdale Street during the 1940's-1960's. Jo and Lou also ran restaurants and became Australian legends through their great social contributions to Melbourne's restaurant culture.

Ernesto and Francesca have 12 great-grandchildren: Pia, Celia, Fiona, Renee, Peter, Nicolas, Christie, Alexis, Simon, Ben, Ernest and Lou, and 7 great-great-grandchildren: Sierra, Jacomo, Luca, Lola, Mila and Ted, and all of us have been brought up as Italian-Australians with an enthusiastic and proud appreciation of our Italian culture ...

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Oct 15, 2015
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Sep 08, 2015
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Sep 03, 2015
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by: david

It is good to read that your great-grandparents came to Australia in early 90.No doubt Australia has improved a lot.Ernesto and Francesca set up Italian restaurants which is great.I wish to visit Australia to see these places.
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Jul 30, 2015
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Family history NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Pia, I'm a granddaughter of one of Ernesto's sisters, Angelina. I've done a bit of research on the family, though less on the Molina side than the Della Bosca. I have read that Ernesto and Francesca arrived here in Australia on the Zeiten in 1912.(Mietta O'Donnell).
I have a lovely photo of Ernesto, Francesca, Iolanda, Joe, Lou and my grandmother - when she first came to Australia, she worked for your gg. Let me know if you'd like a copy, am happy to email it.
Cheers (or auguri),
Anna Maree

Jul 28, 2015
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nice write up NEW
by: Adam Molina

Hi Pia, nice write up! I enjoyed reading about this part of my family's history. I am actually another great grandson of Ernesto and Francesca. My Nonno is the late Lou Molina and I am the son of Ernest and brother of Lou (jnr) and Shelley. I would look forward to finding out a bit more about the Molina ancestry if you happen to have any more information?

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Oct 07, 2014
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Melbourne has the best restaurants!
by: Andrea

I enjoyed reading about your family's history in the restaurant business. I'm guessing that my father, his brothers and uncles all visited your family's restaurants during the years they lived in Melbourne. My father had a business in Little Lonsdale Street.

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