Person: Callil (Habibe) Farrah

Callil Farrah

Hawker/Mine worker/Storekeeper/Farmer/Retired


Zahle, Syria/Lebanon

Arrival In Australia:

Years Lived In Brisbane:

Date Of Naturalization:

Year Of Birth:

Place Of Death:

Date Of Death:

Residential Address

  • Type of Location: Family home
    Address: 11 Bank Street West End


  • Marriage Date: 5/06/1901
    Birthplace of spouse: Syria/Lebanon
    Heritage of spouse: Syrian/Lebanese
    Place of marriage: Cairns, Queensland


Callil Farrah is remembered as ‘a gentle, kind and loving man’ who was not particularly good at business. He was a teenager when he came to Australia from Zahle with his father, Habib, and sisters, Eva and Amenie in about 1894. He worked as a hawker in northern New South Wales and then Queensland. Throughout his life in Australia, Callil lived and worked in many places including: Lismore, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Emerald, Cairns, Mareeba, Townsville, Maryborough, Wolfram Camp and Gayndah.

In 1901, he married Shufier Solomon. Callil and Shufier raised 14 children, seven girls and seven boys. They spent several years in north Queensland where Callil worked in the mines at Wolfram Camp, near Mareeba, and then ran a General store at Wolfram Camp.  In 1914, Callil and Shufier bought land in Woodmillar, near Gayndah in 1914 which they farmed for eight years until prickly pear infestation forced them to leave. The couple then purchased a house in West End Brisbane and from the 1920s, 11 Bank Street West End was the Farrah family home.

Callil was active in his local community. While at Wolfram Camp, for example, he was active on the hospital committee which successfully obtained ‘an up-to-date hospital and resident doctor for Mareeba’. He was also an active member of the Australian Labour Party and was encouraged to nominate as a local Member of Parliament for the Party. He declined as he thought his English was inadequate and would limit his contribution.


Mary Surtees, interview with Anne Monsour, Brisbane, 2019.

Mary Surtees, ‘Callil Farrah’, in Anne Monsour (ed), Raw Kibbeh: Generations of Lebanese Enterprise (Coogee, NSW: Australian Lebanese Historical Society Inc., 2009), pp. 93-94.

Carmel King, A New Beginning (Brisbane: Author, 1994), pp. 100-101.