Person: Joseph Abdy

Joseph Abdy

Joseph Abdy

General storekeeper and hawker/dealer


Zahle, Syria/Lebanon

Arrival In Australia:

Years Lived In Brisbane:
1909 - 1933

Date Of Naturalization:

Year Of Birth:

Place Of Death:

Date Of Death:

Residential Address

  • Type of Location:
    Address: 19 Ernest Street South Brisbane


  • Marriage Date: 9/08/1905
    Birthplace of spouse: Abbilias or Zahle Mount Lebanon
    Heritage of spouse: Syian/Lebanese
    Place of marriage: Brisbane


When he applied for naturalization in 1913, Joseph Abdy was 29 years old and had lived in Australia since May 1902. At the time, Joseph and his family lived at Russell Street South Brisbane. In the mandatory police report regarding an applicant for naturalization, he was described as a person of ‘good character’ and not ‘a coloured man’. It was also reported he had been a general storekeeper at Woodford until 1909 when he came to Brisbane and was currently a horse dealer.

Understanding that as Asians, Syrian/Lebanese were excluded from naturalization, Joseph stated his birthplace as Constantinople. The police reported that while Joseph could not produce any documentary evidence to support this, Salim Azar, ‘a native of Turkey, since naturalised in the Commonwealth’, knew Joseph well and confirmed that his parents resided in Constantinople. As was the case with both Salim and Joseph, claiming a European birthplace was a successful strategy used by many Syrian/Lebanese to circumvent their racially defined exclusion from citizenship.  In 1941, when Joseph’s son, Michael applied to join the RAAF and needed a copy of his father’s naturalization papers to be accepted, the family stated Joseph was born in Zahle, Mount Lebanon.


Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 18 September 1933, p. 13, viewed 10 September 2021,

NAA: A659, 1941/1/2467, Abdy, J – Naturalisation.