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Mentone  Victoria

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From the story behind the choice of its name to its Air Museum collection to its famous daughters, Mentone, a sea-side residential Melbourne suburb on Port Phillip Bay, is full of surprises. The name, it seems, was chosen because Mentone happened to be the then British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s favourite Italian bolt-hole. The original burghers also maintained the Italian connection in street names such as Venice, Florence, Naples and Como. For its part, the Air Museum, which is located at Moorabbin Airport, not only boasts Australia’s first aeroplane hangar but it also claims Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro’s first presidential aircraft. The suburb’s brush with fame also extends to the fact that Australia’s first great woman swimmer, Annette Kellerman, called Mentone home before she went on to fame and fortune on the silver screen. During the 1880s, Mentone held an abiding attraction to painters Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder. Conder's well-known painting, A Holiday in Mentone, now hangs in the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide.


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