Miss Jago’s Corner Shop

Annetta (Joy) Phillips writes about the former shop on the corner of Heath and Ingles Streets:

Irene (‘Rene’) was the elder of two Jago sisters. In 1937 she opened a grocery and bakery shop at 101 Ingles Street.

Jago's shop

Irene Jago outside the shop, corner Ingles and Heath Sts

Rene was in charge of the shop and her sister Bette worked with her. They lived behind the shop.

Three teenage girls, Francie, Dulcie and Rosa also lived and worked at the shop. They had no family and Rene took them in and cared for them. Rosa is possibly the young girl pictured with Rene in the photo of the shop.

Rene used to make her own pies, pasties & sausage rolls – 3d – 6d each, and hot scones on Sunday at 6d a dozen. She also sold groceries and cigarettes, and her beloved lollies.

During the war she would make up small bags of cigarettes and lollies and give them to the soldiers as they came by train to Port Melbourne on their way overseas. They would take orders from local businesses and factories. Bette would pack the pies, pasties & sausage rolls carefully into a basket covered with a teatowel, a thick towel and then newspaper on top to keep them warm. She would then ride her bike all round Port Melbourne to deliver them. She would even deliver them as far as the Government Aircraft Factory at Fisherman’s Bend.

Rene also employed a man named Mickey Daley to help. He would push the pies, etc in an old pram and deliver them up as far as Williamstown Road to the factories. He worked with Rene until he enlisted for World War 11.

There were many poor families in Port Melbourne at this time and she would never let anyone go away hungry and if necessary would give the poor families free food. When many children were confined to their homes because of the polio epidemic she would toss small bags of lollies through their windows.

 

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