Italian Family History Group Report

April 24 2013

Anzac Eve was an interesting evening for those 74 people who attended our April meeting. Our guest speaker was the NSW Senior Government Crown Prosecutor Mr Mark Tedeschi. Ten apologies were received.

The meeting was slightly delayed due to the intense traffic congestion in getting to Leichhardt, in what turned out to be a long weekend for many.

Our Chairman, Dominic Arrivolo, took the opportunity to give a brief history to the large gathering of the history of the Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group. It was the occasion of our 134th meeting since being launched in March 2000.

The major event during that time has been the ability to access microfilm reels of Italian Official Registers of Birth Deaths and Marriages through the Co.As.It. library. Our group’s success in this regard now removes the task of researchers having to travel to Italy for detailed information. This subject attracted a number of queries from the audience.

Our guest Mark Tedeschi was great speaker. He astounded the audience by his manner of delivery (without a microphone) with so much detail. His audience was most responsive to him as he related his intriguing story about EUGENIA, an Italian lady in the early part of the century. The history of the court proceedings in this case so impressed Mark, as many of the incidents occurred in a neighbourhood nearby to where he is currently living, and caused him to research the matter in detail. Eugenia Falleni married, took the roll as a male, and married another female, before murdering her female spouse in Sydney in the 1920’s. She was convicted of murder and died in prison in 1938.

As Mark was employed in the office of the Crown solicitor this enabled him to research the case in detail and with much interest, as he could access all court documents. Mark revealed many incidents of the case which astounded the audience who reacted with surprise and curiosity. More details and how this woman was able to disguise herself for so long in public as a man without being detected, is revealed in the book entitled EUGENIA.

The events of this case received much publicity in the media of the day. It would most certainly be a best selling movie, should that ever occur.

The staff from Shearer’s, a local bookshop, were present to sell copies, which Mark personally autographed.

Needless to say Mark’s topic was the subject of much discussion following the meeting as we took light refreshments at the La Giara Restaurant in the Italian Forum.

It was a night not to be missed!

Dominic Arrivolo,