Italian Family History Group Report


report-7Our July winter meeting was replaced with a historic bus trip to Bella Vista in Sydney’s North Western district, and continued on with a visit to the Hawkesbury River village of Ebeneezer and the Tizzana Winery. Lunch was provided at Biviano’s Italian Restaurant at Windsor.

A total of 50 people decided to join us. We left the Gladesville RSL Car park at 9 am..

Within 30 minutes we reached our first destination, the Bella Vista Farm Park where we enjoyed a private group talk on the history, and tour of the Farm which was established by Elizabeth Macarthur, wife of the founder of the Wool industry in Australia in 1773.

report-8The park provides a rare view of the rural link of the first settlement period which contrasts to today’s European development.. The site was one of Australia’s first and largest sheep properties of 1770 acres. John Macarthur’s wife Elizabeth resided on the property which today has wonderful elevated views of the surrounding districts. The original two storey homestead has been restored and maintained by local enthusiasts which included two of our passengers, Anthony De Luca and his wife Kay.

report-9Following morning tea, we were able to wander around the homestead to see for ourselves its past history, before proceeding to Ebeneezer.

At the Tizzana Winery we were greeted by members of the Auld family who accommodated us in the historic sandstone cellar building built by Dr Fiaschi in 1878. A talk was given by the Auld family’s son Johnothon.


He gave us specific details of the history of the winery, from the time that Fiaschi first showed an interest in viticulture and planted 5 acres of grapes as an experiment.

Photographs of Fiaschi’s family adorned the walls of the building, including medals that the doctor was awarded for service to the Australian Army in the Boer War and World War 1. He was decorated and retired as a Brigadier General. He also served with the Italian Army in Abyssinia in 1896.

His contribution to modern methods of surgery were extensive, both in practice in Windsor, at Hawkesbury Hospital, and as Consulting Honorary Surgeon to Sydney Hospital and Examiner in Clinical Surgery at Sydney University.

All were mesmerised by the beautiful sunny day and the visits to the two historic places; the country views were an extra.

Our lunch at Biviano’s Italian Restaurant at Winsor capped off the day which will be remembered by all those who decided to spend the day with us on this trip.

We were fortunate to have one of our members take over 200 photos of the event.

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