Italian Family History Group Report

September 25

This year’s Members’ Night was a most interesting evening. Thirty two people were in attendance: seven apologies were received.

Anthony Ravesi acted as presenter

Andrew Giunta, who recently visited The Latter Day Saints headquarters in USA, was anxious to follow up his previous talk regarding the development of accessing Italian historical records since digitising has been introduced. He demonstrated, with the use of an electronic presentation, the method of accessing data. An instruction sheet prepared by Andrew will be available for our members in the near future.

Our first member to take the podium was Carmelina Blancato Pelligra, who was born at Motta Camastra, a village located a little more than 20 kilometres from the Volcano Etna in Sicily. She was only eleven years of age on arrival in Australia in 1954.

Carmelina holds such vivid memories of the town, that later in life she has written a book, and has been heavily involved in contact with many of the villagers who have also migrated to Sydney, and with the many festas that have been held.

She fulfilled her lifetime dream of writing a book on grieving, following her husband’s death from cancer. She won first prize in the letter writing competition held by the CAS organization. She has continued writing and recently submitted a work to a Victorian Writers’ competition held in Melbourne this year.

The second member to speak was Frank Moschella, whose family recently celebrated 90 years in Australia. Like so many Italian migrants fruit shop retailing was the family back ground. Frank served in the Australian Army for nine years.

On discharge from the Army he found work in a wine shop then in a nursing home on the North shore of Sydney. It was a run-down place; to use his own words ‘it was Hell!’ He did not give up but started at the bottom, stuck it out, and learnt what was needed to service the aged.

Frank currently holds the position as CEO to one of Sydney’s leading nursing home organisations which controls eight homes. The group is one of the ten best of Sydney’s most reputable institutions.

There was much satisfaction amongst our members that night, as it revealed how all of us have a good story to tell of life in Australia.