Maria and Salvatore Mandarino
I was born in 1951 in Quattropani, Lipari and married at 14 in 1965 with Salvatore.
We left Italy on March 15th, 1966 on board the Guglielmo Marconi to Australia and arrived in Melbourne 18 days later.
Salvatore had already been to Australia for 6 years and we met soon after his return to Lipari.
Once here, we found temporary accommodation for a couple of months in St Kilda East, at some friend’s place.
The journey was delightful, just married, young and never gone outside the island before.
Once the novelty and the initial excitement had worn off and as time went by, I started to feel homesick,
I was missing my family and the letters I was receiving from my father upset and moved me.
After several months I met someone from my village, then others followed and this helped me to overcome
loneliness and isolation.
We bought a house and at 17 I gave birth to Roberto. Seven years later we went to Italy for 3 months
to visit our family and it was unforgettable.
Salvatore – My older brother owned a fruit & vegetable shop in Melbourne. I used to cook and my younger brother
to wash the dishes. In Italy my mother would do all of this by herself, but here we had to help each other.
I remember I used to get up at 2am every morning to go to the wholesale market.