Emigrated in 1933.
My father was from Messina but when they had the “Diluvio” (the 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami – Ed.)
they had to leave and he came to stay in Lipari. That’s where he met my mother. Some of my other relatives were
already here (in Australia – Ed.) so they sponsored my father, he settled here for a few years and when he had made
enough money he sent for us.
My father had a little fruit shop in Elwood, so we went to live there for a few years. When the war broke out in 1939
they sent my father to cut wood (during World War II internment of prisoners of war and enemy aliens in Australia
was administered under the National Security Act 1939. Italian internees were detached as paid labour to harvest wood – Ed.)
and we were left on our own. Every Saturday night we had to go and report to the police station and things were very hard.
The priest from our church used to bring us food to keep us going.
I went back to Italy in 1998, when I was in my 60s and, as the boat was approaching Lipari, I had tears in my eyes,
I got so emotional.
I’ll never forget the place where I was born.