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Monday, April 23, 2012

by Ginette Toscano Page
Club President

Wow! What a day it was! Club Garibaldi's 130th Anniversario Carnevale was a huge success! After a week of inclement weather leading right up to Sunday morning, we were blessed with a beautiful, fine, sunny day. This event gave us a chance to not only celebrate this milestone anniversary, but it also gave us the opportunity to share our Italian heritage, and invite all Wellingtonians to this special event.

Events such as this would not happen without a hard working, dedicated core of club members and helpers; this year was no exception. However, the three members who made up the Carnevale Committee, Vic Criscillo, Robin Page and Catherine Monastra, were absolutely outstanding. They worked tirelessly for weeks on end planning/organising everything. In fact, the week leading up to event, our telephone and computer literally ran 'hot' day and night – the computer seat was never vacant – the moment Robin stood up, I would jump onto it! I imagine it would have been the same at Vic and Catherine's households!

Many thanks to all the people, including those who are not club members, for their tremendous support in baking for the club's dolce stand. Please accept this as a personal acknowledgement. The dolce stand is always very popular and attracts a lot of regulars who know exactly which cake or biscotti they want! Many thanks also to those members who spread the word to family and friends about the Carnevale. Many thanks also to Ambassador Alessandro Levi Sandri for coming to the Carnevale and saying a few words, particularly about Giuseppe Garibaldi, whom our club is named after.

Club Garibaldi wish to sincerely thank Deputy Mayor, Ian McKinnon, and officers from the Wellington City Council, for their support, professional advice and willingness to help in so many ways. We also successfully applied for a financial grant to help offset our Carnevale expenses – this was very much appreciated. Our many thanks also to Salvatore Volpicelli, Fish Fins Ltd, Newtown, and Glenn and Jo Barnao Gordon, Island Bay Video/Lotto/Post Shop, for sponsoring the hiring of the Gondola model at the Carnevale.

There are so many people who Club Garibaldi would like to thank – please refer to the April issue (PDF 1.8MB) of the newsletter.

Check out our Gallery to view more photos taken at the Carnevale.


Buona sera, thanks for organising the Italian Carnival on Sunday, 25th, at St Patrick's College. We were struck by the wonderful family feeling and warm atmosphere (this was a little different to previous festivals that seemed to be rather more commercially focused). The entertainment was lovely and we very much enjoyed the delicious food and the generosity of spirit of the Italian community in inviting Wellington to be part of its celebration. Well done on a well-organised and very enjoyable day! Angela Duncan, a member of the public.

It was a lovely happening...the best thing being the enjoyment that was obvious on the faces of all. I really loved seeing so many young families with wee ones out there in the sun enjoying the atmosphere and the food and wine, etc. The music that came from inside also helped the atmosphere. As I heard it said, it was good to get away from the commercial aspect of the event...My heartiest congratulations to all for the splendid, successful day. Best love, Marie Barnao

Congratulations on a great job. You can count on our support next year, God willing. For me, the best part of the day was the nice atmosphere. We support the festival for the club. I spoke to a lot of people and never heard a bad comment. Regards, Joe Cuccurullo

Hi all, I would just like to say a big thank you to Vic, Robin and Catherine, for organising such a wonderful Carnevale at St Pat's today, and all the hard work they put into it. And also to Ginette and the rest of the committee and club members who helped today to make it such a success! Lots of good feedback from store holders and the general public about today's Carnevale! Many thanks! Alf Basile

It was a really good time today. Everyone I spoke to said it was relaxing and cool. Cheers! John Cao

Congratulations to everyone involved in organising such an amazing day. I know the work involved behind the scenes is enormous. Everyone I know had an amazing time. Lynda Marson

Just wanted to say that we think you did a great job of the Carnevale yesterday. We were pleased we were part of it. Kind regards, Debbie Natoli – Harvey World Travel Miramar

Jenny and I are very sorry we were unable to join you on Sunday Ginette. We already had four civic commitments, some overlapping directly with Club Garibaldi – Carnevale Italiano...we do hope it went well for all (and are sure it would have). Thank you for your very nice words in your email. Be assured, you are welcome to get back at any time. Warm regards, Ian McKinnon, Deputy Mayor

Sunday was just great! Back to what it used to be. Real community feeling, everyone pulling together, enjoying each other's company and generally having a good time. My three 'girls' thoroughly enjoyed the day too, as did Janet Purdey (Manager of Marketing) who came and joined us at the booth in the afternoon. Janet is a cannoli addict so she was in heaven! We love to support the Club and the Italian Community. Susan Superville, Te Papa Tongarewa

Thank you for inviting us to have a stall at Club Garibaldi's Carnevale Italiano. The St. Patrick's College venue proved to be perfect; easy access, well-appointed facilities and plenty of room both inside and outside. The Carnevale itself was so good with variety; excellent entertainment, amazing food and drink stalls – big queues especially for the piazzas and the Italian dolci!! The whole atmosphere was wonderful and so much like the Italian Festivals that were held at the Overseas Terminal. A big thank you to the Carnevale Organizing Committee and the many helpers. Well done! Elizabeth Peek, President Circolo Italiano di Wellington

Hi Robin & Ginette, hope you've had the time to rest and relax after last Sunday! Angelo and I would just like to thank you both and all the others that were involved in organising such a great event! Lots and lots of hard work would have been involved, so thank you again. We are looking forward to next year! Hopefully this will be a yearly event! The venue was just perfect!!! Kind Regards, Liliane & Angelo Cacciato, The Italian Connection

Ciao, Carlo and I really had a great time last Sunday. We enjoyed being of some help and really felt part of the community. And...thank you Ginette for dancing the tarantella with me!!! Un abbraccio a te e a Robin! Delia e Carlo

I think the venue is fantastic and has bought the festival back to what it originally was a fantastic way for the community to celebrate the Italian way. The festival is very near up my heart as it was where we did our debut event back in 2004 so it is like the anniversary of our company! Well done and I look forward to being involved in future year. Regards, Nathan Meyer, Gelato NZ

It was my pleasure to have sung at the Carnevale, and I look forward to hopefully many more. Elitsa Kappatos, Auckland

Congratulations on hosting such a wonderful event for the community! I really enjoyed playing, and being able to contribute to the day. Thanks for inviting me to part of such a friendly well organised event. Best Regards, Rebekah Grieg (accordionist)

The event was great for myself and Leanne – many wonderful interactions with people passionate about Italy, comparing travel experiences. The atmosphere was quite different to the stadium – feeling less 'commercial' and more relaxed. So many thanks for the opportunity. We return to Italy in September and will be taking many new photos...Ciao ciao, Don and Leanne

Well done on pulling together the Carnevale. We can only imagine what a big task it is. The set up and entertainment were great and we definitely hope it's not the last. It was a joy to see the celebrations go back to a more low key community/family feel. We're behind you all the way and always happy to help. Ciao, Melanie Federico & Sean Keaney


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