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Sunday, June 03, 2013

by Ginette Toscano Page
Club President

What a day it was! Once again, we were blessed with a fine, sunny day! Club Garibaldi's 18th Festa Italiana gave us the opportunity to share our Italian heritage with all Wellingtonians – it was a huge success! Events such as this would not happen without the small, hard working, dedicated core of club members and helpers; this year was no exception. However, the four members who made up the Festa Organising Committee: Vic Criscillo, Robin Page, Paul Elenio and Catherine Monastra, were absolutely outstanding. As a team they worked tirelessly for months, planning/organising everything. In fact, the week leading up to the event, all our telephones and computers literally ran 'hot' day and night!

Many thanks to everyone, including those who are not club members, for their tremendous support in baking for the club's dolce stand. The dolce stand is always very popular and attracts a lot of regulars who know exactly which cake or biscotti they want! Our thanks to those members who spread the word to family and friends about the Festa. Many thanks also to the Italian Ambassador, H.E. Alessandro Levi Sandri, and Wellington's Mayor, Celia Wade Brown, who found time in their busy schedules to call into the Festa.

Saturday morning helpers: Catherine Monastra, Rex and Avril Da Vanzo, Marie Barnao Loughnan, Adriana and John Wholey, Vince Basile, Vince Costa, Vincenzo and Marco Costa, Ginette and Robin Page, Matt Amitrano, Lynda and Jim Marson, Peter Amitrano, Paul and Maria Elenio, Josephine van der Donk, Armando Gilmoni, David and Catherine Monastra and Maryanne Pointer.

Cake stall: Josephine van der Donk (team leader), Alfonso Basile, Lynda Marson, Maria Colucci, Linda De Gregorio, Anna Quinn, Juliana Quinn, Carmela Morrison, Maryrose Basile, Anna Maria Di Leva, Teresa Mollo, Josephine Volpicelli and Ida Basile.

Cultural stall: Maryanne Pointer (team leader) Giorgio Canderle, Caterina Cuccurullo, Tina Zino, Maria Elenio, Avril Da Vanzo, Merlyn Criscillo, Nina Cuccurullo (pre-festa organiser).

Gate Entry helpers: John Cao (team leader), Sean Keaney, Rosina van der Aa, Patrick Uriot, Jim Marson, Lib Mollo, John De Gregorio, Antonino De Gregorio.

Emcee: Paul Elenio.

Tarantella Dancers: Maria Elenio and Matt Amitrano for organising and training the girls – Grace and Rebekah Amitrano, Sophia and Charlotte Basile, Anna Cacace and Nicola Di Leva.

Eftpos/Finance: Joe and Maryrose Basile, Martin van der Donk, Josephine Volpicelli and Vince Costa.

Children's Activities: Catherine Monastra, Robyn Monastra, Nathalie Uriot, Lucia Roncaglia and daughter Bianca, Marie Barnao Loughnan, Jenny Powell.

Opera Singers and other entertainment: Rex Da Vanzo and Robin Page.

Musica Italiana musicians: Robin Page, Armando Gilmoni, Adam Costa, Simon Waddington, Mario Leonti and Alan Jenkins.

Car Parking: David Monastra and his great band of friends.

Take-down and clean up: Matt Amitrano, Vincenzo and Marco Costa, Patrick Uriot and Robin Page. Sound and music gear loaded onto truck, decorations removed, table and chairs stacked, vehicles loaded, rubbish removed and a final floor sweep: it was all over in no time! To Ginette Toscano Page, Josephine and Martin van der Donk, Josephine Volpicelli, Vic Criscillo and Simon Waddington for packing up and returning all the items/gear back to the club.

Many thanks to: Lora and Raoul Barghiacchi for the loan of their wonderful ancient Italian objects.


Club Garibaldi wish to sincerely thank the Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade Brown, the Deputy Mayor, Ian McKinnon, and officers from the Wellington City Council, for their support, professional advice and willingness to assist in so many ways. Our grateful thanks also to the Wellington City Council for the financial grant which will help off-set our festa expenses – this was very much appreciated.


Check out our Gallery to view photos taken at Festa Italiana 2013.



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