• An identification card for Mum that she must of needed.
  • Eleonora on her Communion and Confirmation day.
  • A postcard Mum had kept of S. Francesco da Paola in Melissa.
  • Dad's Certificate of Registration of a Hairdresser.
  • Mum looked beautiful on her 1st passport.
  • Mum had kept this precious photo which she had sent to Dad in Australia.
  • A certificate Mum had kept of Sam's.
  • A sailing schedule for passenger service between Italy and Australia.
  • Dad's passport with Nick added onto it.
  • Passenger Manifest list from their arrival.
  • A disembarking passenger list with Dad's name displayed at the bottom of the page.
  • The next page of the disembarking passenger list.
  • An image I found of the ship 'Roma'.

In early 1964, Dad had made contact with Mum in Italy and had asked her to sell their family home. He wanted her and the kids to come and join him and make a new life in Australia. Mum had organised everything and had sold their family home. Dad though had a last minute change of heart and told Mum not to sell, but Mum had told him that it was too late. She then had to try and explain to the nice people that had purchased the house that Dad was coming back to Italy for good. Thankfully they understood and agreed not to go ahead with the purchase.

In the years when Dad was away for work, Mum tried hard to look after her family and their home.  Ellen told me that she had to have her Communion and Confirmation both on the same day. She was a little sad though as Dad was not there to share this special day with her, but thankfully someone had taken a photo of her all dressed up so that Dad could see her. On another day Mum had to rush Sam to hospital. Ellen remembers it like it was yesterday and tells me that Sam had jumped off a baulo (chest) at home and of course he had broken his arm. 

In the fifth photo above, Eleonora is wearing a floral dress which she loved. She recently told me that while Dad was living and working in Dandenong, he had bought that material and had it sent over to Mum in Italy. Mum had that special dress made for Ellen from that material. A family member took that photo and it was sent to Dad in Australia with a precious message on the back. It says love from your wife Carmela, Eleonora, Salvatore and Franco, lots of love and kisses.

When Dad first arrived in Dandenong he began working at Volkswagen which then turned into Nissan. He worked there just until he was able to get into the City with some family members as hair models and apply for his Australian Hairdressers licence. He proudly got his certificate in December 1962. 

Dad tried really hard to work and live in Dandenong, but he was missing his family back home in Italy. On 25th March 1964 he went to the Italian Consulate in Melbourne to organize all the paperwork for him to go back home. He would arrive in Messina on 2nd May 1964. He must have passed by Malaysia on the way as his passport is stamped with it on 14th April 1964 and it was also stamped Port Said in Tel Aviv on 29th April 1964. Who knew that he had even travelled there. Maybe they were just stop overs and picking up other passengers on the way.

Mum had told me that they were wanting to come to Australia in late 1964. While they were doing all the relevant checks, someone noticed that Mum was pregnant so unfortunately they would not let her travel as it was too risky for the both of them. Mum had told me that she kind of knew that she was, but thought that no-one would notice as she wasn't showing too much. 

Their fourth child Nicola was born on 30th April 1965 and when Nick turned '6' months old they would start their journey. He was also added onto Dad's passport as one of the photo's above shows. On 24th October 1965 they embarked at Messina for the long trip to Australia. They would arrive in Fremantle on 14th November 1965 before heading into Station Pier, Port Melbourne on 19th November on the ship 'Roma'.


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