• An image I found of the Dandenong District Hospital maternity ward entrance where Jim was born in June, 1968.
  • Nonno Salvatore holding baby Jimmy on his Baptism Day. It's 28th July, 1968.
  • It's 28th July, 1968 and all the family are dressed up for Jimmy's Baptism Day.
  • Jimmy's Baptism certificate which Mum had kept. He was Baptised Eugenio and in St Mary's Church as they still lived in Dandenong South.
  • A precious photo Mum took of Dad holding baby Jimmy, with Ellen, Sam, Frank and Nick surrounding him.
  • Nick and Jim relaxing in the backyard of their Morwell Avenue home.
  • A precious photo of Nonno Salvatore, Dad, Ellen, Sam and Frank eating on board the ship on the way to Italy. Nonno dated it April, 1970.
  • Nonno Salvatore's hand writing from the back of the above photo recounting their journey to Italy.
  • A postcard of the beach in Crotone which you could see from Dad and Mum's apartment.
  • Jim's name was added onto Mum's passport in 1970, but there was no photo attached.
  • Jim's migration documents from November, 1970 with Dad's signature on it.

It must have been really hard for Mum with not speaking much English and not knowing too many people. Dad knew the language and knew lots of people as he had been here earlier.

While living in the Morwell Avenue home, Mum got pregnant with Jimmy whom I married 20yrs later. He was born at the Dandenong District Hospital in David Street on 24th June 1968 and their only child to be born in Australia. In 2019, I took Jim on a little memory tour, but he said he was too little and couldn't remember the house or any memories there. However, when we turned the corner and drove past his Nonno Salvatore's house on Kirkham Road, he remembered it and going there in the later years as a kid.

Jim's Dad was unsure as where the best place was for his growing family and where they would be truly happy so he decided he wanted to go back to Italy. On 4th March 1970, they went to the Italian Consulate in Melbourne to put in the papers for their return back home.

Jim was written onto Mum's passport as the photo above shows, but there was no photo attached. 

In April 1970 they boarded their ship that would take them back to Italy hoping that this would be for good. Nonno Salvatore also went back with them. A photo which was taken and thankfully purchased has Nonno's writing on the back of it. Ellen was excited to see Nonno's handwriting again and said that Nonno always wrote on the back of his photo's so that he wouldn't forget or be forgotten. He wrote 'in the month of April 1970, a photo of us on the ship and of the table we would eat on. We're coming from Australia to England and then take a plane trip to Napoli'. I never knew that they had been on a plane or been to England. Ellen said that there was an issue with the ship and that it would take longer to get to Italy. They had been offered a plane ride which Mum and Dad had accepted. Ellen said that it was a horrible, scary flight and that they should have waited for the ship.

Dad's passport is stamped Luton, South Hampton on 7th May 1970 so that makes sense now.

Mum and Dad had bought an apartment in Crotone and had family organize everything before their arrival.

Mum and Dad tried really hard to make it work, but they still weren't happy so on 24th October 1970 they said goodbye to all their family and friends. The boarded the ship 'Achille Lauro' in Naples for the long voyage back to Australia. They arrived in Fremantle, Perth on 18th November 1970.

Mum was quite sea sick on the ship so Ellen had taken over looking after the boys, but mainly Nick and Jim as they were the younger two. Nothing has changed as Ellen still looks after all of them.

Mum had told me many years ago that when they got to Fremantle in Perth that they had to get off the ship. They found a pub nearby and Mum said that they ordered this amazing fish and chips and a cold jug of beer.  It was the best fish and chips that they had ever eaten. Ellen remembers it too like it was yesterday.

When they finally arrived in Melbourne, they ended up going to live with an Aunty in Gloria Avenue, Dandenong for a while. This was across the road from where I lived. I tell you what, it was meant to be.

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Nancy
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