Famiglia Giovanni Santamaria

Giovanni Santamaria is another notable figure of our immigration in Australia. Born in Felicudi (Eolian Islands), until young, he helped his family working in the fields and before the end of World War 1 he enlisted and participated for six months. Discharged because he was an only son, he turned his sights towards distant lands full of promise. Argentina is his preferred destination and Buenos Aires sees him disembark in 1920 and does not leave the area that he first saw. He worked very hard at the port for two years and for every ship that arrived and unloaded migrants, when it leaves, a part of his heart overflowed with nostalgia.

It is two years of uncertainty until he decides to leave for Italy. In his town he felt reassured and ready for the best adventure of his life. In fact he marries his girl friend Terzita Russo, who shares with him happiness and sorrow. He decides to leave for America, but for him leaving is impossible. In 1925, after his intended trip to America was blocked he decided to leave for Australia, being sponsored by his uncle who gave him some money and came to Melbourne.

For four years he worked as a farmer, dedicating his energies and soul, without rest, until he achieved his goal. To reunite with his family left behind in Italy, wife Terzita and son Felice.

He returned to Italy where he remained for two years, in the meantime a daughter was born - Nunziata. Another trip across the seas, before he called his family together. After buying a piece of land that he turned into a dairy farm another daughter was born - Maria; after so many sacrifices, he decided to retire to Melbourne for his well earned rest.

Mr Giovanni Santamaria passed away on 7 February 1968. Mr and Mrs Santamaria were able to accept with serenity of soul the difficult tests of a hard life, sometimes bitter, but they were always ready to go to the aid of those in need of help which is testament to their goodwill.

Giovanni is Giuseppe’s first cousin.

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