WELCOME TO OUR BLOG OF GENZANO IT STORY; THIS BLOG WILL BE USED TO POST OUR OWN TEXT ABOUT GENZANO AND ONE OF ITS CITIZEN STORY, AND TO HOUSE A COLLECTION OF ALL PHOTOS AND ARTICLES ABOUT GENZANO DI LUCANIA THAT WE FIND OR WRITE AND WE THINK THAT ARE WORTH TO POST.
Welcome to our hub of, goodbye Italy my
And also goodbye Genzano di Lucania my native
town, GOODBYE TO MY COUNTRY
Map of Italy, I was born in southern Italy and embarked at Naples to go to Australia. So, I had to say goodbye to my native country.
Map of Australia, the new far away land with many future promises for new comers. We arrived in Australia at Fremantle WA.
This is just a photo of some soldiers in the army, I have been in the army to serve my country as required when I was young.
Goodbye to my country
Dear readers, starting with when I left Italy
as the title of, ‘Goodbye to my country’ suggests, we are going to write here a
group of hubs dealing with my life in Australia and what I did, in the hope
that some of you might find them helpful to know, especially those hubs about
housing and building work, and how to own a house, etc. Starting from the time
when I left Italy and most of the things I experienced in Australia.
We all know that in our life time we have to
make many decisions according to what is happening around us, one of these
decisions I had to make when I decided to migrate to Australia; we need to say
that in those times to migrate from one country to another was a very serious
decision, because the generations before us usually stayed all their life in
the towns were they were born, only a few ventured to migrate, because moving
from one country to another was thought to be dangerous and also took a very
long time, so for me and for all those that wanted to migrate was not an easy
decision to make, but in the end everyone has to make his own decisions, so,
after thinking it over, I decided to migrate to Australia, since my brother was
already in Australia and he said that it was good. So, I said goodbye to my
Italian motherland and migrated to Australia.
Today to understand the reasons why I
migrated to Australia in the sixties, one has to read those articles I have
already written in hub pages, or at least one of our earlier articles called,
Wheat farming the modern way, where you could compare how hard it was in those
days to earn a living in the farms, when one compare that to the modern ways of
farming especially here in Australia; this is the link, Farming
today compared to the old way
Anyhow, today the same decision would have
been easier to make, because nowadays people move from one country to another
easily, so to migrate from one place to another is a normal way of life; but it
was not so a while ago, in fact if we go back a hundred years or so, most
people used to live in their own native town all their lives, and a few of them
never even saw another town even when they were close bye, then life was very
different and people accepted that they would die in the same town that they
were born. Today life is different and we find it easier to move from one town
to another and even from one country to another and this is what I have done in
my life time, I moved from Italy to Australia.
As we have already mentioned above, there are
times in our lives when we have to say goodbye to the dearest things in our
lives; and I can tell you that it is not an easy thing to do; but the events
that happen at those times help you to make up your own mind, everyone of us
has got to decide what to do during our lives, whether one would like to stay
put in the native town that one is born, or move somewhere else in the hope of
living a better life.
I would like to sum what I am saying thus,
when people move from one country to another it has become necessary for them
to do something about it, because where they are and what they are doing has no
future in it, and in extreme cases may even be dangerous to stay; of course I
wasn’t in danger, so, this was my case, because I was only looking for a better
future, as what I was doing seemed to go down as the time went by, so I decided
to leave my family farm in my native country of Italy to migrate to Australia.
Here-under is an account of my leaving my
country of Italy; in order to explain that and keep my life story somehow in a
chronological way, I am going to write a bit more about my last time working in
the farm, and then when I had to leave the farm, first to go in the army to
serve my country and then leaving Italy altogether to come to Australia, and
also my voyage in a ship called the Sydney that in those times was taking
passengers to Australia, I will be telling you what impression Australia made
on me when I arrived. Of course I am going to be brief about all this, as there
is a lot to tell if I try to tell you everything in details. So, now let me
explain my position why I left.
Explaining my position
position and the reasons of my migration
In order to
understand fully the reasons of my leaving Genzano di Lucania my native town
and not wanting to return to work in the farm is this: there were many issues
and most of all was that it was very hard to earn a living in the farms, even
when we had average harvests; and then, the ways of working in the farms was
changing and there was less need of man hours work as the tractor and other
machines were coming in, so either we had to buy these machines or we had to
move out of farming, for us to buy those machines was out of reach, as our farm
was not big enough; and last and most important of all was that the very last
year that I worked in the farm we had a very poor harvest, in fact we made so
little wheat that it could not cover the cost of buying the seeds we had sown.
All these facts put
together made me see that I would be wasting my time to work in the farms as my
forbears had done for hundreds of years before me, so, I took the opportunity
to migrate to Australia, as my elder brother had done before me.
But before I could
migrate to Australia I was called to serve in the army, you see in Italy all
able males over 21 should serve in the army, so, I went to serve in the army as
prescribed by the Italian laws. I served in the army and when the army let me
go I migrated to Australia.
Leaving for Australia
Australia and goodbye Italy
I remember that my
mother with a friend came with me to Naples to farewell me when I left Italy. I
suppose it was very hard for my mother to let me go away from the family farm,
but it had to be done, because we has debits we owed too much money, so we the
young and strong members of the family had to find a way how to pay our debits,
in order to find a way how to pay your debits sometimes you had to borrow more
money, as it was in my case, because I had to pay my fare myself and that was a
lot of money. Anyhow, as I have said before one of the options was to migrate
make enough money to pay our debits and then return home to live a better life.
Well at least that was as my mother would have liked it to be, but it did not
work that way for us for many reasons. Anyhow it was the year 1961 when I left
Italy and embarked on the ship Sydney for Australia. I have to say that when
you leave a place that you know well for a place where you have never been it
seems an adventure, starting with walking up to the ship deck for the first
time and looking at all those things that you have never seen before.
In those times
voyages that took a long like going to Australia would worry people, so, old
folks like my mother was worried, because the voyage from Italy to Australia
would take one month by ship and in those times really that was the only way
available to come to Australia.
Anyhow we are in
Naples with my mother and her friend and after visiting the ship, my mother and
her fried stay on the dock waiting to say goodbye, while I embarked on the ship
and this ship is going to take me to Australia a far away land, I wonder how it
is going to turn out because I have never been to sea before, I also cannot
swim and this worries me a bit but not so much, because I know that most of the
other passengers cannot swim as well, so, we are all in the same boat, so to
speak and also in reality, because we are all in the same ship. Anyhow, I am on
this ship liner Called the Sydney and the ship is about to depart from Naples;
the ship makes this low strange sound a couple of times and we see that it is
slowly moving away from the sore. We all look for our relatives and friends and
wave goodbye until they become so small in the distance that we could not
And after that many
thoughts came to our minds and we were saying within ourselves; goodbye mother,
Goodbye my friends, goodbye Italy, goodbye Genzano my native town, who knows
when I will be able to see you again; and thus the journey begins to unfold. We
left Naples in the late afternoon, and next morning we were docked in Messina.
While we were docked in Messina we were allowed to come ashore and walk around
if we wanted to, of course as I was a young man I wanted to see as much as I
could, so I walked the streets of Messina, which seemed to me a nice clean
Sicilian town. Then we went back to the ship as we were told and we left Italy
for good; Goodbye Italy, who knows when I will see you again?
The real journey begins
The real journey
outside Italy begins
Next evening we
were in Port Said Egypt. Here again we were allowed to go ashore, and here for
the first time we met with real foreigners who talked a different language, you
see, until then I and perhaps a lot of the other passengers who were also
migrating to Australia had never been outside Italy. In Port Said I saw for the
first time that the people of this world are not all the same, in fact I am
going to describe to you the way as I have seen it at that time. We came down
the ship and we were walking by instinct in small groups, or perhaps it was one
of the ship crew that took a group to show us the way, and to see how things
were done down there.
There were a few
very young and poor people that wanted to shine your shoes for a small coin,
there were others that would sell you anything, in fact they sold to a few of
us a piece of well reaped wood for a piece of chocolate, there were a few shops
open that you could buy a bargain if you knew how to bargain, because they
would ask a very high price and who knew how to bargain could reduce that price
to one third of the original price, or something like that.
On reflection today
I would say that Egypt was a strange place, you see the people that we talked
to, knew a bit of Italian and they would tell us that we were robbing them by
calling us (mariul or mariooo) which in the dialect of southern Italy could be
translated as robber or thief; but while they were telling us that we were
bobbing them, they were indeed robbing us, right, left and centre. But today I
understand what they were doing, they were just trying to live their life, they
were so poor that what they were doing was the only way for them to survive,
may God forgive them if they hurt us by robbing some of us bad.
Anyhow, then we
went back to the ship and next day we were navigating in the Suez Chanel, the
Suez Channel offer one of the most strange sights, because, while you are in a
ship in this man made channel that mankind should be proud to have made, and
while you are in this strip of water slowly navigating towards the Red See, on
both sides is desert land, what a sight this is?
the Suez Channel we went through the Red Sea and next stop was the port of Aden
Yemen. By now I and the others were aware that here too things would be
different from the normal way, but anyhow there was not much to see or report.
Because I did not venture too far away from the port, what I can remember of
Aden is that there were a few shops near the port, but what I remember most is
that the air seemed to have a strange smell like sulphur that day, so even
today I wonder why it was so, and also, does the air in Aden smell like that
all the time? If that is so, then different lands have different smells. I
wonder if somebody else has had the same experience as I have.
Then the time came
when we left Aden to go straight to Australia, this time it would take about a
fortnight navigating no stop the Indian Ocean, a fortnight in the middle of the
sea with no land in sight, this was going to be another hard take for the
people that had never been to sea like myself, but anyhow we had taken that
decision to go to Australia, so let us go and see what Australia would be like.
When we left Aden I
had already set foot on three continents during my life, so, within my heart I
was saying goodbye to them all, starting from my native town of Genzano di
Lucania, Goodbye Genzano my native town, goodbye Italy my country of origin,
goodbye Port Said Egypt Africa, with your poor people that try to rob all
passenger that set foot on their land just to survive, and goodbye Aden Yemen
Asia with you strange air smelling of sulphur. Next stop will be Australia that
very far away land, which we all think it would be like the Promised Land.
Navigating the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean from Aden to Fremantle Australia took us a fortnight; I should say
that it was all right considering the circumstances that most of us had never
been at sea before. You see, in those days’ people travelled by ship or any
other kind of transport only when it was necessary, and even though the ship
was not a luxury cruiser like the cruisers of today it was good enough for us
who were just passengers who wanted to move from Italy to Australia, as it was
in my case. The ship had embarked over 2000 passengers and we all had a proper
bed to sleep in, there was plenty of good wholesome food and meals that were
served regularly, we all had a place to sit at the tables, which were attached
to the floor, but if the ship moved too much we had to mind the dishes and the
drinks. Anyhow at other times we would go around the ship with some of these
acquaintances that we have met on the ship, or just sit in our own cabin. We
had also an English class that we could attend, so that we could learn a few
words of English and be able to say at least the most Basic English words, in
the hope that we would be able to say something and make other people
understand what we needed when we reached Australia. There was something else
that we learned at these English classes and it was the convict song I believe
and it went thus: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine, you
are lost and gone forever, oh my darling Clementine. How appropriate it was in
Perhaps I am saying
too much about my personal story and it is becoming boring, so I am cutting it
short and close this hub. See you in our next hub, hello Australia here I come,
or going to Australia.