Many stories have been told of these times, during the war years. When his father was serving in the Army overseas, he would hike to other villages to trade for necessities to keep the family fed.
In the years after the war, Francesco was employed on the railways. At one of the stops in Santa Maria a Vico, he met Agata and fell in love. They were married in 1952 and celebrated the arrival of their daughter, Eufemia, the following year. Pasquale was born three years later. With his expanding family and on the advice from relatives in Australia of better opportunities, Francesco made the decision to sell his beloved motorbike to buy a ticket to a new land.
Working firstly in the market garden and then on construction sites, he was able to save enough to reunite the family a year later, in 1959. He also learn the trade of concrete finishing that saw him work in the building industry until aged 71 as “Roma Terrazzo”.
With the family together again and plenty of hard work, it wasn’t long before the family home was purchased at Norwood. Soon after, they welcomed the arrival of Emilio, in 1961. The many family and friends activities such as wine making, sausage making, tomato sauce making and the Sunday afternoon card playing for beer, kept everyone active and brought people together.
Mum tending the garden and a variety of poultry ensured fresh organic produce was always available for entertaining with home cooking. At many celebrations with family and friends, Francesco always enjoyed his music and dancing and he would never let an opportunity slip by to get up and enjoy.
Mum sadly passed away in November 2016, having endured the effects of diabetes for over 43 years, after 63 years of marriage. Francesco especially cherished their time together during his retirement, when they would tend their garden together and when, in the latter years, mum taught him to cook.
The family is ever expanding with seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and more on the way. Francesco still loves to tell stories of the old days and his adventures growing up and they all enjoy listening.
A hard-working and hard-playing man who enjoys his family, fishing, dancing and gardening, family and friends often recall stories of the times they joined Francesco on his boat on one of his weekly fishing trips, either locally or at places as far as Edithburgh or Wirrina.