Nella Verardi has stimulating energy and is a long time contributing member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Davedi Club. She enjoys a busy life. “You only live once.”
Nella was born Nella Rossi in Aprigleano, Provincia Cosenza in Italy. When she was 6 months old, she immigrated to Canada with her parents Gabriele and Pierina and her older brother Franco. Like many Italian families in the 1950s, the Rossis crossed the Atlantic to join family, first in Montreal where her mother loved the big city, then to North Bay in 1959, a smaller town her father preferred. North Bay benefits from the Rossis great musical talent.
Nella attended St Josephs Elementary School, St Josephs College and North Bay Teachers College.
AND THEN….one of Nella’s aunts back in Pietrafitta, Italy, knew a mother and son who were also immigrating to Canada. The son had just completed his military service. She asked them to deliver a gift of jewellery to her niece. Settimio Verardi carried out this request and met Nella. 46 years later, they are the proud parents of Cathy (Hernan, children Gabriel and Joseph), Stephanie (Matthew, children Ella and Jack), Anthony (Angela, son John), Sandra (Steve, children Evelyn, Samuel, Lucas).
Nella worked first as a teacher then at the Bank of Nova Scotia. She joined her mother as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Davedi Club and had a ball. She convened monthly 50s and 60s dances, helped out with fashion shows, Mother/Daughter Teas, Christmas Bazaars and spaghetti suppers. She served as First Vice President, President, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer because she enjoyed being with a good group of ladies, supporting their hearts of gold and learning about the Italian culture she missed because of emigration.
Settimio too has made major contributions to the Club, as a member of the Men’s Choir, a teacher of Italian language, a worker at Spaghetti suppers and an artist for the Ladies convention.
The Verardis are now retired and return to Italy for holidays. A highlight for Nella is the local food….. experiencing the taste and odor of lemons from the trees, fresh persimmons, newly gathered figs, and splitting open the casings of fresh fallen chestnuts ”like prickly spiders”.
As Nella says, “I enjoy being involved in cultural events such as the Grape Stomping and the roasting of chestnuts, a very Italian Christmas tradition.” And she shows this in her enthusiasms at the Club, welcoming everybody to enjoy the food at the Ladies Spaghetti suppers.