Articles about the life and volunteering achievements of members of the Davedi Club and Ladies Auxiliary published in Nipissing Reader in 2017 and 2018
Sandro Cipparone put in a record number of volunteer hours over the August 2017 long weekend, clocking up more than 50 hours for the Davedi Club beer tent at Summer in the Park and wedding events in the Davedi Hall. Thanks for your great volunteer effort, Sandro, and for enabling the success of all the other volunteers.
Sandro is a longtime volunteer at the Italian Canadian Club, finding inspiration in the Italian culture he learned from his family. He was born to Rocco and Anna Cipparone in the small village of Pietrafitta, Cosenza, Italy and immigrated to North Bay as a young child. His parents worked hard to make a success of life in Canada, his father in construction and his mother at Casselhome. They raised Sandro and his brothers Gianfranco and Nino to show respect, to live responsibly and to enjoy the Italian traditions of home-made food and wine. Sandro’s daughter is Alexandra and a prouder father you will not find. Alexandra, with her outgoing and social personality, focuses on her studies at Nipissing University and on her competitive equestrian skills.
Sandro was educated at Scollard Hall and Canadore College in North Bay and worked for Revenue Canada Agency for 36 years. During that time he volunteered for the Davedi as a Board member for more than 20 years, including Treasurer for 6 years. Since retirement he has been untiring in his efforts in cooperation with other volunteers. Cultural committee work includes 41 Italian cultural outreach events such as concerts with Zucchero, Rita Chiarelli and Domenic Mancuso. He takes the major responsibility for bingo fundraising to make these events possible. Ways and Means committee work includes Grape Stomping Festival, Anniversary Events and New Years Eve party. Sports committee work includes Golf Tournament facilitation. Friday Buffet Lunches are also part of his self selected responsibility. Finance committee work includes decision making about the business of the Club.
Why does Sandro continue volunteering for the Davedi Club for so long? He has a commitment to maintaining a proud Italian culture and to sharing that sense of family and friends he believes is fundamental to an Italian-inspired life. He gets great satisfaction from the camaraderie of the Davedi Club members, and doing practical things which make a difference.
Sandro is looking forward to future successful events. Every day he is available in the office to reserve the lovely Davedi Hall for wedding receptions and other social or business events.
Louise Defonzo is a volunteer at the Davedi Club. She leads with enthusiastic ideas, hands-on work and cheerful encouragement. Her vital energy builds teams of culture, faith and friendship. Louise says reflectively “serving is my best quality”.
Louise Masciangelo was born in Sudbury to Italian/French/Canadian parents. Her Nonna recognized her abundant energy early with the pet name “naccherina” or “little castanets”. She worked with the Federal and the Provincial Governments in Sudbury and North Bay retiring in 2010. She made friendships through badminton, volleyball, skiing, baseball and through travelling. Energetic Louise continues to work part-time at Martyn’s Funeral home.
After her children were born, Nicholas, Alexandra and James Rivet, Louise enthusiastically volunteered for their preschool, sports, dance and music, and learning. When Louise married Joey Defonzo, she became stepmother to Ryan, and to Crystal Snodden (Ken), Jamie (Pei Wen) and six sweet grandchildren. The love and support of her family is very, very important to her.
Along with her husband, Louise gives service to her community of faith, the Pro-Cathedral. As a parishioner for 42 years she has helped coordinate the Liturgy Committee, the Lectors, the Funeral Team, Altar Servers and the Catholic Women’s League.
Her volunteering included being on the Heritage Festival Planning Committee and a fundraising campaign for the former North Bay Arts Centre.
She joined the Ladies Auxiliary to the Davedi Club 13 years ago to re-live enchanting memories of her Italian heritage; her grandparents are from the Abruzzi region of Italy. While preferring to work behind the scenes, she took responsibilities on the Executive, then as President. She coordinated the Artisan Craft show for 6 years, Just You and Me Tea, Festa Italiana, bake sales, the conventions and cultural events. Louise says “I have learned so much from the senior ladies and have wonderful friendships.” Recently Louise secured a federal grant to update the freezer and coolers at the Club. Her photographs chronicle the club activities.
Spaghetti Supper is a monthly event of the Ladies Auxiliary. Louise is one of the many faithful volunteers from the Club who work at this event. When Louise and her husband shop for supplies, there is so much Italian food in their carts that people ask “Where is the party?” Volunteering gives Louise new skills and satisfactions. “I feel more confident at this time of my life. I become more and more my own person as I reach out to other people”.
Thanks to Louise, and the many other volunteers she works with. Grazie a tutti per il vostro lavoro volontario!
Giuseppe Delfino values his volunteer work with the Davedi Club for its important connections with his own historical and cultural roots.
Giuseppe loves history and family connections. He can count himself a third generation Canadian through his mother Mary (Zimbalatti), the daughter of Giuseppe and Antonietta Zimbalatti who immigrated from Santo Stefano in Aspromonte. He is also a second generation Canadian through his father Nino Delfino, an inspirational immigrant from the same village. Giuseppe and his brother Nicolas (Jessica) and sister Melissa (Scott) grew up on the oral history of immigration hardships and triumphs of determined work with examples from his grandparents’ lives and connections to families Defino, Zimbalatti, Suraci and Nucara. He talks about Italian immigrants determined to build their own church (St Rita) in 1902 where they could be active parishioners. Proud Italians started their own social and networking centre 66 years ago…the Davedi Club. Giuseppe values time that is spent with family, in particular helping with miscellaneous jobs in the garden, making wine and tomato sauce. He enjoys travelling and frequently visits extended family in Santo Stefano.
Giuseppe was born in North Bay. He speaks four languages fluently, two by upbringing (Italian and Stefanito dialect), two by schooling (French elementary and English secondary). He has a mechanical engineering degree from University of Ottawa and uses his languages daily in his work and social life. He is licensed to practice in Quebec and Ontario. He started his career at Piotrowski Consultants in North Bay then went to Tembec (now Rayonier Advanced Materials) where he was involved in the construction of a state of the art cogen plant. Currently working for the MTO as a project engineer, he finds the planning, design and project management process fascinating.
Giuseppe values his volunteer work with the Davedi Club for his personal feelings of offering service with a self-effacing and humble heart. He turns his hand to anything, whether it involves cleaning tables at the Grape Stomping Festival or taking minutes for a finance meeting, or adding his ideas for the Club as a Director.
Another fundamental reason he values the Davedi Club is the opportunity to enjoy close friendships with like-minded people. Whether it is on the Davedi Club men’s soccer team, playing scopa, meeting the Italian Women’s Curling Team, or cheering the Italian Azzurri in televised international soccer games Giuseppe lives his St. Joseph-Scollard Hall motto ”Win with humility, lose with pride”.
Giuseppe encourages people who are interested in Italian heritage and pride, or who just enjoy great Italian food and company, to join the Davedi Club. Let’s play bocce!
Lena Fedeli was born in North Bay, the fifth of six children to Antonio and Teresa Fava, who immigrated to Canada from Santo Stefano in Aspromonte, Calabria in the late 1920s.
Passionate, dedicated and straight-forward by nature, Lena has always fervently embraced “all things Italian”.
Following primary education at St. Mary’s Elementary School, Lena completed the business program at the North Bay Business College, where she discovered a natural inclination for book-keeping and other commercial tasks. This served her well in her role in the family businesses that lasted over 4 decades – partnering with her late husband Hub Fedeli – beginning with Hub’s Hilltop Variety, to Triple “A” Trophies, Caesar’s Novelty Buttons, The Wood Place and Mirror Printing – the latter of which inspired Lena to return to Canadore College where she completed the Offset Printing Program in 1982. This entrepreneurial spirit permeated the business and influenced the Fedeli family. In 1992, after the Vittorio Fedeli Business Centre at Nipissing University was opened with funds raised and donated by Vic Fedeli, a media comment was ”one of the most entrepreneurial of North Bay families has achieved lasting recognition”.
Lena met Hub in 1953 at a North Bay Trappers hockey game and the two fell in love and were soon married. They shared a deep pride in their Italian heritage and it was reflected in many ways, not in the least of which was in their dedication to the Davedi Club, its mission and projects. Together they created the “Mamma Davedi” Frozen Food business in 2002, and with the help of Domenic and Nicolina Mascioli, this exciting venture was launched, and has remained a thriving and ever-growing service. Lena still volunteers to make tasty Italian food for people to purchase on a walk in basis at the Davedi Club.
Lena has always been a firm believer in “family first” and welcomed and enjoyed an extended family for most of her married life. Her pride and joy are her children and their families: daughter Teresa-Ann, husband Jack Rosenfield, children Ann and Simona (Montreal), her son Victor and wife Patty, her son Peter, wife Elizabeth and daughter Maggie.
In her retirement Lena continues to play an active role as Board Secretary of her condo group and, of course, she continues to contribute to the heart of North Bay’s Italian community, the Davedi Club. She was president of the Davedi Club Ladies Auxiliary for a 1 year term in 1976, 3 year term in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and is currently serving as president this year.
Lena firmly believes in volunteering wherever and whenever possible.
“Volunteers are unpaid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless”.
Sam Giustra was a familiar face at the Davedi Club where he volunteered for Friday lunches on a regular basis. He embodied the volunteer ethos of the Club, the selfless giving of the Italian community in outreach to the larger North Bay community.
Sam first joined the Club in the 1960s. “I came to Canada to find work. I originally worked in Sudbury but did not expect to be in such a place. Sudbury had no vegetation, it was all rocks in those days, it was black. (He laughed). I quickly relocated to North Bay. I had plenty of work and was happy to be here, despite missing my friends and family back in Italy.
“Being a Mason was a physically demanding job but I loved it. Unfortunately, I was involved in a serious work related injury, I fell 3 storeys through an elevator shaft landing on my feet! Despite this, I was able to raise a loving, caring, hardworking, successful family and this is what I am most satisfied with. I have a beautiful wife, Elisa Giustra, a son named Roberto and three daughters, Rosamaria, Daniela, and Sabrina, and 8 grandchildren, Braeden, Gabriela, Tyler, Michele, Nicolas, Cameron, Sam and Benjamin.”
Sam was born in Laureana di Borrello on January 6, 1934. His stories of Italy reveal struggles. His mother died when he was 4 and his father was left to raise 5 children. A close family since that time, Sam enjoyed many visits to his family in Vancouver, Rome, Torino and Vicenza.
Sam first joined the Club as a member but then began to volunteer in many capacities from helping at the bar, the heritage festival and various other events. Sam was also a long time Director of the club and popular with his stories and laughter.
Pride in Italian heritage was part of Sam’s character. The founders of the Club took the first two letters of the names: Dante, Verdi, and DiMaggio, establishing the name DAVEDI to represent our community with education, music, and sports at the forefront of our focus.
If we could count the number of volunteer hours Sam dedicated to Club in his long life we would have to multiply it by hundreds to find the extent of the volunteer work by the Davedi Members and the Ladies Auxiliary for the benefit of the Club. Sam was an inspiration for hard work, but we can look around at our club friends and find the volunteer inspiration of so many more dedicated members. Thanks to Sam! Thanks to all! Grazie a tutti!
Mike Ianiro, with his unique energy and wide smile, contributes to the Italian/Canadian community of North Bay as an Executive Director at the Davedi Club.
Mike, with his brothers Domenico and Cosmo, was born in North Bay. The Italian connection is from his parents Tomasso and Domenica who emigrated in 1957 from San Pietro in Valle, Isernia. The economic climate in Italy was dreary and Tomasso found work easily in North Bay with Palangio bus lines, the bus station and later at the Civic Hospital. As a child Mike went to work with his father and played in the buses all day. He believes this led to his interest in transportation and his successful business, the Northern Airport Passenger Service. Northern Airport Passenger Service is a bus passenger service for business, medical and vacation travellers with door to door services. In comfortable Mercedes vans, it runs2 buses a day with departure and return points between North
Bay and Gravenhurst going to or from Pearson airport.
Mike learned his trade by working for the original Palangio airport service. On the day it was bought out and Mike was made redundant, he had to walk home carrying 2 big boxes. That was when he resolved to set up his own company! His amicable relationship with the Palangio bus lines started with both Mike and his father working for Giovanni and then Joe, with Joe driving for Mike for several years, and concluded with the retirement of Joe in 2017.
The business has worked for Mike’s grown children for university transportation. Mike and his wife Leanne are proud of Julia (a student at University of London) and Matthew (a student at University of Guelph).
Mike was recruited to join the Davedi Club ten years ago. He believes in the club because of its contribution to the entire community. He is proud of the Davedi donation of space and facilities to a wide range of not for profit organisations and charities.
Personally for Mike the Italian fellowship at the Club fills a cultural gap left when his father passed away. His mother is a wonderful Italian cook, and one of Mike’s pleasures is hands on volunteering in the Davedi kitchen and hall amid wonderful smells and tastes, especially at the Annual Grape Stomping Festival in October.
Thanks to Mike Ianiro for his energy and his contribution as a member to Italian culture.
Jim Marmino (aka Vincenzo Francesco, named after two grandfathers) was a long-time volunteer at the Davedi Club. He had a passionate and abiding interest in Italian culture, in history, sport and adding benefit to his community.
Jim’s parents immigrated from Reggio Calabria and settled in the east end of North Bay. Jim joked that growing up with 5 sisters made it inevitable that he would become a boxer. He started a boxing club in the basement of the Marmino house where struggling youth could work out in the gentlemen’s sport. Later Jim worked for several years as boxing instructor at the Knights of Columbus Camp run by Father Brian McKee.
Jim studied history and liberal arts. He taught in Ottawa and memorably created a centennial project documentary which was distributed to schools across Canada. He was a history teacher at West Ferris Secondary School in North Bay for many years
Married to Cathy Fraser, Jim was proud of his two step children, Rob Newman a teacher at Scollard Hall (Jane Erdelac, son Michael) and Tara Newman a lawyer with CDIC(Shane McGullam, sons Evan and Braedan).
Jim followed his passions and served on committees raising funds for community causes such as CNIB, North Bay Symphony, Alzheimer’s Society, Family Enrichment Program and the Nipissing Serenity Hospice. He remembered some memorable fundraising events, tenor Aaron Caruso, Four Lads, Philadelphia Lyric Opera, the joint presentation of Davedi Men’s Choir and North Bay Symphony and the international pop star Zucchero in a packed house at the Davedi Club.
Jim also served on the Nipissing University Board of Governors and on the Nipissing Catholic District School Board for 13 years and was the Deputy Grand Knight for Knights of Columbus, Father Cundari council.
In addition to receiving a YMCA Peace award for his volunteerism, Jim was the proud recipient of Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee medal and had the opportunity to meet Queen Elizabeth in 2012.
Jim always worked in cooperation with other people. Jim started his involvement with the Davedi Club as president of the Dante Alighieri Society in the 1970s, raising bursaries for students to study the arts. He was one of the founders of the Davedi Order of Merit and worked to honour over 50 people for volunteerism. He was a quietly inspiring mentor to other volunteers.
Christine Saini is a well known organist in North Bay and a cheerful and hardworking volunteer for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Davedi Club.
Christine’s Italian connections come though her father’s side of the family. Tony Saini’s mother (Amelia nee Cundari) was one of 16 siblings in a second-generation Italian/Canadian family originally from Cosenza, Calabria. Christine’s grandfather, Michael Saini came from Italy at the age of 14 from Pisterzo, near Rome and there is some mystery around his name. Perhaps like many other immigrants to the new world his name was garbled by non-Italian speaking officials at the point of entry.
Christine is a magnificent auntie and godmother to Patrick, Leah and Nicola (parents Michael Saini and Becky nee Truchon) and to Luca (parents Marc Saini and Serena nee Vandenburg). She spends time with them when she can and loves to help with homework assignments. One of the major family projects over the last 10 years has been fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society. This has involved the children, their parents and Christine’s close family in North Bay, father Tony Saini, Aunt Lucy Saini and Aunt Mary Saini. They formed a team called “Claire’s Angels” in memory of Christine’s mother who lost her life to Breast Cancer at the age of 39. Through participation first in the Toronto 60k walk Weekend to end Breast Cancer and later through North Bay’s Relay for Life and CIBC Run for the Cure, Clare’s Angels team has raised over $65,000 through garage sales, spaghetti dinners, and sales of Aunt Mary’s wonderful Italian spaghetti sauce and Italian pastries….and of course through the walk itself. It’s an emotional and rewarding experience to be involved in.
Music is near and dear to Christine’s heart. She graduated from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Music, after studying organ at the age of 13 at the Pro Cathedral of the Assumption, North Bay. She still plays the magnificent 3 manual Casavant pipe organ occasionally on request, but her weekly long-term responsibilities are at Omond Memorial United Church where she has been Music Director for 24 years and also at two masses with the choir at Saint Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church.
As a third generation Canadian/Italian Christine is reconnecting to her heritage through membership in the Davedi Club. She values the companionship and fellowship of the Lady members and supports their efforts as Treasurer at the Ladies events. Thanks Christine for being such an “organised” volunteer!
Anne Taylor….. a life full of energy and service to the community, including her commitment to the Davedi Club and her Italian heritage.
Anne’s energy stems partly from her Italian mother and father, Maria and Aquino Muto, who immigrated from Marcianise, Italy to Armstrong, Ontario to make a better life for Anne and their family. The family adjusted to English society and it shows in the siblings names…Anna became Anne, Rosetta became Rose, Francesco became Frank, Gennaro became Gino and Alessandro became Alex. Aquino prospered in his work with the Canadian National Railway and soon the family moved to North Bay.
Anne went to school in North Bay, worked for a law firm, the natural gas company, was a consultant and has recently retired after 20 years from the Ministry of Transportation. She married Richard Taylor and is the proud mother of Kay-Sea (a family doctor in Sault Ste. Marie) and Andrew (an engineer in North Bay).
Adventurous Anne and Richard cruise in a 30-foot powerboat, enjoy their Fifth Wheel and touring on their motorcycles. Throughout her life, Anne has volunteered for many organizations, starting with the interests of her children. …drama festivals, Graniteville playground, parent advisory councils, mentor for a robotics team. She has shared her Public Relations skills with organizations, which include Nipissing Trackers, North Bay Scuba Club, Davedi Club, and as past Commander of the North Bay Power and Sail Squadron. Energy has been poured into Fastball, Ladies Slo-pitch, and Ladies Volleyball. Her special joy has been in mentoring young people whether in resume writing, proctoring for the boating license and VHF radio license, robotics or as a Ministry of Transportation ambassador at career fairs.
At the Davedi Club, Anne has tirelessly served on the Ladies Auxiliary for over 20 years, usually on the Executive as President, Vice President and in various positions such as secretary and public relations. She has worked with teams to promote Italian heritage through the Ladies Auxiliary projects. Thank you so much, Anne. At this time of year, she would like people to know about Spaghetti Suppers, monthly occasions when the Davedi Hall is full of happy people sharing pasta and meatballs. The next dates are September 24 and October 29 (Adults – $12, children 10 and under – $5). Look out also for the Christmas Craft Show on November 4 and 5.
Anne is always busy. With her energy, she embodies this quote: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart” (Elizabeth Andrews)
Sam Tignanelli has been the cheerful volunteer face behind the bar at the Davedi Club for many years. In the spring 2017 he had to take time off to recover from surgery and we were so glad to see him back!
Salvatore Tignanelli came to Canada from Pietrafitta. Cosenza, Italy in December 1965. He left behind his fiancée and 25˚ above weather, to come to cold North Bay and 25˚ below. Sponsored by his brother, 2 days after he arrived he was working at the concrete plant. Later, when he was established, Rosetta came to join him and they were married at St Rita’s Church. They are the proud parents and grandparents of Lucia (Kevin Connor) Alexandra and Kristen, Rita (Jason Paquet) Emma and Maxwell, Pietro (Melanie) Salvatore and Liliana. There is a story behind Lucia’s name. Sam’s brother Egidio had a bad accident where he was in danger of losing his eyesight. In thanks for his recovery, Sam and Rosetta called their daughter after Saint Lucia the patron saint of those with eye trouble.
“Thank God,” says Sam, “I was able to work all the time.” Sam worked at the concrete plant and for 23 years in construction for Domenic Mascioli. Rosetta worked at the Busciemi Bakery and the Civic Hospital. Together they bought a house and proudly educated their children for good lives in Canada so they were able to take advantage of opportunities in Marketing, Teaching and Construction.
Sam did not have English when he arrived, so his bosses and co workers had to take him by the arm and demonstrate what to do for the work they wanted. Sam, quiet then as now, sat behind everyone and listened during his lunch breaks to learn his English on the job. Now his cheerful greeting to everybody as he volunteers at the club is a hallmark of Italian welcome. Sam worked with many others to build the Davedi addition 30 years ago and to redo the roof. He started volunteering at the Davedi at that time and donned medieval costume to ride on the winning float for the Canada Day parade.
Thanks Sam for your consistent volunteer work on the teams for Summer in the Park, Ladies Auxiliary Spaghetti suppers, all the culture concerts and events, and at many Club functions. Thanks too to your wife Rosetta for her volunteer work in the kitchen.
Edward Valenti, well known in North Bay for championing community sports and history projects, is a dedicated volunteer for the Davedi Club. His history calls him to this Italian/Canadian Club.
Ed is a third generation Canadian. His family name was originally Valente with an “e” and there is still a tiny street in Pedace, Provincia Cosenza, Italy, called after this family. Over the years since his grandparents emigrated from Italy, the spelling has changed for all the Valentis.
Ed is fascinated by the family history. Grandparents Francesco and Giulia arrived in Canada in 1920 after a stormy courtship; Giulia’s family did everything they could to oppose the marriage. Francesco built a house on Morin Street by making his own bricks and they raised a family of three girls and five boys. Son Fredo met Ed’s mother Jacqueline in Quebec when he was playing minor hockey. After knee injuries destroyed his hockey career he partnered with Cousin Lou to run Valenti’s Restaurant. Meanwhile Jacquie ran the Joint Film Library for local school boards. Ed remembers spending Saturdays watching educational films with his brothers, part of an education which led to future success: Frank, now Design Roofing, Paul now working in purchasing for the hospital and Peter and Ed who work together in Century 21 Real Estate sales. The family tradition of success continues with Ed’s children, Miranda in Film Studies at Brock University and Tamara in Animal Biology at Guelph University.
Ed’s volunteer energy involved him in baseball and hockey and he was President of the Sportsman’s Hockey League for 10 years. He was the founder of the North Bay Ultimate Frisbee League, a game he learned with his friends on the front lawn of Scollard Hall. His career in Real Estate opened the opportunity to serve on the City of North Bay Planning Advisory Committee for 14 years. A growing interest in historical roots of buildings here led him to become chair person of the Dionne Quints Heritage Board, involved in saving a historical building.
History and family connections bind Ed to the Davedi Club where he has been Treasurer since 2013. Five of his uncles are in the picture of the founding fathers which is in the lobby: Carlo Lucenti, Fred Valenti, Richard Valenti, Louie Valenti and Lou Valenti. Ed values the way the Davedi Club continues to give back to the community by accommodating fund raisers for organisations like the Hospice and Food Bank.
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.
Barbara Castrilli brings her gentle appreciation of people to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Davedi where she has many Italian friends. Barb grew up in Nova Scotia thinking she had Irish roots from her mother’s family. When an Italian cousin of her father’s investigated the family tree, Barb and her siblings found out they were part of the Salterio family from Como and part of a book called “One Name, One Family”.
A more important Italian connection for Barb is her husband Giacinto (Jim) Castrilli who immigrated from Italy; he is a Molisano from Carpinone, Isernia. They met in North Bay, and have stayed here for over 50 years, taking trips back to Italy to show their family the heritage connections with that great culture.
Barb and Giacinto are very proud of their family; they have nurtured a group of young people who make a tremendous contribution to this Canadian city. Barb says “I am blessed. My daughters and grandchildren except for one have made roots here.” A cross stitched motto on the kitchen wall describes Barb’s welcome for the family: “A House is built by Human Hands. A Home is built by Human Hearts”. At every holiday throughout the year there is a full house with Michelina, Rita Ann, Donna, Carolina and their families and extended families and friends. Barb is always happy to care for her great grandchildren, on her days off that is, as she now works part time at Martyn Funeral home, quietly sharing her support and compassion in the office there.
Barb always volunteers with a spirit of support for others and as a friendly team member. She manned the snack bar at West Ferris Arena for 10 years as a ringette volunteer. She also fundraised for the Cancer and Red Cross societies. Barb enjoys baking especially for Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre & Davedi Club bake sales. With her number one dedication to family, Barb has supported them all by attending many, many sports, drama and school events.
Barb and Giacinto were active members at the former St Rita’s where Barb eventually became parish secretary (with additional responsibilities at Holy Name) for 4 years prior to St. Rita’s closing. She also volunteered as Eucharistic Minister, lector and sacristan. She served on the parish council and finance committee.
Barb and Giacinto have a 40 year record of volunteering with the Davedi Club too, craft show, penny sale, spaghetti suppers, and choir membership. You can be sure that some of Barb’s large family will be at the Davedi Italian Family picnic on July 22. Welcome to all! Benvenuti a tutti