Giovanna was born in Campolattaro, Italy in 1932. Her mother raised 4 children during very difficult times through war and the great depression.
Giovanna and Mario were childhood sweethearts, and after a long courtship, they married in 1954. Their daughter Antonietta was born in 1955.
Giovanna migrated to Australia with daughter in 1961. Her husband had already come to Australia a year earlier to establish himself in order to support his family.
Initially, Giovanna’s Aunty and Uncle kindly gave lodgings to the family until Giovanna and her husband bought their own house, which has been their home for over 40 years.
After Giovanna and her husband moved into their home, they in turn, helped other family members when they came to Australia by giving them lodgings until they were able to settle themselves.
Giovanna initially worked as a domestic in private homes and in hospitals.
When Lorenzo was born in 1973 she resigned from work to devote her time to raising him.
In the early 80’s Giovanna became involved with the Campania Club. Together with her husband, they participated in many tasks, such as cleaning the venue after functions and washing numerous tablecloths. She later became involved in the catering side and her pizzas became quite renowned.
There were many significant functions held at the Campania Club, which gave Giovanna an opportunity to be involved in catering. One of these occasions was attended by a Prime Minister of Australia, to whom she was introduced. This gave her enormous pride. Other important events the Club was involved in were the annual Italian Festivals ‘Carnevale’ held in Adelaide. Again, she played an important role in this event by helping to produce vast amounts of pizzas and ‘Zeppole’ (Italian doughnuts) to be enjoyed by all who attended this Carnevale.
Giovanna was a woman with an enormous heart which she shared with everyone. She was willing to help all who needed support and bore no-one grudges.
She had two goals in life – one was to raise her children with personal values and an educational standard to secure themselves in work and married life – and secondly, to help others in the community to enjoy themselves through an enriched life of inherited tradition and culture. She worked assiduously and achieved both goals meritoriously. She did not need material wealth. She was content to work and alongside Mario to earn enough money to achieve her life’s aims. She had an abundance of a different kind of ‘wealth’ – her love for her family and friends. In this regard she was the richest of us all.
The kitchen was her realm. She could be found any time of the day at the kitchen sink preparing any one of her superb meals. After a ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’, the next question inevitably was, ‘Have you eaten yet, you want something to eat?’ Whenever she spoke to her children on the telephone, her first words would be, ‘have you eaten?’ and then followed by ‘what did you cook?’. She always had something to share and never refused requests to make any of her specialty foods for anyone, either at home or at the Campania Club; or she had flowers, vegetables and preserves for any who could benefit from them.
She was a very cheerful, positive person, with great personal strength, even when she was in pain and feeling unwell. The last few years of her life were wracked with illness, discomfort and pain. She fought all of these to see Antonietta and Lorenzo established in family and work life. She continued to fight her illness to see her grandson Zavier enter the world on the 7 June 2005. Following this, she could not fight any longer and sadly, both she and Zavier were denied the ongoing pleasure of each others company.
Giovanna passed away on 22 July 2005. We loved her very much and she will remain forever in our hearts.