Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 14, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017 - PAGE 25
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“ITALIAN parents were very protective of
their daughters’ virtue and in most cases
young unmarried girls were never allowed
to be alone with a boy. Dates or courtship
usually involved the couple and a chaper-
one (a brother, sister or the whole family)
coming along. It was therefore difficult for
young people to meet.”
So said the exhibition notes at the en-
trance to a remarkable exhibition of wed-
ding dresses and paraphernalia at the Mir-
boo North Italian Festa last Sunday – truly
one of the highlights of the festa, in the Mir-
boo North Shire Hall.
But meet they did and multiply too as was
clearly in evidence at a well-attended festa.
Italian weddings were always a grand af-
fair with their huge guest lists, multi-lay-
ered wedding cakes, big wedding parties,
and lavish feasts.
But this stylishly curatored display ex-
plained, the stories behind these quintes-
sential family occasions ran much deeper
for a newly established Italian community.
Coming to Australia and Mirboo North
to settle, mainly from the one area, in and
around the small town of Solarino in Sici-
ly, the weddings were an acknowledgement
of tradition, a nod to the family heritage
and a celebration of a successful new life
So they were lavish and joyous occasions.
One of those to contribute her wedding
dress, photos and even a display of her
wedding gifts to the exhibition was Ro-
salba Germano (nee Giardina) who mar-
ried Sebastiano ‘Nello’ Germano at St
Joseph’s Catholic Church Mirboo North
on August 20, 1966.
“My father-in-law, Salvatore Germano,
left his wife pregnant back in Italy, with
my husband-to -be, and came to Australia
in 1938. It was almost 10 years before he
saw his son but it was the start for many
other families coming across to this area
from Solarino in Sicily, ” Mrs Germano
said last weekend.
“I was eight when I came out, mum and
the three kids alone, in 1953, following dad
who came out before us, sponsored by Sal-
vatore and others.”
That’s how it started for many and part
of the reason why they celebrate their good
fortune in Australia, at weddings, fam-
ily gatherings, and at the festa, tinged with
some nostalgia for the life and family mem-
bers left behind, in some cases, not to be
My big stylish Italian wedding
The Germano wedding cake, with nine layers no
less, typical of the fun and friendly competition that
existed between Italian families when organising a
local wedding. The picture was one of the many in-
teresting items on display at a wedding display as
part of last weekend’s Italian Festa. m410717
Mother and daughter, Maria and Rosalba Germano, take a closer look at Rosa’s wedding
dress and photos from the wedding ceremony held at St Joseph’s Mirboo North on Saturday,
August 20, 1966. M390717
Italian weddings were a grand occasion and the historic wedding exhibition in the Mirboo
North Shire Hall last Sunday, as part of the Italian Festa, gave some indication of just how
grand they were. M380717
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