My Mum and Dad came from the Aeolian Islands, seven little islands north of Sicily. Dad arrived in 1953 and Mum in 1984.
One funny incident I recall was on my first day of school, when Sister Roberts had hold of me by the wrists -- and I'm standing there kicking and screaming -- all in Italian might I add -- that I wasn't going to be left there at school. I had never been left with anyone and didn't speak a word of English. Poor Sister Roberts... and poor me.
My sister started school 2 years later and spoke English fluently. My sister and I spoke English to Mum and Dad, and they answered in Italian dialect. My daughter, Nita, went to schoo1 in Italy for 1O months, came home and studied Italian at Uni and now speaks better Italian than anyone in our family.
I was fortunate in working for some lovely people in a mining resource company in the city of Sydney. It was great fun working in the city. We were like a big family which looked after each other and was a wonderful working environment. I met Eric, my husband, through work and we decided to leave Sydney and move to the Tweed area.
I was looking for something creative to do and to meet some new friends. A lady I met was teaching decoupage from her home at Mt. Tambourine, so I went along one day and came home with a fruit bowl which I was very pleased with. I made one for Val and everyone else in the family. Val then became interested and found Vera Nolan who was President of the Caloundra Group at the time -- and so it started.
I was nearly tempted to give it up, but when I look back and realize how much I have learnt over 12 years, and how much pleasure I get from creating a piece and getting together with like minded individuals, sharing ideas -- well I just can't.