That's awesome man. Sounds like you've done quite alot of research! It's interesting that you bring this up, because for the last year or two my mum has been tracing her heritage. Her mother's side came out to Perth (Australia) just before the end of WW1, I don't remember from which city in Italy though... But they started out as dairy farmers, and eventually moved into the central city. Life was pretty hard back then, and grandma won't hear anything said against the modern way of life.Originally Posted by DRMARIO
Grandpa came out from Bergamo (A small community in the north of Italy, apparently people were selected from there to come to perth for their skills with mining) when he was about 5 years old (back in the early to mid 20's I think). He had a younger sister but she died of a disease while they were still living in Italy. After landing in Perth, they headed straight out to the goldfields up north, where grandpa grew up and during his teenage years, did work for many families living up there (some of them he is still in contact with now). During his early 20's he moved into the city and life didn't get much easier. He would always tell me, "if you walked down James St (a major street in a modern popular night district) and didn't speak Italian, people would look at you funny" Nowadays Northbridge is the new Chinatown, instead of Old Little Italy. Anyway, he moved to the city, and lived in shared accomadation for some time while he trained as a mechanic. He then began work at a manufacturing plant where he helped assemble cars, and eventually became a full-time mechanic for the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) after marrying grandma. He retired in 1988 (I'm pretty sure). As of late, his health has been slowly deteriorating, he has trouble walking and is on a cocktail of medication. Last time I saw him he takes medicine which gets him up every hour or two every night. I can't imagine what it would be like...
But moving on, having covered mum's side of the family, I'll move onto Dad's side. He's originally from a town called Istanbul, on the far west coast of Turkey. Unfortunately I never got to meet his parents before they passed away; his mother passing back in the late 70's (if I remember correctly) and his father passing in 1998 (I'm quite sure of this because I was in year 7 at the time). But as for his background, he had a hard time growing up, his bicycle was his best asset as it allowed him to ferry chopped wood and fresh water back to his home. He attended school, but did not like it so he dropped out when he was 14. He then had some small jobs but the most significant one he had was at a lumber mill, where he worked for some time, until he lost his job. That's when he decided to leave his homeland and start a new life. He was choosing from either Canada, Hong Kong or Australia (in addition to a few more) but he picked Australia He came out with only $10 in his pocket, while the other 2 or 3 guys he came out with were from rich families. He took a job up in Port Headland, where he laid rail tracks down for a few years before coming down to Perth.
It's interesting how he and mum got together. Mum was working in a department store in the city, and one of her friends was dating a guy from Turkey who dad knew. Dad was asked by mum and her friend to translate letters written in Turkish. As he did he got to know mum and they started dating. When they got married, dad named his sons (my brother and myself) after two of the greatest warriors, Cengiz and Timur. (my brother has adapted his name to Jengi, and people just call me Tim ). Unfortunately mum and dad split up in 2000, around my birthday... But they managed to work things out, and although they're not together they're on good terms. As of late dad's retired, but still does odd jobs here and there.
So when people ask me where I come from, I tell them I come from a race of miners, dairy farmers and savage, cannibalistic barbarians (no offense to anyone with any heritage stipulated here, I'm just exercising my twisted sense of humour )