Post by Gionni Di Gravio
Over the Australia Day 2014 long weekend, I was contacted by Dr Judy Galvin, who completed her PhD back in 1983 on the Lettesi in Newcastle.
The Lettesi were a community of Italian immigrants from the town of Lettopalena, located in the Abruzzi region (Chieti province) of Italy.
Here is an introduction by Dr Judith Galvin, from the work “The Lettesi Story: A Community in Search of Place” pp. 5-7:
“The Lettesi in Newcastle are the extended family members of 145 households, where either one or both partners were born in Lettopalena, Italy. Most of this core group of first generation immigrants arrived in Australia over the seven-year period from 1950 to 1956 and after working in the cane fields, settled mainly in Hamilton, a working-class suburb, close to the heavy industries and port facilities of Newcastle.
The community evolved through a chain migration process that began with the arrival, in 1925, of Giacomo De Vitis. In 1927, Giacomo called his brother-in-law, Arcangelo Rossetti. In 1938 Arcangelo’s sons, Antonio and Giacomo, bought a cane farm in Proserpine where the brothers later purchased farms of their own. These farms became the focus for a major post-war exodus, sponsored mainly by Antonio, with assistance from Giacomo, and other Italian farmers.
- Read the full story at the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections blog