Mildura Weekly : Friday March 21 2014 Vol 8 No 20
Mildura Weekly – 21/03/14 9 www.milduraphonebook.com.au quickly evolved into an epic tale of a love that spanned 60 years and spawned a dynasty. It is the fabric and economy of Sunraysia, while being a feel-good yarn that continues to unfold... • From previous page Jessie said that Cossy nev- er complained that his first six children were girls. “Then Larry arrived and then another girl, he was proud of them all,” she said. Jessie at one stage, had eight children under six years old. Some were born be- fore the preceding child had turned one! “People always ask me ‘How on earth did you man- age.’” “I was young and healthy, and I loved having a big fam- ily – and I was organised. We all had a routine, as soon as the children were old enough they had their chores. “Cossy was an adoring fa- ther – I never saw him raise a hand to the children. We worked hard, and the chil- dren learned to work hard alongside us. He always paid the children a small amount of money for their work, and after every harvest we would all pile into the station wag- on and Cossy would take us on holiday. We saw a lot of Australia that way.” Jessie’s daughter Rosaria Marciano (Rosie) recalls that her parents were generous to everyone – their nieces and nephews, their neighbours, their employees and their children were all welcome at Jessie’s house. Transporting all her own children to school was dif- ficult enough, but Jessie al- ways managed to take other children as well. She was of- ten seen with a wagon full of children. According to Rosie, her idea of a head count was: “Are you all here kids?” Of course they would all answer ‘yes,’ and Jessie would drive off, usually leaving some behind who had to be collected later! Her children recall home- cooked meals and hand- made clothes, but it was the open arms and the heart- felt welcome that many of those children, who are now grandparents themselves, re- member. As Rosie puts it: “No-one ever felt more welcome than when they were seated in Jes- sie’s kitchen, and no one ever left hungry.” Jessie’s husband – who had been an exceptional student at school (attending Cardross Primary School) was sought out by the wider Italian community to help with financial or family is- sues, or any problems that they had. Everyone, it seems, would come to Cossy. Intelligent, compassion- ate and tolerant, he was of- ten called upon to act as a mediator and interpreter for new Italian migrants. Jessie describes him as ‘a whizz’ with electronics, and he had been offered a schol- arship to attend university in Sydney but chose to stay at home to help his family. He made his own radio, which he managed to con- nect to Italian radio channels and many homesick Italians would come over to listen to the music and news broad- cast by Cossy’s homemade radio. There is a photo of Cossy with two very new migrant Italians. His confidence shines out of the photo, while the faces of the other two men reflect their con- cerns. Time marched on, and Jessie’s daughters and son gave her 35 grandchildren. She cherishes them all, and amazes her family by the firm grasp she has on whose child they are, and what they are up to at any given time. As Rosie says there were crazy times when the grandchildren were small but through it all Jessie has maintained the traditions of her Italian heritage. Simple family meals could turn into a gathering of 100 people! And the family made sa- lami and bread together. Slowly those grandchil- dren grew up and became parents themselves, and now Jessie has 83 great grandchil- dren and a couple more on the way. Amazingly all 83 are all under 15 years of age! She knows all of them by name, age and personal- ity and impresses her family by being able to confidently address her 174 family mem- bers by name at family gath- erings. • Continued Page 12 life...and family! Her children recall home-cooked meals and hand-made clothes, but it was the open arms and the heartfelt welcome that many of those children, who are now grandparents themselves, remember. • MEMORIES: That’s the ship, TOP, that Cosimo arrived on when he emigrated from Italy to Australia, and ABOVE, Jessie raking out dried fruit watched by daughters Marie and Rosie, partly obscured. LEFT: Jessie with her seven daughters and son at a more recent family gathering. They are joined by a family friend – the lady sitting in the foreground dressed in white. DON’T PUT RECYCLING IN PLASTIC BAGS Did yo u know if yo u put yo ur recycling in plastic bags it will end up in landfill? Put yo ur items in the recycling bin loose, so they can be sorted and recycled. To find out more visit www.getitrightbinnight.vic.gov.au or contact council.
Friday March 14 2014 VOL 8 No 19
Friday March 28 2014 Vol 8 No 21