Gregorio & Lucia Puglielli
|First name||Gregorio & Lucia|
|Country of Origin||Italia|
|Date of Birth||28/8/1922 & 14/10/1929|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1951 & 195|
|Submitted by||Angelo Puglielli|
Gregorio Puglielli was born in Sulmona, provincia L’Aquila of the Abruzzo region of Italy. The birthplace of the Roman poet “Ovid”. He was last born into a family of 7 children and he had to help his father with the farming of vegetables on the “campagna” (leased plot) in order to sustain the family and for sale at the markets of Piazza Garibaldi. He made the most of what little education was available.
Lucia Puglielli (nee Valeri) was born into a family of in Sulmona, provincia L’Aquila of the Abruzzo region of Italy. She was the 4th born into a family of 9 children. Lucia supported the family as a youngster by helping her mum with household chores and supporting her brothers and father who worked on the campagna (plot). Initially her mother would attend the piazza to sell vegetables however in her teen years Lucia took on the task of selling vegetables at the market to help fund other foods such as olive oil, sugar, pasta (if flour was available it would be homemade), mince meat etc. Lucia recalls that during WW2 times were particularly hard due to poverty (they survived on potatoes, beans, polenta, pasta etc and Nazi soldiers were stationed in Sulmona when she was just 11 years old. At that age, she witnessed Nazi soldiers enter her family home. Her memories of this time were of severe hardship.
Gregorio left Italy in 1951 in search of a better life having endured hardship during WW2 and the post-WW2 poverty of Italy. He followed a chain of migration to the Riverina area of NSW where some nephews and paesani were already farming vegetables in the Hanwood area. By all accounts, the 30 day journey from Italy to Australia by ship was a tough one – with much uncertainty about what lay ahead. These migrants found an arid land which needed much work however they brought their farming practices and knowledge with them. As a respite from the toil they played soccer and Gregorio played in the first Hanwood soccer team in 1954 and helped establish the Hanwood Catholic Club now known as Hanwood Football Club. After a few years Gregorio found work at the Tooths Brewery in Redfern Sydney and went and worked there on the bottling line for a couple of years – he enjoyed this job and would recall they were allowed to have a middy of beer for smoko – hows that for a piece of “Australiana”.
Lucia left Italy in 1957 also in search of a better life having endured hardship during WW2 and the post-WW2 poverty of Italy. She already had brothers who had migrated to the Riverina area and thus followed this chain of migration. By all accounts times were hard and migrants of this era had little support. Gregorio had returned to Hanwood from Sydney and he married Lucia in 1957. They lived in a rented house on a farm for 3 years until they purchased a home in Griffith in 1960. Gregorio worked at the Griffith Producers Cooperative from 1960 until retirement in 1987. Gregorio passed away from illness in 2006. Although ill, Lucia still lives in this same home today.
They travelled here with migrant spirit, a glimmer of hope and little more than a suitcase. They endured much hardship throughout their lives however they made the most of what they had. They made a home and had a family and their legacy is 3 children and 7 grandchildren who will never forget them.