It was a marvellous night of sumptuous food and joyful conversation enjoyed by 300 attendees during a thoughtfully prepared program chaired by Mauro Vescera which culminated in a series of presentations and awards at the Italian Cultural Centre’s Festa delle Ragioni. The occasion proved to be the final celebration in a series of events marking June as Italian Heritage month. The guests included a flurry of octogenarians, a few nonagenarians (80 and 90 year-olds) plus an infant child age twelve days. The baby’s father, Randy Rinaldo stated that on the day of his son’s birth, he was cutting the ribbon on Commercial Drive to mark the street’s new and official designation as “Little Italy” before rushing off to the hospital to assist in cutting his son’s umbilical cord!
During the course of the evening Mrs. Antonietta Zanata was presented with the prestigious Immigrant of the Year award by Board members Sandra Gagne and Luca Citton (Chair). Lending his support to the proceedings was Consul General Iacchini who had returned from consular duties in Edmonton just a few hours earlier. Zanata’s acceptance speech was filled with accolades to the volunteer workers while reiterating her own personal commitment in support of the Italian Cultural Centre to which she has been a generous donor for many years.
Ray Culos, author and community historian, introduced Anna Terrana, this year’s inductee to the Hall of Fame. The following are excerpts from his introductory remarks:
“The Hall of Fame, which is indeed a prestigious entity unto itself was established in 1981. It represents the way the Centre recognizes – and celebrates – the extraordinary achievements of qualifying members within the Italian-Canadian community who posess proven records of performance in one or more of the following four categories: Sports, Arts and Culture, Social and Humanitarian, Business and Commerce.
Anna Terrana, this year’s recipient was nominated by Anna Maria Zampieri Pan with the support and endorsement of Rosa Citton and Artura Cusinato in the Social and Humanitarian classification. She is a person whose name is synonymous with an outstanding record of service to her fellow citizens. A former member of parliament and recipient of the Canada 125th-year medal, Anna has received accolades and recognition from the Italian Government which presented her with the Order of Italy, effectively making her a Knight of the Republic of Italy. She also has been applauded extensively for her career activities by local, Federal and international organizations.
Anna is regarded as a ‘pillar of the community’ and rightly so, for she is a source of great pride to the local Italian community, the greater Canadian constituency, the Italian Cultural Centre Society – its members – and, of course, to her family.”