“My daughter Belinda has played the organ for the residents since she was 18 years old. She still comes once a week and plays and sings the old songs and she’s 38 now.
My mum doesn’t have much English and she has lots of friends here who speak Italian. My brother and I only live around the corner so Scalabrini is really convenient. We didn’t want to go anywhere else. The Nuns were here, there was a church here and Italians were here.
Everything was getting too much for mum at home.
Dad was here first. He was always saying to her, “When are you coming?”
My Mum and Dad came from a little town in northern Italy called Crespano Della Grappa. Dad was a POW in Germany during the war. He came out to Griffith in 1949 to work on a family member’s vegetable farm. My mum came out in 1950 and I arrived in 1951!
After he’d been at Scalabrini for nine months, she moved in. She was always there with Dad. They were always together.
Dad died just before Christmas. Initially I was worried about Mum. But now she likes to go out quite a bit and she has friends here. She tells lots of people, “You’ve got to come to Scalabrini.”
When you ask what she enjoys most about living here she just says, “Tutto!”