Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Bold Step into Pays Rewards the Unknown for Vedelagos

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Bold Step into Pays Rewards the Unknown for Vedelagos

Article excerpt

THIS is the third story from Francesco and Morwenna Arcidiacono's book Echoes of Italian Voices, a powerful collection of family stories from the Granite Belt.

This story of Augusto (Gus) Vedelago was written by his daughter, Gloria Vedelago.

The story of Augusto (Gus) Vedelago is one of courage, fortitude, confidence, extraordinary initiative and stubborn willpower all blended with a heavy dose of sheer hard work, determination and perseverance.

He didn't believe in staying in one's comfort zone, but constantly stretched himself to experience something different or to try something new.

Gus was born on December 23, 1912, at Pezzan D'Istrana, Province Treviso.

At 24 years of age, in 1936, Gus was faced with the choice of marrying or migrating.

His father told him they couldn't afford to feed another person, so Gus made the courageous decision to leave his girlfriend, parents, three sisters, one brother and the poverty of his surroundings to seek a better life in an unknown land.

We would often hear him say: C[pounds sterling]I came to Australia with a port with no handle and I lost my hat along the way.C[yen]

Fortunately for Gus, his cousin Angelo had migrated 10 years prior and therefore was able to sponsor him.

Six months later Gus was able to repay his fare of 40 pounds.

After a short stint of cane cutting, he share-farmed at Pozieres.

With the outbreak of World War Two, he was interned at Cowra, New South Wales.

The internees made new friends and were given English lessons.

Consequently Gus was able to master English to a reasonable degree and thus improve his skills over the years.

Gus's stay at Cowra was only nine months, due to Angelo being commissioned to grow vegetables for the Army.

He asked for Gus to be released to help him produce the needed supplies.

Towards the end of the war, Gus purchased some land at Pozieres which adjoined the De Re family's farm at Bapaume.

Maria De Re, an attractive 21-year-old caught Gus's eye.

With strong support and much encouragement by Giovanni and Santina De Re, the wedding was set for June 30, 1945.

Gus told his mother-in-law that on marrying he felt happier than a king. …

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