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Bocce Club marks 40 years with gala event

Italian heritage to be one full display during weekend long celebration.

July 9, 2014 3:01am

Kyabram Bocce Club's Joe Grecco and President Pat D'Aulerio want young and old to come along for the clubs 40 year celebrations this weekend.

Kyabram’s proud Italian heritage will be on full display this weekend as the Italian Social Bocce Club celebrates it’s 40-year anniversary.

A two-day festival of Italian culture will be held at the club, kicking off with a three-course meal and performances by internationally acclaimed Italian singer Tony DiMarti on Saturday.

On Sunday the club will open it’s doors to the public from 2pm with bocce demonstrations, food stalls, sausage sizzle and entertainment by the cultural folklore group Sicillia Bella.

Bocce Club stalwart Joe Grecco said the weekend was a chance to recognise the contributions and history of the Italian immigrant community in Kyabram.

The Bocce Club first started in the 1950s as a social gathering place for Italian immigrants who spoke little English and missed their homeland.

It was initially played at Nick Spina’s family home in Edis St before becoming too large and moving to Nick Nardella’s house on McEwen Rd.

‘‘When they arrived here they were all of a sudden sort of lost,’’ Mr Grecco said.

‘‘They had nowhere to go and they weren’t accepted into the community as widely as what they are now.

‘‘They felt a little discriminated against in the beginning with the name calling that used to happen.

‘‘So one of the reasons they got together was to keep our traditions and family atmosphere alive, so we could teach the children about our homeland.’’

Tickets for Saturday night will be on sale until the end of today and cost $45 for adults, $20 for children under-15.

Part of the proceeds will go towards local cancer fund The Gift.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can phone Pat D’Aulerio on 0438636523.

Sunday is free to the public.

Read the full story in the print edition of the Kyabram Free Press.

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