To all of you who may have a personal connection with the Arandora Star… You can learn more about the tragedy by visiting www.arandorastarwales.us .
I want to draw your attention to a very important anniversary coming up on July 2nd, 2010. This date marks the 70th anniversary since the WW2 sinking of the Arandora Star, carrying interned civilians from Britain to Canada. The ship was torpedoed and sank with terrible loss of life off the north coast of Ireland. The majority who died were Italian.
My own Welsh-Italian family were touched deeply, with the drowning of my great-uncle from Swansea and my father’s cousin (who was actually one of the ship’s crew). My grandfather, Giuseppe Pelosi, a cafe proprietor from Swansea, was an internee on the ship. However, he miraculously ‘hung on’ for hours in the freezing, oil-laden Atlantic waters with his friend, Angelo Greco, and other men with Italian surnames so familiar to people throughout the communities of Britain. For those who survived, on returning to Britain, they were immediately shipped to a prison camp in the Australian outback.
I am a member of a small group of volunteers committed to raising funds to create the first Welsh national memorial to the Arandora Star tragedy. The memorial will be unveiled in a ceremony in Cardiff’s Metropolitan Cathedral of St David on 2nd July, 2010. The memorial is being created by the Welsh-Italian artist, Susanna Ciccotti, from Swansea and world-famous stone carver, Ieuan Rees, from Ammanford.
We desperately need to contact those Welsh-Italian families with connections to the tragedy. Families with surnames such as Conti, Lusardi, Pompa, Rabaiotti, Rossi – and many more. We want as many family members as possible to attend the unveiling ceremony, to celebrate the memory of their loved-ones. To find out more, and to receive a personal invitation, they should contact the following:-
Bruna Chezzi, Committee Secretary: Flat 6 Partridge Court, Partridge Road, Cardiff CF24 3QP Tel: 07825265406; firstname.lastname@example.org
Paulette Pelosi: ‘Vallegrande’, 17 Clyne View, Killay, Swansea SA2 7EA Tel: (01792) 427774; email@example.com
Finally, we urgently need to raise more funds to pay for the memorial – if anyone is able to help us please, they should make cheques out to the ‘Arandora Star Memorial Fund in Wales’, and send to the Treasurer: Cav. Raimondo Zavaglia MBE BA AIL, 6 Quarry Dale, Rumney, Cardiff CF3 3BR; firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 07793 392684
Please pass this message on to all you know, as soon as possible.
Thank you very much,