Descendants of the Bazzo, Spinaze and Capelin families will gather at St Patrick’s Church in Pomona on Saturday March 26 to celebrate over 100 years since these Italian families arrived in the area. St Patrick’s Catholic Church also celebrates its 100th anniversary on the same day.
The diaspora of people of Italian origin in the region is significant. Surnames include Bazzo, Spinaze, Capelin, Pezutti, Roder and many with English and Irish surnames including Craven, Cooke, O’Brien, Graham, Flynn, Bull and Edwards. All have links to the ill-fated Marquis de Rays expedition of 1880.
Vincent Bazzo, father of Louis Bazzo (of Louis Bazzo Drive) donated land to Pomona Catholic Parish on which St Patrick’s Church was built.
A new novel, Paradiso by Steve Capelin, is inspired by the history of these families.
Steve is a descendant of the Marquis de Rays expedition that set out to colonize and establish a utopian community in New Guinea. The survivors of this expedition established the Italian enclave of New Italy in northern New South Wales near the flood-prone Richmond River in 1885.
Steve Capelin recently published his novel which is based on the true story of this 19th century misadventure
Marietta Spinaze (née Capelin), one of Paradiso’s two key protagonists, moved to the Pomona neighborhood with her husband Giovanni and 11 children in 1910. Marietta was Steve Capelin’s great aunt.
A series of events will take place for Steve’s book launch and anniversary celebration.
There will be signings at The Village Bookshop, Hastings Street, Noosa Heads at 11am on Friday March 18 and at Berkelouw Bookshop, Eumundi, from 9am to noon on Saturday March 19.
On Saturday, March 26 from noon to 4 p.m., a centenary celebration and reunion of Italian descendant families will be held at St Patrick’s Church, Church Street, Pomona.
Also on Saturday, March 26 from noon to 3 p.m., there will be a historical display of family memorabilia and Bazzo/Spinaze family history at the Pomona Historical Society, 29 Factory Street, Pomona.