The early years to today….

The Association became extremely popular and in a short time the membership rose to some 400.  This was a considerable number, as in those years migrants were trying to find some stability in this country.

The first president was Osvaldo Bonutto who remained in office for a few months in 1956.  Guerrino Giavon was then elected president (1956 – 1972).  During this period the Fogolar Furlan’s growth was enormous and became one of the most well-attended groups, particularly in the recreation and social aspects.

After a number of years, Guerrino Giavon resigned from the position of President, and Alfredo Tubaro was then elected (1972 – 1973).  The Presidents who followed were: Leo Gonano (1973 – 1976), Franco Pittis (1976 – 1986), Antonio Olivo (1986 – 2009), and Pio Martin (2009 – 2022) who passed away suddenly. The current president is Salve Agnola. Antonio Olivo continues to play an important role as the Patron of Fogolar Furlan Brisbane.

The Fogolar Furlan began its activities at St Francis House.  It then transferred to the larger C.D.A. Hall on Elizabeth Street and from there to the Buffalo Hall in Fortitude Valley.  Amongst the numerous functions organised, there was the annual Carnival Ball, the Mother’s Day Function, the “Ballo dello Scarpone” on 24th May, the function for Italy’s National Day, the 4th November Armed Forces Remembrance Day and New Year’s Eve Ball and the very popular Easter Monday Picnic at Cash’s Crossing.  When a patriotic date was to be remembered it was always organised by the Fogolar Furlan.  Many couples met during these functions and subsequently married.

When the Consular Committee and the Alpini Association were formed the Fogolar Furlan stepped aside in order to allow these associations to organise the patriotic celebrations of Italy’s National Day, the 24th of May and the 4th of November.

The Fogolar contributed financially to the purchase of the land on which the Italo-Australian Centre at Newmarket was built.  The Fogolar Furlan held most of their functions such as the Carnival and Spring Balls, at the Italo-Australian Centre.  As well as these balls other activities included family picnics, the May Day Picnic under the Story Bridge, and day trips for families.

In 1992 four acres of land at Pallara were acquired which have been transformed into a recreational area used for picnics and BBQs.  At the clubroom situated at the Pallara Center, the Fogolar Furlan has a library with several hundred books and magazines.  These may be borrowed by members who are interested in the emigration phenomenon, ethnic studies, and the traditions and culture of Friuli.

The ties with the motherland have not diminished, they are more alive and strong as a result of the assistance of the Ente Friuli nel Mondo and the youth who feel they belong to Friuli and have the desire to visit and understand the region where their parents and grandparents were born.

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