Senior 37. Ben Silvagni

Opine

Premium Gold
Aug 30, 2018
4,431
8,621
AFL Club
Carlton
A kid as raw as Ben could take 5 years to develop to his full potential. Patience and loads of 2nd’s games for Ben. Russell will be crucial in setting a long term program.
Jacks has more footy smarts but lacks Ben’s physical attributes....time for both. Hope they make the most of the opportunity because let’s be honest I don’t think they’d be on a list without the name,but there’s nothing wrong with that nor should they be judged on it,if they make it great if they don’t I’m wrapped we tried.
Stop it, with the "if they will make it"
They will ***** make it; both of them.
:)
 

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ctacp

Club Legend
Jan 20, 2008
2,586
5,037
Bullengarook
AFL Club
Carlton
Got the call from my carlton person today - i am Ben’s silver sponsor.

It made me think of my grandfather (my nonno) & my grandmother (nonna). He sailed - yes sailed from Italy to Sth America for work then got wind of a railway being built here. He worked on the central train line, saved his money & bought a sugar cane farm in proserpine with his mate “Jack Kilo”. Then he saile back to Italy & his home town to find a wife. My Nonna was Margarita Ferronato - her surname translate to “born of Iron”. He brought her back to heat & floods, racism & prejudice. Heavily pregnant she had to travel around farms & not thru them cos she was a “dago”. heavily pregnant during flood season my nonna heard a small engine putting up the the proserpine river to her aid - Mary Tobin came to her aid. My aunty Mary was named in her honor. The Tobin family has always dealt with our families funerals ever since. She was shown as a new born around the hospital in astonishment cos she was “white”. The locals thought of the Italian migrants as “Kanaka’s” - the local indigenous workers. 4 daughters were born & a farming life was not for them. They moved to Melbourne to try find nonna’s Brother who was an opera singer & had shacked up with an older Australian woman. Oh the shame. My mother remembers dancing on the train station at spencer street as a young girl on arrival.. 4 young daughters who worked in a family shop selling Italian styled groceries. In the early 50’s my Nonna made a trip home to Italy to see her family. She spied espresso coffee & brought one home for the family shop in 1954. In 1954 my Nonna had one of the first commercial espresso machines in operation in Australia, just as the migrant influx began. My mum Natelina (Lina) & her 3 sisters, Mary, Elsie & Bette became the consulate, translators, helpers & providers of Italian life for these migrants. The shop boomed. The family shop was across the road from Dan O’connell Hotel, Canning St. Carlton. Mums family lived in Canning St as well, her neighbor’s family were “Silvagni”. Not the Sergio variety but a relation. Mum knew of Sergio but, in her words, they (the 4 sisters) weren’t interested in the Australian born Italians... mums hair was set for her wedding by Rita Silvagni. One of her bridesmaids was her Silvagni neighbor.

Mum turned 86 a few days ago.

Few can say their mother, aunties & grand parents were part of the cultural change of an entire country, but i can proudly say that my family was a part of changing Australia for the better.

I shed a tear this afternoon thinking of the sacrifice my grandparents & my migrant dad made - giving up everything & everyone they knew & loved so I could live a priveledged life.

Zulian family foto’s. All are mum, wedding foto is her & Silvagni cousin is on her left & her sister (deceased) Bette the youngest is to her right. Mum seated in foto in proserpine - only foto of her prior to losing most of her hand in a farm machinery accident (but that’s another story..)

If you notice the frame in the corner of the wedding foto - i shall post that next.
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mediumsizered

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 11, 2005
28,274
32,339
Queensland
AFL Club
Carlton
Got the call from my carlton person today - i am Ben’s silver sponsor.

It made me think of my grandfather (my nonno) & my grandmother (nonna). He sailed - yes sailed from Italy to Sth America for work then got wind of a railway being built here. He worked on the central train line, saved his money & bought a sugar cane farm in proserpine with his mate “Jack Kilo”. Then he saile back to Italy & his home town to find a wife. My Nonna was Margarita Ferronato - her surname translate to “born of Iron”. He brought her back to heat & floods, racism & prejudice. Heavily pregnant she had to travel around farms & not thru them cos she was a “dago”. heavily pregnant during flood season my nonna heard a small engine putting up the the proserpine river to her aid - Mary Tobin came to her aid. My aunty Mary was named in her honor. The Tobin family has always dealt with our families funerals ever since. She was shown as a new born around the hospital in astonishment cos she was “white”. The locals thought of the Italian migrants as “Kanaka’s” - the local indigenous workers. 4 daughters were born & a farming life was not for them. They moved to Melbourne to try find nonna’s Brother who was an opera singer & had shacked up with an older Australian woman. Oh the shame. My mother remembers dancing on the train station at spencer street as a young girl on arrival.. 4 young daughters who worked in a family shop selling Italian styled groceries. In the early 50’s my Nonna made a trip home to Italy to see her family. She spied espresso coffee & brought one home for the family shop in 1954. In 1954 my Nonna had one of the first commercial espresso machines in operation in Australia, just as the migrant influx began. My mum Natelina (Lina) & her 3 sisters, Mary, Elsie & Bette became the consulate, translators, helpers & providers of Italian life for these migrants. The shop boomed. The family shop was across the road from Dan O’connell Hotel, Canning St. Carlton. Mums family lived in Canning St as well, her neighbor’s family were “Silvagni”. Not the Sergio variety but a relation. Mum knew of Sergio but, in her words, they (the 4 sisters) weren’t interested in the Australian born Italians... mums hair was set for her wedding by Rita Silvagni. One of her bridesmaids was her Silvagni neighbor.

Mum turned 86 a few days ago.

Few can say their mother, aunties & grand parents were part of the cultural change of an entire country, but i can proudly say that my family was a part of changing Australia for the better.

I shed a tear this afternoon thinking of the sacrifice my grandparents & my migrant dad made - giving up everything & everyone they knew & loved so I could live a priveledged life.

Zulian family foto’s. All are mum, wedding foto is her & Silvagni cousin is on her left & her sister (deceased) Bette the youngest is to her right. Mum seated in foto in proserpine - only foto of her prior to losing most of her hand in a farm machinery accident (but that’s another story..)

If you notice the frame in the corner of the wedding foto - i shall post that next.
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The bricks & the iron balustrade in the bottom photo are identical to my parents' home in Pascoe Vale (now knocked down & replaced by townhouses). This certainly brought some memories flooding back for me.

One can't help but have admiration for what the Europeans brought to our country in the post World War II years, not to mention the Carlton players that came from some of these European families.

Thanks for sharing some of your family story.
 

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footyfan78

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
23,803
24,993
spacetime
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
there are no other teams worthy
Love the photos. Are they mostly from the 1950's ?
I remember seeing a family photo from around turn of century with my great grandmother in front of terraces houses in Carlton but been doing my head in the last month where I ever saw it and whom showed it to me. Do not think it was someone in my immediate family. Wish I know how to follow it up as do not know much about my great grandmothers family.
 

ctacp

Club Legend
Jan 20, 2008
2,586
5,037
Bullengarook
AFL Club
Carlton
The bricks & the iron balustrade in the bottom photo are identical to my parents' home in Pascoe Vale (now knocked down & replaced by townhouses). This certainly brought some memories flooding back for me.

One can't help but have admiration for what the Europeans brought to our country in the post World War II years, not to mention the Carlton players that came from some of these European families.

Thanks for sharing some of your family story.
This is Pascoe Vale Sth !

Yep - those migrants came from war ravaged parts, lost families & loved ones & came here for a better chance for themselves & their children. No language, no support socially or financially. They just willed a better life for themselves & created it.
 

ctacp

Club Legend
Jan 20, 2008
2,586
5,037
Bullengarook
AFL Club
Carlton
Love the photos. Are they mostly from the 1950's ?
I remember seeing a family photo from around turn of century with my great grandmother in front of terraces houses in Carlton but been doing my head in the last month where I ever saw it and whom showed it to me. Do not think it was someone in my immediate family. Wish I know how to follow it up as do not know much about my great grandmothers family.
Yeah most of those are 50’s. Something about old foto’s, especially when you find out stuff about them, are great.
 

AndyWalkersGirl

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 21, 2006
8,340
5,317
The Apple Isle.
AFL Club
Carlton
Mary, Elsie, Natelina (Lina) & Bette outside the family store.

Pietro Zulian & Margarita Zulian in the frames. The reason i am here.


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Beautiful story, thanks for sharing. I’m very proud of what my Nonni did too, they all certainly lived a life we could never imagine but we are all the more better off for it.

For a country built on the back of migrants (because other than our indigenous friends, we all come from somewhere else, somewhere along the line) we have done more than alright :)
 

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