Lives in photos – Part 4

In this part of the ‘Lives in photos’ series , the focus is on the visual records kept by families of their return visits to Italy.

In interviews, many second-generation narrators spoke about the first visits to Italy that their parents made in the 1960s. By that time, the market gardens were well established and families were prosperous enough to travel to Italy and stay for an extended length of time. Some who were children when they accompanied their parents recall the wonderful family reunions in the village. Others who went as adults emphasise the similarities of relatives whom they had not met previously because migration had separated families. The majority of the people I interveiwed for the project had visited Italy at least once. The photos document the experience of being enfolded in multi-generational families in the Veneto region.

Lloyd Triestino advertising pamphlet, early 1960s.

Farewell Adelaide
A number of families provided photos of the ship leaving Adelaide. The scenes of the ships pulling away from the dock at Outer Harbour are like images from films. Sometimes a studio took photos as a keepsake for families. In the feature photo, the large crowd was photographed by a studio and Silvano Ballestrin has identified the group who gathered at Outer Harbour to farewell his parents and sister in April 1965. Lloyd Triestino owned the ‘G. Marconi’ and ‘G. Galilei’ ships and advertised voyages to Italy knowing that many families wished to visit their families in Italy in the 1960s.

Groups of families make the visit together

Touring Italy, Lake Como – 1964: Luigi, Luciana & Italia Tonellato, Adelaide Valentini, Ina Marin, Angelo Innocente, Nico Zampin, Frank & Michael Marin, Amadio Valentini. Photo courtesy Aida Innocente.

In 1964, a group of families from the Lockleys market gardener community made the voyage  to  Italy. They stayed with their respective relatives and also travelled as tourists in Italy and in other countries. The group included the Innocente, Tonellato, Valentini families. The Marin family also went at that time. The following photo shows some of the group sightseeing  on   Lake  Como.


Angelo, nonna Teresa and Aida Innocente, Caselle di Altivole, 1964. Photo courtesy Aida Innocente.

Aida Innocente recalls the time spent with her grandmother and relatives in Caselle di Altivole and the tasks that were part of the family household on their land. She happily took part in activities and made life-long friends with children whose families were neighbours to her nonna.



Making the links – Australia and Italy
Romildo and Clara Santin and their two older children, Diana and Allan, made the trip to Italy in 1962. Second daughter, Lisa was born i 1969. On that first family trip, Diana was 11 years old and remembers many details of the visit. She recalls that her father had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and prior to leaving Adelaide, he had gone to  families and invited them to record a message to their relatives in the Veneto region. This was an opportunity especially for elderly relatives to hear the voices of their children and grandchildren. On the way to Italy, Romildo bought a Super8 movie camera so he could record messages, events and images of daily life in the province of Treviso and show them to the families in Adelaide. Here’s what Diana remembers:

Santin family: Diana, Alan, Romildo, Clara, Frogmore Road, c 1962. Photo courtesy, Diana.

I remember – Dad going over on the ship, bought a movie camera and – he went around to every family who had children here, you know, all their parents and took photos of every family. And when he came back here, he showed them. Yes. we’ve got it, we’ve got everything … we travelled and found all these people … (Diana Panazzolo nee Santin, OH 872/ 18 October 2013)

Romildo was using the technology of the time to record the voices and then images of people. He was able to assist families to keep connections at a time when phone calls were expensive.

Observing a parent’s first visit to Italy
In 1969 Frankie Ballestrin accompanied his mother, Maria, on her return to Valla’ for the first time after 34 years. He recalls the moment of arrival at the airport:

Well, Mum hadn’t see her younger sister – she was only seven or eight when she left – and when she met her at the airport, it was a sight to behold … my auntie jumped the barrier … (Frankie Ballestrin, OH 872/7, 14 January 2009)

Meeting parents-in-law for the first time

Silvano’s mother and Amelia, Riese Pio X, 1961. Photo courtesy of the family.

Amelia Zampin nee Shaw had married Silvano Zampin in 1931 after he had been in Adelaide for three years. Amelia was from an Irish Australian family and it was unusual for a young girl to marry an Italian at that time. Amelia and Silvano had nine children and in 1961 they made their first of three visits to Italy and they were away for about six months. Their seventh daughter, Sandra, worked the market garden during that time. The daughters interviewed for the project all reflect on the particular importance of that first visit because their mother met her parents-in-law and found out more of Silvano’s family background and village life.


The photos of the return visits and first visits to Italy record  family reunions, events and daily life in the villages and households. The first generation and the 1.5 generation who had left as children reconnected with family members and the second generation who were born in Australia came to understand their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and their heritage. The photos are permanent ways to recall transnational connections in families.


Madeleine Regan
6 February 2022

A tribute to Lina Rismondo nee Marchioro

When Adelina (Lina) Marchioro was born on 12th March 1927, her parents had been living in Adelaide for about a year. They had emigrated with their six-month old daughter, Mary, from Malo in Vicenza in the Veneto region.

Lina and Mary Marchioro, Adelaide, c 1930/31.


The family lived in a boarding house in Hindley Street owned by Lina’s uncle. Lina was born in the year when the majority of the first-generation Veneto market gardeners arrived in Adelaide.




Lina died on 15th January 2022 after a long and rich life.
I interviewed Lina four times in 2010 and 2011 and she provided many details about her memories of growing up at Lockleys, the family market gardens and other aspects of her life. The following tribute reflects the themes we covered in the  interviews. – and conversations with Lina’s sister, Connie.

We called it ‘Lockleys’
It was from Lina that I learned about the name that the Veneto market gardeners gave to the area that they lived and worked in from the 1930s to the 1970s:

Lockleys … That’s where most of the Italians went anyhow from that Veneto region, they went to Lockleys … Frogmore Road, we called it Lockleys, Frogmore Road.

Margherita Marchioro and Angelina Marchioro, picking onions, Frogmore Road, c mid 1940s. Photo, Lina Marchioro.

In the early days, Lina’s father worked for Del Fabbro terrazzo and cement business and her mother and uncle Vittorio worked the market garden on Frogmore Road and grew potatoes, onions, beetroot and trombone. Lina pointed out that it was too expensive for the Veneto market gardeners to buy glasshouses in the beginning. So, they made a living from growing outside vegetables and saved for glasshouses and then grew tomatoes and beans.


Early memories of Frogmore Road
Lina remembered when the first generation of Veneto men were living near each other on the market gardens and before they brought wives and children from Italy or before they got married. They gathered on the land that Secondo Tonellato and Angelo Piovesan worked – it would have been in the early 1930s:

At least twice a week the men would go there of a night-time and Mum would be roasting some chestnuts and the men would be singing … Oh the singing was beautiful. I can still hear them singing … all standing out with their arms around each other’s shoulders singing away.

The gift of a camera
When Lina was 12 years old Lina’s father gave her a Brownie Box camera and she began taking photos of people in the market gardens area of ‘Lockleys.’ Lina took her first photos during the war years.

Johnny Marchioro, Connie Marchioro, Romano Marchioro, picking vegetables, Frogmore Road, c 1945/46. Photo: Lina Marchioro.

Today we are fortunate because we have dozens of her beautiful photos that she carefully took and showed aspects of life on Frogmore Road – glasshouses, harvesting of onions, relatives and friends, groups of women and children, images of children at play and the flat land without trees, few houses – unrecognisable from today’s suburban environment.

The war years
In about 1939, the family moved to a block of land in Pierson Street, Lockleys. During the war, Lina recalled that she assisted her father to read newspapers in English so he could find out what was happening in Italy and in the area where the Marchioro families were living. When American soldiers were camped near their house in Pierson Street, Lina’s father invited them into their house and gave them his home-made wine and her mother made spaghetti for them.

Lina’s uncle, Florindo, was interned for nearly four years and spent about half of that time in Loveday internment camp – in the Riverland about 220 kilometres NE of Adelaide. In her interview, Lina recalled going to Loveday with her uncle’s wife.  They were billeted on a vineyard for a week where they picked grapes and they visited him every evening and Lina recalled her impressions:

View of Loveday internment camp – Loveday lives website.

The camp, they were like huts, iron and timber huts, and there were … Italians and then Germans and the Japanese. They were all in different sections of the camp … we had to go to the office and then we’d be taken over to the mess … and all these men were there having their meals and we were sitting with my uncle …


The legacy of Lina’s parents
Lina’s parents were hard working and wanted to make their lives in Australia.

Marchioro family, Lina, Margherita, Connie, Mary, Francesco, Pierson Street, Lockleys, c 1942.

Francesco and Margherita were naturalised in 1931. They faced the challenge of Francesco’s ill health which prevented him from working in the glasshouses although he worked in the terrazzo industry. He died in 1945 at the age of 43. At the time Mary was 20 years old, Lina, 18 and Connie was 7 years.

Margherita lived a long life. She had arrived in Adelaide as a 21-year-old and never returned to Italy. She worked as a business owner for many years in her market garden, built her house, cared for her daughter Mary, and loved her family. She died in 2001 aged 97 years. Mary died aged 59 in 1986.

Romano, Connie, Johnny, Lina at Johnny’s 70th birthday August 2010. Photo, Madeleine Regan


Lina and Connie always kept in touch with their cousins, Johnny and Romano Marchioro. Romano died on 20 March 2020.



Marriage and the generations
When she was 25 Lina married Ruggero Rismondo who had arrived in 1950 from Rovigno in what is known today as Istria. Lina and Ruggero had three sons, Francis, Ricky and Michael – their wives, children and grandchildren.

Ruggero Rismondo and Lina Marchioro marriage – 1 March 1952
Rismondo family: Ricky, Frank, Michael, Lina and Rugggero, Adelaide c 2005. Photo courtesy of Connie.








Working life
Lina worked with her mother in the glasshouses for some time until she followed her interest in dressmaking and trained in a large garment factory in Shell House on North Terrace in the City of Adelaide. Lina worked with about 100 women and after a period she joined another young woman and they opened a shop at Prospect where they designed and made dresses for women who were well-to-do.

After her marriage, Lina continued her seamstress work from home and was employed as a machinist for a dress shop in Adelaide Arcade. She also worked in the kitchens at Minda and the Adelaide Airport and in the Airport restaurant with her sister Connie.

Lina and Ruggero visited Italy five times and Lina formed strong bonds with her relatives at Malo. They also stayed with Ruggero’s family. They travelled to other places including Japan and Sri Lanka.


Rosina Tonellato, Lina Marchioro, Virginia Santin, Frogmore Road, c 1942/43. Photo courtesy, Christine Rebellato nee Mattiazzo.

Throughout her life, Lina built strong friendships  and one of her oldest  living friends, Teresa, was her neighbour on Pierson Street. In the photo opposite, Lina stands in front of glasshouses with two friends whose parents were market gardeners on Frogmore Road.




Lina Rismondo and Connie Legovich, Glenelg, 2018. Photo courtesy of Connie.


Lina and  Connie shared similar interests, always lived close to each other and delighted in each other’s company.



I extend sympathy to all members of Lina’s family.
I am grateful for Lina’s life and for the community to have access to the collection of her photos that recorded the life of the Veneto market gardeners at Lockleys. Her photos are a gift to us.

You can listen to an interview with Lina or read the transcript of the four interviews with her: Click here


Madeleine Regan
23 January 2022

Lives in photos – Part 3


 I’m continuing with the series on family photos and the lives of the Veneto market gardeners. In this third part, I focus on photos that represented the life in the community at ‘Lockleys’ during  the war, and soon after.

Gatherings of the Veneto community

I’m interested in photos of groups of Veneto market gardeners and the people they knew during and after the Second World War. I’m thankful that interviewees and others have given me permission to use the photos. By the mid-1940s, the pioneer families were established on their market gardens in the area they called ‘Lockleys’. Although there had been challenges for the community during the war years, the Veneto market gardeners continued to gather and celebrate and photos show aspects of their daily lives. Perhaps increasing numbers of people had cameras which might explain why there are more photos. After the war the families sponsored and welcomed new Veneto migrants who were leaving Italy in large numbers because of the destruction caused by the occupation and the poverty that followed especially in the Veneto region.

Photos of weddings
Studio photos were formal records of the wedding parties. During the war, Luigia Ballestrin and Eugenio Zalunardo married. Eugenio or Marena had arrived in 1927 and leased land on Grange Road for his market garden in the late 1930s. Luigia had accompanied her mother to Adelaide in 1938 when she was 23 years old.

Marriage of Luigia Ballestrin and Eugenio Zaluanrdo, Adelaide 1943.

The wedding photo in 1943 shows various members of the Ballestrin family. Although the war had created shortages and restrictions, the wedding group looks beautifully dressed. Thank you to Silvano Ballestrin for annotating the photo.

Marriage of Rosina Tonellato and Lui Santin 1945

Marriage of Rosina Tonellato and Lui Santin, Adelaide, 1945.

In 1945, Rosina Tonellato married Lui Santin. Rosina was daughter of pioneers, Secondo Tonellato and Elisabetta Gatto. Lui was the eldest son of Giovanni Santin and Costantina Visentin. Both families had come from Caselle di Altivole. In the studio portrait, Lui’s father stands beside him and Rosina’s father stands beside her. The mothers were not included in this photo.

Women on Frogmore Road

Group of women and Lina Ballestrin on Frogmore Road, c 1945/46. Photo, Lina Marchioro (Rismondo).

Lina Marchioro took the photo of a group of women and children taken in mid 1940s. The Veneta women and child, Lina Ballestrin, are pictured with Rene Destro who had married a Veneto man. Rene was good friends with the Veneto market gardener families. The women were probably taking a break from working on the gardens. Thanks to Silvano Ballestrin for annotating the photo.

 Children on Frogmore Road

Johnny Marchioro’s fifth birthday. Children from three Ballestrin families, Daminato and Piovesan families, Frogmore Road, 1945.

Lina Marchioro took the photo of the children who attended Johnny Marchioro’s fifth birthday in August 1945. I like the way that Lina included the glass houses in the background. The children hold oranges which would have been a special treat at the time.


The day after the marriage of Anna Mattiazzo and Vito Santin, 1949
It was tradition that the day after a wedding, relatives and friends would gather to finish drinking the beer and to eat food left over from the reception that had been held in a packing shed. In this photo, taken after the marriage of Anna Mattiazzo and Vito Santin in 1949, a group pose for a photo. There are mainly men, a mix of generations who had arrived before the war and post-war arrivals who the older Veneto generation called ‘new Australians.’ The eldest in the group is in the middle foreground, Giovanni Santin, who would have been 63 years of age. The young boys around him are from the Ballestrin, Marchioro and Piovesan and other families. The informality of the photo contrasts with a studio portrait or a snap taken outside a church after the wedding ceremony.

Gathering of Veneti, the day after the marriage of Anna Mattiazzo and Vito Santin, Valetta Road, 1949. Source unknown.

A gathering of families
Some people in the photo below of the large group are from market garden families and it could be a group who had migrated from Riese Pio X. I’ve talked to a few people about the photo which Chris Rebellato found in her parents’ collection.

Group of Veneto families and single men. 'Lockleys', c mid-late 1940s. Photo courtesy Chris Rebellato nee Mattiazzo.
Group of Veneto families and single men. ‘Lockleys’, c mid-late 1940s. Photo courtesy Chris Rebellato nee Mattiazzo. Source unknown.

The guess is that it was taken in the mid-late 1940s. Why has the group gathered? The photo was taken outdoors but the group has been arranged in a formal way. People are dressed smartly as though the photo was a record of a special occasion.


The images live on beyond the events and the lives of many of the people who are the subjects in the photos. They reflect the lives of a small migrant community living on the edges of Anglo Australia in Adelaide.


Madeleine Regan
9 January 2022



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