Remembering those who have come before

This website captures the history of the community of Veneto market gardeners who arrived between the wars and established market gardens in the Lockleys area in the western suburbs of Adelaide.

Eulogies at funerals can provide information about the lives and experiences of individuals in the community.

In this blog you can read eulogies that were given at the funerals of three of the people interviewed for the Veneto market gardeners’ oral history project and who died in the last three months of 2023. The relatives have given permission for the eulogies to be posted on the website.

The image above of the extended Veneto market gardener community taken in the mid 1950s shows different families gathered on one of the market gardens. It communicates the idea of the close relationships between the families. The older generation pictured in the photo have died and the men and women are remembered through time in their families. The eulogies that you read in this blog preserve the memory of, and offer a way to learn about, the lives of three people connected to the Veneto market gardener families:

1. Johnny Marchioro was born in Adelaide in 1940 and died on 15 September 2023. His eulogy was given by Madeleine Regan.

2. Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto was born in Adelaide in 1933 and died on 7th October 2023. Her niece, Amanda Rossetto, gave her eulogy.

3. Anna Maria Lucchesi nee Vettorello was born in Bigolino in 1929 in the province of Treviso in the Veneto region. She died on 17th November and her son, Enrico, gave the eulogy.

To read the full eulogies, scroll through the pages with the down arrows on the left-hand side of the text.

Johnny Marchioro

Johnny Marchioro, Bolivar, mid 1970s. Photo by Eleonora Marchioro.
Johnny Marchioro, back garden, Nailsworth, March 2023. Photo by Madeleine Regan.

Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto

Lena Rossetto, 21 years, 1953. Supplied by Mandy Rossetto.
Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto, 2022. Photo supplied by Amanda Rossetto.

Anna Maria Lucchesi nee Vettorello

Anna Maria Vettorello c 1950. Photo supplied by Anna Maria Lucchesi nee Vettorello.
Anna Maria Lucchesi nee Vettorlello, Adelaide, 2022. Photo supplied by Enrico Lucchesi.

Other eulogies are available on this website. Look at the Resources button on the far right of the headings at the top of the web page. Scroll down and find ‘Eulogies’ to find the ten eulogies that have been published so far. If you would like the eulogy of a family member to be preserved on this website, please contact me and I will be very pleased to add it.


Madeleine Regan
14 January 2024

Looking back to 2023 – and forward to 2024


This blog marks the shift from 2023 to 2024. It’s time to reflect on the year that has been and in particular, for subscribers to the Veneto market gardeners’ blog.

The image above is the tea towel designed to show the families who had market gardens in the 1940s and 1950s in the area the Veneto market gardeners called Lockleys. Bob Window was the designer.

Thanks to…
– the Veneto Club in Adelaide which subsidises the costs of the website. The financial assistance is greatly appreciated.

– Michael Campbell for his work in managing the website and taking care of all the background work. Michael attends to all the security issues that enable the smooth running of the whole website.

– all the subscribers to the blog. It is great to know that people enjoy reading the blogs and that some are interested to make contact through the comments facility.

Thanks to the people who wrote blogs in 2023:

  • Linda Zamperin, the Tonellato family and the baccala tradition at Easter, 26th March
  • Angelo Piovesan – the Piovesan family migration story, 21 May and 4th June
  • Vivian Miotto for the Miotto family story, 2nd July
  • Remo Berno – “Parties in the Veneto community of Lockleys,” 30 July, “Pio X and migration,” 24th September, “Ritornero’ = I will Return, Pio X pilgrimage,” 22nd October
  • Paola Squires, Family history, 27 August
  • Diana Panazzolo – “A family tradition – making crostoli,” 10 September.

It is very significant for people to record their family stories and the changes that take place over the years. The stories help us to understand the complexity of migration and each family’s experience adds to the wider history of multicultural Australia.

Thank you to people who have given permission to use their family photos when they have been interviewed. It is wonderful to have such a large number of photos that tell the stories of families and their experience of the market gardens and/or their lives in Australia.

Group of Veneto market gardener families and friends, Lockleys, mid 1950s. Photo supplied by Terry Mazzarolo nee Zampin.

A continuing thank you to all those people who have generously agreed to be interviewed for the Veneto market gardeners’ oral history project since 2008. There are now 65 interviews in the collection held by the State Library of South Australia and that are also published on the family pages on this website.

Farewells to people who were interviewed for the project
In this past year, a number of people who were interviewed for the Veneto market gardeners’ oral history project have died. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with them and to have recorded interviews.

I‘d like to acknowledge the interviewees who have died during the past year:

*Guido Rebuli died on 25 December 2022, aged 84 years

* Barrie West died on 5 March 2023, aged 85 years

*Ermenegilda Simeoni died on 24th July 2023, aged 91 years

*Johnny Marchioro – died on 15 September 2023, aged 83 years

*Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto – died on 7 October 2023, aged 90 years

*Anna Maria Lucchesi – died on 17 November 2023, aged 94 years.

Three eulogies will be included in the next blog on 14th January.

Additions to the website
A number of recordings of interviews have been added to the website this year and some transcripts. You can listen tot he interviews and read the transcripts that have been published. You’ll find the recordings of interviews on the website:

  • Louis Ballestrin – see Ballestrin family page
  • Silvano Ballestrin – see Ballestrin family page
  • Leon Bernardi – see Rossetto family page
  • Anna Maria Lucchesi – see Rossetto family page
  • Terry Mazzarolo – see Zampin page under the ‘Relatives’ button.
  • Angelo Piovesan – see Piovesan family page

And in 2024…

The blog will continue to be posted every fortnight. If you are interested in contributing a story about your family or the experience that is of interest to Veneti who read the blogs, please contact me to arrange a date. I am very happy to assist people to prepare blogs and welcome more contributors and more variety of subjects.

The exhibition, ‘Cornucopia: Gardens and Gardening in South Australia’ will continue to be displayed in the

Bookmark designed by the State Library of SA to advertise the Cornucopia exhibition. The photo of Johnny Marchioro was taken in 1962 when he worked with his parents at Lockleys.

State Library for the first few months of the year. It is a beautiful display of photos and stories about gardens and gardeners from First Nations customs to the practices of  today in both flower and  productive contexts. Johnny Marchioro is featured in the exhbition with family photos, the record books that he donated to the Library and an excerpt from his oral history interview. There is also a QR code link to the Veneto market gardeners’ website.



On Tuesday 20 February I will be giving a presentation at the State Library about the Veneto market gardeners’ project and the book that will be published later in the year. The talk will be at 12:00 pm. I hope that many of you who have been involved in the project might be able to attend the presentation.

Interviews in the State Library of South Australia
All the oral history interviews recorded for the Veneto market gardeners’ project are now included in the Library’s digital collections website. You’ll see that there are photos of many of the people. Other photos will be added in 2024.

You can listen to any of the 65 interviews – just scroll down the list and move to the next page of interviews using the arrow at the bottom right of the page. The interviews are presented in the order that they were recorded from 2008 to 2023.

Click here to access the oral history interviews in the State Library

Best wishes for the new year and for all that will unfold for you and your family in 2024!

Buon anno!


Madeleine Regan
31 December 2023


Christmas 2023

We are in the season of Christmas and it’s a time to reflect on the meaning of this annual celebration.

The presepio or nativity scene in the image above was created by the local council in Spello, Italy, December 2017. Alex Bennett took the photo.

Many of us will remember Christmas family customs and rituals from our childhood. Some of these were brought to Australia from the first generation of the Veneto market gardeners and other groups of migrants.

Nativity crib – belonging to Michael Campbell’s family brought from Scotland, 1963. Photo by Michael.

Some people have created Christmas traditions that grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoy now. In this blog, you’ll read entries from past years that bring Christmas alive through memory, food and the creation of presepe or nativity scenes.

The presepe are usually displayed in Italian homes and churches from 8th December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, to 6th January, the feast of the Epiphany, when the wise men were usually added to the scene. Presepe are often displayed in piazzas, shops and other public areas. The figures can vary in scale from miniature to life size and in many families, preparations for the presepio begin a long time before it is displayed. In some villages, the local council holds competitions for the best presepio.

Irene Zampin who lives in Caselle di Altivole designs and creates her presepio each year and spends a lot of time planning and organising the scene for the nativity story, and usually begins her plans in October. Irene makes the various elements of the nativity scene – painstaking artistic work. It has become an important tradition for her family.

You can view the short video below that features the presepio Irene created last year.

Memories of creating a presepio in Bigolino

Tormena family:
Back: Johnny and Maria Rosa
Front: Severina and Galliano
Adelaide, mid 1940s. Photo supplied by Maria Rosa.

Johnny Tormena, who was born in 1927, in Bigolino remembers the excitement of preparing the presepio as a child. He collected small amounts of money from selling clean bones to the rag and bone man in the village and used the proceed to buy figures during the year. Small shops in Bigolino sold the little statues and he started with just three: Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Johnny set up the presepio in a corner of the kitchen and collected moss in the fields to make it look like grass and he used stalks of hay in the manger and made paths with fine gravel. During the year, he asked family members to save shoeboxes which he cut up to make houses and castles and he found coloured paper and into the shapes he created, he placed candles that illuminated the colours. It was a considerable project for a young boy to create the presepio.

When the Tormena family migrated to Australia in 1939, the figurines were included in the luggage and Johnny constructed the presepio for many years in Adelaide.

Family food traditions
Christine Rebellato nee Mattiazzo recalled family food traditions in her family:

Many Veneto families in Australia cook Baccalà at other times of the year, some on Good Friday or Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or other special occasions. Our family only ate the traditional Polenta e Baccalà on Easter Sunday.

There was one exception, Christmas 1990, a month before our mother Virginia died.

Christmas celebrations: Mattiazzo, Santin, Compostella and Candiago families, early 1960s. Photo supplied by Christine Rebellato nee Mattiazzo.

For that particular Christmas it was mum’s wish to cook up a feast, all under her direction. Mum wanted to have many traditional dishes, including Polenta e Baccalà. Mum directed and dictated the recipes to dad, and we cooked. We still have that special little notebook.

“Nonna Virginia’s Baccalà” recipe has been slightly modified over the 30 years we have been cooking it, without mum since 1991 and with dad until 2017.  Mum’s recipe seems to be loosely based on Baccalà alla Vicentina.

Christine Rebellato nee Mattiazzo,12  December 2021

Christmas memories – from oral history interviews

Oscar Mattiazzo, Lina Campagnaro nee Ballestrin and Milva Rebuli nee Zampin spoke about childhood memories of Christmas in their oral history interviews

Oscar Mattiazzo, 90th birthday party., December 2013. Photo supplied by Christine Rebellato nee Mattiazzo.


Oscar Mattiazzo, 13th April 2011
The only times that I remember something is when a friend of my father, who was my santalo, and he gave me a, well some, some, it’s like a cake, a round cake, you hang it around your neck or something – I can’t remember what they called it – and I thought I was king.



Lina Campagnaro, 13th March 2014

Ballestrin family: Narciso, LIna, Maria, Jimmy. Front: Silvano, Norina. Flinders Park, c 1959.
Photo supplied by Lina Campagnaro nee Ballestrin.

I remember most vividly … the Christmas tree because we had a big — pine tree out the front on Valetta Road and Dad would go and yeah, cut off a branch and Mum would or Dad would put it in a bucket full of sand and Mum would dress it up either with material … and then because there were not a lot of decorations, she would put up some balloons … it was always made out of either balloons and lollies and the most important thing were cherries when you could find them then, those double-stemmed cherries where you can just hang [on your ears]. And that was just a tradition my Mum had, and I carry on with now.

Milva Rebuli nee Zampin, 27 March 2016
We always had a nice Christmas …  had our Christmas lunch … but it was all Italian, it wasn’t Australian, no roast turkey, it was always something special, Italian style.

Zampin family, Adelaide, c 1954.
Peter is held by his father. Photo supplied by the Zampin family.

The generosity of market gardeners at Christmas

Angelo Innocente – making wine, Lockleys, March 2011. Photo by Madeleine Regan.

Aida Innocente’s parents had a half-case factory in Lockleys where they manufactured pine boxes that market gardeners used to sell their tomatoes and celery at market. In her blog in 2020, Aida recalled her father’s interactions with his clients at Christmas time.


My Dad had clients from all over Italy and other parts of Europe. As a child I remember these clients – Calabrians, Neapolitans, Bulgarians, Slavs, Greeks – dropping in to our home before Christmas to settle their accounts. Dad always made sure he had plenty of beer on hand. His clients brought fresh produce as gifts. I now look upon these Christmas visits as a great symbol of the meaning of Christmas – peace and harmony to people of all lands and faiths.

Aida Innocente – 3 May 2020

In a time marked by wars and unrest in the world, I am sure we all hope for peace and resolution. I wish you all a happy festive season with opportunities to spend time with your loved ones and make connections with relatives overseas.

Buon natale.

Madeleine Regan
16 December 2023

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