The Vanzo family – Part 1

Guest writers, Gary and Lynn Vanzo, have kindly contributed two blogs about the Vanzo family from the province of Padova.

Reading through Madeleine’s blogs and listening to the oral history interviews, there are family connections to the Veneto market gardeners and the shared migrant stories from the Veneto people, even though my family didn’t live in Adelaide.

My father, Lino Angelo Vanzo was born in 1932 in San Martino di Lupari in the Province of Padua in the Veneto region. He had an older brother Giuseppe (Beppi) who was 4 years older. Their parents Ernesto and Adele (Giradin) were also from San Martino di Lupari. Ernesto’s parents were Giovanni and Caterina (Antonello) (pictured above).

Vanzo family home, San Martino di Lupari, 2005. Gary took the photo not long before it was demolished.
Giuseppe and Lino, San Martino di Lupari, c 1939.

Dad was 7 when World War II began and he was 13 when it ended, so his early memories were of tough times, little food, and the constant fear of the Fascists and the Germans.

He learnt the trade of shoe-making, but the pay was meagre and overtime was always encouraged, but the extra pay rarely arrived. Other work opportunities were hard to find and mainly seasonal in the years after the war.


In 1949 after much discussion with his parents, Giuseppe left for Australia. He had family contacts through the Bergamin family. Ernesto’s older sister (Amabile Bergamin) and her family were already settled in Adelaide. He also had his sponsor Mr Andrea Antonello, in Jervois.

Dad arrived in Australia in 1951 after Uncle Beppi established himself in Adelaide and worked for the Floreani Brothers where Dad was also offered work . When he received his first pay, Dad calculated on the wall in the workshop the hours he would have had to work in Italy to earn the same money he earned in a week in Adelaide. He couldn’t believe it!

Ernesto and Adele followed in March 1954 and they lived in Liston Street Parkside with Dad and Uncle Beppi and his wife Aunty Mary.

While Uncle Beppi and Aunty Mary remained in Adelaide, the story of Dad shifts to Jervois.

Visiting their sponsor, Mr Andrea Antonello in Jervois, Dad and Uncle Beppi were told about the  need for workers with concreting experience. In the early 1950’s dairies along the River Murray were being renovated and brought up to the modern standards required at the time.

They were able to secure weekend work at Jervois working on the dairies for local farmers. Dad’s childhood friend Mariano Antonello worked with them as well. This is how Dad met my mother Irene Crivellaro and her family.

Mum’s parents were Attilio (Archie) and Maria (Ceccato)and they were from Galliera Veneta in the province of Padova.  Attilio had arrived in Adelaide in 1927 and had lived and worked in the Adelaide Hills around Ironbank and Scotts Creek area for the Slater and Morgan families. He and Maria were married by proxy and she arrived in Adelaide in 1933.

Irene and Nilda Crivellaro, debutantes, Jervois, c 1952.

Mum was born in 1934 in Stirling. On a trip with the Morgan’s to visit family in Wellington, Attilio accompanied them. When he saw the dairies and river flats along the Murray, he immediately saw the potential and asked around for any work opportunities. He eventually secured a share-farming position with the Gale family and in 1941 Attilio, Maria, Mum and her sister Nilda moved to Jervois. They eventually purchased the property.

In the next blog we write about my parents, Lino and Irene, and their life at Jervois.



Gary and Lynn Vanzo
30 May 2021

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