Series 50 - Letters from Italy, 'La Mamma Degli Italiani'


Date Range1947 - 1953
Quantity57 items
ProvenanceLena Santospirito
Description

The series largely consists of correspondence between Mrs Santospirito and people in Italy who made contact with her after she was mentioned in an article published in the Italian press in 1950. The Italian journalist, Gino De Sanctis, travelled around Australia in 1950 and a series of his articles about his experiences were published in various Italian newspapers, including Il Messaggero, Il Secolo and Il Giornale di Trieste. The articles described Australia’s post-war immigration program, employment conditions and cultural life in Australia, and Italian-Australian communities in Far North Queensland. (The Italian Historical Society holds photocopies of these newspaper articles.)

In one of De Sanctis’s articles, he referred to Mrs Santospirito as 'la mamma degli italiani'. The small paragraph about Mrs Santospirito resulted in many letters being sent to her by Italians considering emigrating to Australia. The letters were often addressed only to ‘Signora Santospirito, La Mamma degli Italiani, Melbourne, Australia’.

Mrs Santospirito’s correspondents wanted advice about life for Italian migrants in Australia - employment, wages, housing, weather - and describe their personal situations in post-war Italy. Some people asked Mrs Santospirito whether she could nominate them for a landing permit.

In Mrs Santospirito’s replies to the letters, she often advised people against emigrating, particularly if they had qualifications in Italy. She wrote that Gino De Sanctis painted a rather rosy and superficial picture of life in Australia for Italian migrants, and stressed that life could be very difficult. Mrs Santospirito advised her correspondents that they would most likely only obtain manual or farming work in Australia. She did offer to nominate several people for an atto di chiamata.

The records in this series were originally File 4 in Cassetto C.


Inventory Listing

Letter from Gordoni Giordanenzo to Santospirito, 15 February 1947?

Thanks from Giordanenzo and wife.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 15 February 1947?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02807 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Newsclipping from The Age, 28 June 1949

Age newspaper; photo; luncheon for Calwell; gift of Encyclopedia Brittanica; Lord Mayor Coucillor Disney; Lt General S.V. Savige; Terry Dear of 3AW.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 28 June 1949
Formats News Clippings
Inventory Identifier SP-02808 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Italo Forenza to Santospirito, 28 June 1950

Santospirito’s name in article on Australia; physical education teacher; family situation; army captain; desire for work; envelope addressed to Santospirito Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 28 June 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02809 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Giuliana Nevola and Enrico Cocevar to Santospirito, 29 June 1950

Addressed to Santospirito, Madre Mamma degli Italiani Melbourne; read about Santospirito in newspaper; family situation; prisoners; poverty and sickness; appeal for clothes;

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 29 June 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02810 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Envelope addressed to Santospirito, 30 June 1950
Image >>

Envelope addressed to Santospirito, Mamma degli Italiani Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 30 June 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02811 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Gino Porto to Santospirito, 30 June 1950
Image >>

Read about Santospirito in newspaper; seeking advice before decision to migrate; accountant; family situation; possibility of work in Australia.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 30 June 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02812 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Adino Cassioli to Santospirito, 1 July 1950

Article in Il Messagero newspaper on 28 Jun 1950; Santospirito called Madre Mamma degli Italiani; desire to emigrate; son; Calwell; Holt; family; qualifications; situation in Italy.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02813 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Celeste Piccone to Santospirito, 2 July 1950

Addressed to Santospirito Mamma degli Italiani Melbourne; article on Santospirito in Il Secolo 29 newspaper Genoa; offers of work; emigration.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 2 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02814 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Mariateresa Fonte to Santospirito, 3 July 1950

Two letters; Correspondence in Il Secolo 29 about Santospirito; Calwell to Gino De Sanctis; doctor of laws wishing to emigrate; employed by Credito Italiano; first envelope addressed to Santospirito, Chamber House Melbourne; second envelope addressed to Monsignor Moenix, Archbishop of Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 3 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02815 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Ligio Da Pozzo to Santospirito, 3 July 1950

Recent article in Il Messagero, Rome newspaper by Gino Gino De Sanctis; new Australian immigration policy; Santospirito Mamma degli Italiani; request for sponsorship for admission to Australia; qualifications; envelope addressed to Gentilissima Signora Santagostino Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 3 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02816 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Mario Zumin to Santospirito, 4 July 1950

Interview on emigration to Australia; read of Santospirito’s name and title of Mamma; need to emigrate to work; need for sponsorship to emigrate to Australia; qulaifications; lawyer; oil refinery; work history; desire for work.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 4 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02817 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Envelope addressed to Santospirito, 13 July 1950

Envelope addressed to Santospirito, Mamma degli Italiani Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02818 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Envelope addressed to Santospirito, no date

Envelope addressed to Santospirito Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1950?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02819 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Maria Liliana Pandolfi to Santospirito, 4 July 1950

Addressed to Mamma degli Italiani; qualifications; unemployed; dreams destroyed; possibility of work in Australia for Pandolfi and fiance;.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 4 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02820 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Pietro Rella to Santospirito, 5 July 1950

Ex prisoner of war; read article on Santospirito in Messagero, Rome, 4 Jul 1950, Mamma degli Italiani; qualifications; request for work and sponsorship for admission to Australia.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 5 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02821 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Mily Guerrini Mazzetti to Santospirito, 11 July 1950

Read newspaper report on Santospirito: Mamma degli Italiani; need for information; husband a doctor , radiologist; whether degree recognised in Australia; possibility of work for husband in Australia in his profession; envelope addressed to Santospirito, Italian Association Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 11 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02822 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Glauco Cimadori to Santospirito, 13 July 1950

Read letter from Melbourne in newspaper Il Giornale di Trieste; journalist seeking interview with government agent; telephone to Santospirito: Mamma degli Italiani; offers of work advertised; Cimadori’s qualifications and work history; need for sponsorship to migrate to Australia; financial circumstances; wish to emigrate to Australia; request for addresses of business firms of various kinds; envelope addressed to Santospirito, Italian Embassy Canberra.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 July 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02823 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Mily Guerrini Mazzetti, 30 August 1950

Foreign degrees and diplomas not recognised in Australia; medical qualifications; hospital services in Australia; Australian climates.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 30 August 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02824 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Italo Forenza, 30 August 1950

Lack of opportunity for professionals in Australia; description of Australia by Gino De Sanctis in Il Messagero and other Italian dailies superficial and inaccurate; opportunities for farmers; many Italian professionals return to Italy.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 30 August 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02825 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Anita Pagliaro Frasson to Santospirito, 23 October 1950

Article by Gino De Sanctis in Il Messagiero; wish for sponsor for emigration to Australia; qualifications; school for child; photographs enclosed; immigration form; landing permit; accommodation in Australia; personal particulars.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 23 October 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02826 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from G B Portorino to Santospirito, 9 November 1950

Mamma degli Italiani; request for sponsorship by a business for emigration to Australia; qualifications; family.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 9 November 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02827 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Envelope addressed to Santospirito, 25 November 1950

Envelope addressed to Santospirito Mamma degli Italiani Melbourne.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 25 November 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02828 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Saverio Brancatella to Santospirito, 15 December 1950

Letter addressed Reverendissima Madre Santospirito; meeting with Santospirito on 9 October 1950; wishing Santospirito a good mission to the Italian community; family situation on his return to Italy.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 15 December 1950
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02829 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Envelope from Luciano Vidoni to Santospirito, 24 July 1951

Envelope

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 24 July 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02830 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Anna Cianci to Santospirito, 3 August 1951

Last page only; birth certificate; envelope.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 3 August 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02831 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to G B Portorino, 25 September 1951

Santospirito’s wish to help; work situation in Australia; accommodation for family; Santospirito to sponsor Portorino; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 25 September 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02832 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Mario Zumin, 29 September 1951

Work situation in Australia; foreign professional qualifications; difficulties of migrants; need to do factory work; Santospirito ready to sponsor Zumin.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 29 September 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02833 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from G B Portorino to Santospirito, 26 October 1951

Employed; promoted; seeks advice on living and work conditions in Australia;

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 26 October 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02834 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Ligio Da Pozzo, 13 November 1951

Italian specialist qualifications; need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02835 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Anita Pagliaro Frasson, 13 November 1951

Impossible to obtain landing permit for mother and child; need to do factory work in Australia; foreign professional qualifications.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02836 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Glauco Cimadori, 13 November 1951

Italian specialist qualifications; need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02837 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Pietro Rella, 13 November 1951

Need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02838 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Mariateresa Fonte, 13 November 1951

Letter to Dr Mannix; need to do factory work in Australia; inadvisable for son in law to emigrate to Australia; foreign professional qualifications; Santospirito can sponsor son in law and his daughter.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02839 Box Number 50.1 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Celeste Piccone, 12 December 1951

Over age limit for sponsorship.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 12 December 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02840 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Luciano Riminaldi, 12 December 1951

Italian specialist qualifications; need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor; accommodation difficult to find; statement of personal particulars of Riminaldi.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 12 December 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02841 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Maria Liliana Pandolfi, 17 December 1951

Accommodation difficult to find; Italian specialist qualifications; difficulties of migrants; need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor Pandolfi and fiance; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 17 December 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02842 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to G B Portorino, 17 December 1951

Italian specialist qualifications; need to do factory work in Australia; Santospirito can sponsor; accommodation difficult to find; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 17 December 1951
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02843 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Adino Cassioli Casari, no date

Payment for voyage to Australia; sponsorship; sponsorship of son; accommodation difficult to find; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1951?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02844 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Gino Porto, no date

Need to do factory work in Australia; difficulties of migrants; Santospirito can sponsor; personal particulars required.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1951?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02845 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Alfredo Labate to Santospirito, 18 March 1952

Change of address; work found as gardener; thanks to Santospirito.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 18 March 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02846 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Anna De Stefano to Santospirito, 4 May 1952

Thanks to Santospirito; daughter sick; Lloyd Triestino; Santospirito paid for trip.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 4 May 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02847 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from (?) Alberti to Santospirito, 5 July 1952

Cheque from Santospirito; Fr Carlo Matteo.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 5 July 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02848 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Camillo Borea to Santospirito, 18 October 1952

Thanks for money sent for playing organ at St George’s; employed at wool store Geelong; small orchestra.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 18 October 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02849 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from M Oncillo (?) to Santospirito, 28 October 1952

Arrival at Mumbannar; brothers; their work; thanks to Santospirito.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 28 October 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02850 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Francesco Monda to Santospirito, 13 November 1952

Thanks to Santospirito; repayment of money lent by Santospirito; book from Ms Boffa.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 13 November 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02851 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Francesco Monda, 20 November 1952

Thanks for Monda’s letter.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 20 November 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02852 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from M Pasquale to Santospirito, 25 November 1952

Postcard; greetings; greetings to Giuliana Del Pelo Pardi from C. Rossi.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 25 November 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02853 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Giorgio Mazzieri to Santospirito, 25 November 1952

Letters from brother Elio Mazzieri about Santospirito; thanks to Santospirito; request for Santospirito to take further interest in Elio Mazzieri.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 25 November 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02854 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Santospirito to Giorgio Mazzieri, 14 December 1952

Elio Mazzieri employed; possible employment of Elio in Santospirito’s cousin’s bakery.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 14 December 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02855 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Giorgio Mazzieri to Santospirito, 30 December 1952

Elio Mazzieri; thanks to Santospirito for her interest in Elio.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 30 December 1952
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02856 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Maria Colavitto to Santospirito, 5 February 1953

Thanks to Santospirito for letter to Colavitto’s son.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 5 February 1953
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02857 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Gina Riminaldi Ponelli to Santospirito, no date

Thanks to Santospirito for Riminaldi’s son Luciano.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1951? - 1953?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02858 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Gina Riminaldi and Luciano Riminaldi to Santospirito, (?) December 1953

Christmas greetings; thanks for Santospirito’s interest in Luciano Riminaldi.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range December 1953
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02859 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Immacolata Scruci to Santospirito, no date

Thanks for money sent by Santospirito.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1951? - 1953?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02860 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Letter from Caterina Trimboli to Santospirito, no date

Concettina Grasso; picture of Our Lady of Mt Carmel; Mr Santamaria; church of S. Gaetano.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1947? - 1953?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02861 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
Notes; file headings, no date

Notes; file headings.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 1947? - 1953?
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02862 Box Number 50.2 Series 50
La Fonte newspaper, 25 December 1953

Special Christmas edition.

Creator Lena Santospirito
Date range 25 December 1953
Formats General Correspondence
Inventory Identifier SP-02863 Box Number 50.2 Series 50

Published by the Italian Historical Society, CoAsIt, December 2001
Listed by Cate Elkner and Tony Santospirito
HTML edition
Updated 14 May 2004
http://www.coasit.com.au/historical/sant/SANTS050.htm

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