- NEW RELEASE -
Time to release my next book - BOLD JOURNEY. So, what's it about you may ask. It's a story based on my experience and knowledge of migrants who made the ultimate sacrifice. Yep, those who left their country to start a new life in Australia. Many have done exactly that, and so many have been successful in many different ways - business, politics, sport, medicine, farming etc.
ORIGINS OF THIS STORY
For many years I worked with migrants, and I was always impressed by their work ethic and love of family life. Working with them also inspired me to travel the world, to see exactly where they came from. Well, I certainly did that - many times over, and I'm still travelling. This story is about an Italian family, but it could well have been about a Greek family, or countless other nationalities that have made Australia their home.
HERE IS THE BLURB:
When Severino Agnelli and his family migrate to Australia from Italy in 1954, his son, ‘Fozzie’, meets a beautiful girl, ‘Cat’ Ginelli, on the ship, and they become friends. The Agnelli and Ginelli families love Australia, work hard and forge friendships. Cat becomes a nurse and Fozzie a journalist, but tragedy strikes when Fozzie’s brother is killed in the Vietnam War, and Fozzie spirals into depression when his dad dies. Cat pleads with him to write the book he’s wanted to write – ‘Bold Journey’.
Fozzie flies to London, writes his book, and travels to Italy where he sees Cat interviewed on television, working as a nurse during a famine in Ethiopia. Inspired by Cat, Fozzie heads to Ethiopia to report on the famine, and his passionate reports are syndicated worldwide. Cat is unavailable, but Fozzie leaves a crucifix with her colleague; one Cat made for him in 1954. Returning to London to fight for the Ethiopians, he is hospitalised with meningitis, and Cat flies from Italy to keep a secret vigil by his bedside. Fozzie recovers, and Cat leaves London to get on with her life.
Attending an International Awards ceremony, Fozzie is stunned to win an award for Humanitarian Journalism. Minutes later, Cat is awarded an honour for Exceptional Courage. Will Cat accept her award? Will she and Fozzie finally meet up? Who nominated them for their awards?
ISSUES INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK:
Families, migration, Italy, Australia, Ethiopia, the Vietnam War, bullying, settlement, shipboard life, death, friendships, mateship, loyalty ... And a touch of romance along the way.
A FEW EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:
"My parents stood proudly on the dais as Mr Thompson took control of a situation that I thought had been destroyed by three bullies. One last gift remained. I could see it, and wondered what it was. When the teacher called Cat to the front, I anxiously handed my final gift to her and waited nervously as she unwrapped it. With a broad smile, she slowly unravelled the package to reveal the same papier mache’ kitten I’d spent hours creating. It looked as good as the day I’d wrapped it, and I gawked at Mr Thompson. He winked at me and pointed to Cat. Overwhelmed with her gift, she spontaneously kissed me on the cheek. Then, when she took me by the hand and stood proudly beside me, the dining room cheered. The clapping and cheering finally abated and our wonderful teacher stepped up to the microphone with one final wish for everybody."
"It was six in the morning, and Rex Monaghan had taken his first telephone call for the day. The senior manager of Tip Top Bakeries had received a call from one of his best workers. With a broad smile on his face, he walked into the large, unusually sombre canteen, grabbed the microphone and made an announcement.
‘Good morning. Today is a great day at Tip Top. Fausto is alive and well. Thank you.’ The employees screamed with joy at his announcement. Rex Monaghan switched the microphone off, waved to his workers and returned to his office to ring his wife with the good news. Although weary from searching all night, he was happy to know that Fausto had been found safe and well. He was also proud that more than fifty of his employees had spent the night searching for Sev’s kid."
"Sergio’s death encouraged me to take more interest in the war in Vietnam, needing to find a logical reason for my brother’s death. I read the newspaper every day, talked to my teachers about the conflict, and spent many hours in our school library, learning all I could about a country called Vietnam. However, the more I read and learnt about the war, the less I found a justifiable reason for my brother being there in the first place, let alone dying there.
That made me angry, and I attended five anti-war marches in Melbourne; known as Moratoriums. My parents had no idea that I had attended the marches. I wagged school, caught a train to Melbourne, and changed my clothes in a toilet at Flinders Street Station. After each march, I changed back into my school uniform and arrived home at the normal time so no one was suspicious.
However, after the second Moratorium, I was called into the principal’s office to explain my absence from school. Ordinarily, you needed a note from your parents for any day of non-attendance. Rather than make up a story and lie, I decided to be brutally honest with the principal, Brother Callan. It worked. Brother Callan was dead against the war, and totally understood why I had attended the biggest anti-war marches in the world, and I clearly recall what he said and did when our meeting had concluded.
The tall Christian Brother shook my hand and hugged me. ‘Take care, Fausto. I’m with you in spirit … And I’m so sorry about Sergio’s death. Just keep me informed,’ he said, and winked at me. I could tell by his eyes that he was passionate about the futility of the Vietnam War; any war."
"Every moment I had, I prayed for Fozzie’s recovery, hoping his wonderful journalism for Ethiopia would be repaid by a forgiving God. Hour after hour I spent by his bed, often falling asleep, but waking at some weird hour to return to the nurse’s home to catch up on sleep. Regular calls to Uncle Angelo in Santorini had provided hope and inspiration. Angelo had always been bright, cheerful and positive, and I recalled my first telephone conversation with him after I’d left Santorini for London. It was a powerful call; Angelo expressing his gratitude for the gold cross and chain I’d left on his pillow. In a short space of time, I came to admire the man and realise why Fozzie had so much respect for him. I also learnt why he loved Fozzie.
When Fozzie finally regained consciousness, I wanted to walk in and hug him, grateful that he’d survived a dreaded disease. Instead, I resigned my position and became a tourist, visiting all the major tourist spots in London. I needed to get on with my life. So did Fozzie."