Family Business An Italian

Category: Book

Title Family Business: An Italian-New Zealand Story
Author Moleta Vincent
Year 2012
Publisher Canterbury University Press
Language English
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Family Business: An Italian-New Zealand Story by Moleta Vincent

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In this fascinating book, Italian literary scholar Vincent Moleta traces the story of his grandparents’ childhood on Stromboli at the end of the 19th century; of his grandfather Bartolo’s year as a cabin boy on a steam trawler sailing out of Napier; of his two years driving a cart of freshly caught fish through the night from Makara Beach to the fish market in Wellington; of the death in 1911 of the couple’s first child; of the family company set up by Bartolo and his brother Giuseppe, which came to dominate the fish trade in the central North Island. We learn of the enormous family rupture 1930 that saw Bartolo sell up and move to Wellington, settling in Island Bay and establishing, in the teeth of the Great Depression, Barnao’s Fish Market in Lambton Quay, which became a Wellington institution. Vincent Moleta paints a lively picture of life in Island Bay, New Zealand’s ‘Little Italy’, from 1900 to the 1960s, shedding light on a little-understood strand in New Zealand’s post-colonial history, and the rich culture the Æolian migrants brought with them.