More than 250 guests were present at the event, including many second- and third-generation Apulian children.
The lunch began with the celebration of the 157th anniversary of Italian unification, that saw the kids of the Associazione Puglia parade while displaying the various flags: Marco, Alessia and Gianluca Polito (Australian flag), Luca and Christian Montrone (Italian flag), Max and Eva Morris (European flag), and Elena Cunich and Kiran Rutigliano (Apulian flag).
During the parade the Australian and Italian national anthems were played.
In his welcome address, President of the Cooperative Pugliese Gianni Carelli said that, “the Associazione Puglia has woven a family network which includes not only the Apulian people but citizens from every region of Italy with all their hard labour and pride”.
“We are progressing with significant programs which give privilege to cultural aspects, as well as a constant attention to the new generations to guarantee their futures and the prospective of growth,” Carelli continued.
“In regards to the future, we are bringing forth a well-defined program; we have the logistic structures in place and the human resources to do it, we must however maintain our enthusiasm and our Italian heritage, not forgetting our colours, our flavours and our unique culture.”
Member for Drummoyne and Parliamentary Secretary to Cabinet John Sidoti MP expressed words of congratulations to the organisers of the event, praising the Associazione Puglia for the sense of community it provided in Sydney.
In his speech, Multicultural NSW Advisory Board Member and President of the Associazione Imprenditori Pugliesi d'Australia, Cav. Felice Montrone OAM, acknowledged the traditional owners of the land and congratulated the Apulian community of NSW for being a shining example of a successful multicultural community in Australia.
Montrone then undertook the task of Master of Ceremonies, coordinating the various parts of the event with great professionalism.
Following the official speeches, celebrated Italo-Australian singers Peter Ciani and Michael Riviera then performed.
Drawing of the lottery saw Felicity Idotta win first prize, with second prize going to Tina Napoleone, third to Caterina Piazza, fourth to Vincenzo Cammareri, fifth to Connie Messina, sixth to Colleen Cordato, seventh to Tony Nesci, eighth to Robert Salmaggi and ninth to Peter and Lucia Krejci.
The committee thanks everyone that participated in the event and all those that continue to contribute with their generosity and voluntary spirit, sustaining the activities carried out by the Apulian community of NSW.
The event was concluded with fun and dancing to the music of DJ Chuck.
The next event for the Apulian community of Sydney will be the Christmas reception, held on Friday, December 7 at the Centro Sociale Pugliese site at 65 Renwick Street, Leichhardt, with the event starting at 6:00 pm.