Finocchiaro was elected two years ago, as part of the civic list under mayor Marco Giorgianni in Lipari.

His reception was promoted by noted Aeolian businessman Eligio Perna, with NSW MP John Sidoti in attendance, alongside former mayors of Drummoyne, John Murray, Peter Fitzgerald, Tony Fasanella and Michael Megna.

President of the Aeolian Islands Association and San Bartolomeo Brotherhood, Bob Natoli, was also present, alongside members of his managing committee and noted representatives from Sydney’s cultural and commercial sectors.

Mayor Tsirekas gave the welcome address, noting the fantastic relationship between Canada Bay Council and the District of Lipari.

The rapport was established in 1977 with the twinning of the communities, which was undertaken to promote cultural and commercial relations between them.

The mayor then recounted the important contribution made by Aeolians in the development of Australia, in particular in the Council of Canada Bay which absorbed Drummoyne Council to emerge with an array of important representatives in the commercial fields of construction and finance.

Responding to the mayor’s speech, Finocchiaro retraced his ties with Australia, which were established 24 years ago with his first visit to the country, which he remembers as a great experience.

“I promised to myself that I would bring my family to Sydney: my wife Laura and our two children Giulia and Sara, to relive with them those positive emotions I experienced during the visit,” Finocchiaro said.

Family ties also link Finocchiaro to Sydney, in the form of his cousin Giovanni Finocchiaro and wife Flora, his aunt Annetta, who is the sister of his father, and on his mother’s side by the Imbruglia family.

This hospitality is exhibited similarly by Aeolians in their homeland, even if the current dynamic there is intense due to the stresses of work and daily life.

“Lipari and all the Aeolian Islands are recognised as touristic sites of relevance, and are visited by around 500,000 people each year, for their natural beauty, landscapes, culture and history, for the beauty of their seas and for the spirits of the Aeolians themselves with their capacity to host,” Finocchiaro affirmed.

“Although the two places are far apart, and therefore it is not easy to bring shared experiences to fruition, the twinning of our cities allows visits from one place to the other by delegations and personalities of certain relevance, which can maintain the tie of the two territories.

“It fills me with pride to think that co-countrymen who have come to this faraway land have been able to reach grand objectives and important goals, and contribute to the growth of this country.”

Natoli also welcomed the guests, reminding everyone of the work undertaken by his association to conserve the culture of the Aeolian Islands in Australia, and pass it onto future generations.

An exchange of gifts and a lovely refreshment concluded the occasion.