Mario Spagnoletti

The year was 1971 and I was 13 years old when I first started hearing the word “club” being mentioned amongst family and paesani in Lillian Street, Findon where I grew up – of course I didn’t know at the time what all the fuss was about. This was all about to change when my father Nicola was selected to go on the first inaugural committee of the Club – a position he would proudly undertake for many years until 1984 when he passed on the baton to me.

My earliest involvement with the Club was when I was chosen to play Joseph in the first nativity play with other members’ children. As we had no club premises yet, rehearsals were held on Sunday afternoons in a tin shed at Avenue Road, Paradise owned by Guiseppe and Maria Spagnoletti with the final performance held at St. Joseph’s School Hall at Tranmere. It wasn’t too long before a Youth Group was formed to cater for us “gioventu”.

The Club soon became part of our lives and I have lots of great memories of going to all the meetings and functions including dances, plays, picnics, bus trips, Italian Festivals etc.

Come 1984, I was 26 years old and was nominated as Vice Secretary on the executive committee and accepted – for the next 5 years, Windsor Gardens would become my second home.

Working up through the ranks as they say, I continued to serve the next 2 years as Secretary and finally as President in 1987 and 1988. Although at times very challenging, it was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and gratifying experience of my life.

Although unable to undertake any future executive roles due to family and work constraints, I still happily remained involved in the Club helping out with electrical work during renovations to the hall and assisting at the annual Carnevale.

In conclusion, I am very happy and proud to have played a small part in the establishment and progress of the Club.

On this occasion of the 50th Anniversary, I pass on my congratulations and best wishes to the Molinara Cultural & Community Club, the Committee and to all the members and wish you continued success for the future.