Friday, September 16, 2011

To the Gateways of Florence: Auckland launch, hosted by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

To the Gateways of Florence
Auckland launch hosted by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse
8 September 2011

Penny Hulse, deputy mayor of Auckland, welcomed a crowd to the Council Chambers in the Auckland Town Hall on 8 September for a memorable evening to launch To the Gateways of Florence: New Zealand Forces in Tuscany, 1944

A strong representation of city councillors, veterans groups (including a large contingent from the 28th Maori Battalion Association) and guests welcomed the visiting Italian delegation led by the book's editor, Florence provincial councillor Stefano Fusi, and Sestilio Dirindelli, mayor of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Also in attendance were Donato Scioscoli of the Italian Embassy in Wellington; Mario Magaraggia, Honorary Consul of Italy in Auckland; and Sandra Fresia, President of the Società Dante Alighieri di Auckland. 

Deputy Mayor Hulse applauded the book's publication and paid tribute to the sacrifices of New Zealanders and Italians during the war. 

The guests were welcomed by a moving mihi from kaumatua Fred Holloway, who also led the blessing of the book with Auckland Council tikanga advisor, Bobby Newsom. Ted Lee, president of the Auckland Italy Star Association, Sestilio Dirindelli, Stefano Fusi and publisher Peter Dowling also offered their thoughts and appreciation for the book's reception in New Zealand. 

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse with To the Gateways of Florence

Stefano Fusi (left) and Sestilio Direndelli are welcomed by kaumatua Fred Holloway (Te Kawerau a Maki)   

Penny Hulse (left) with Sestilio Dirindelli and his wife Gianna Fusi; in background Graham Wiremu

Italian Campaign veterans John Johnson (left) and Les Andrews

Les Andrews reserves rapturous applause after showing, with his rendition of Torna a Surriento, he has lost none of the gifts that took him into the Kiwi Concert Party in Italy

Council tikanga advisor Bobby Newsom with kaumatua Fred Holloway bless the book 

From left; Stefano, Annette Fasher-Dow, Sestilio, Jill Gabriel (the book's translator)

From left: Mario Magaraggia, Sestilio Dirindelli, Donato Scioscioli, Stefano Fusi, publisher Alessandra Zecchini, Sandra Fresia

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