Trans­la­tion sheds light on monastery

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Look Local -

WA monas­tic town New Nor­cia and a Queens­land-based aca­demic have helped bring a fore­most fig­ure in the State’s history fur­ther to life.

Ste­fano Girola trans­lated a 192page re­port hand­writ­ten in Ital­ian by New Nor­cia co-founder Rosendo Sal­vado to the Vat­i­can in 1883 on his Bene­dic­tine mis­sion­ary com­mu­nity’s “ori­gins, de­vel­op­ment and cur­rent state”.

“Sal­vado is one of the most in­ter­est­ing fig­ures in the history of Colo­nial WA,” Dr Girola, orig­i­nally from Milan, said of the Span­ish monk who, af­ter ar­riv­ing in Perth in Jan­uary 1846, fa­mously walked “around 100 miles” north through bush to live among Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

“Un­til to­day those in­ter­ested in read­ing in English Sal­vado’s rec­ol­lec­tions of New Nor­cia had to rely on his his­tor­i­cal mem­oirs… pub­lished in Rome in 1851 and trans­lated into English only in 1977.

“In­stead, the doc­u­ment I trans­lated and edited car­ries the his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive on New Nor­cia up to 1883.

“This was a re­port that in 1882 the Vat­i­can Con­gre­ga­tion of Pro­pa­ganda Fide asked Sal­vado to write.

“Fol­low­ing Rome’s or­ders, he com­posed a very de­tailed ac­count… pro­vid­ing in­valu­able in­for­ma­tion to all those in­ter­ested in the re­la­tion­ships be­tween Euro­peans and Noon­gars in the 19th cen­tury.”

Dr Girola, who teaches Euro­pean and world history at the Univer­sity of Southern Queens­land and is an Hon­orary Fel­low of the the­ol­ogy and phi­los­o­phy fac­ulty at Aus­tralian Catholic Univer­sity, be­gan trans­lat­ing the Sal­vado re­port in 2012 af­ter re­ceiv­ing a New Nor­cia Ab­bot Placid Spear­ritt Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship.

The re­sult­ing 307-page book, Re­port of Rosendo Sal­vado to Pro­pa­ganda Fide in 1883, was launched along with the 22nd edi­tion of the New Nor­cia Stud­ies jour­nal in a re­cent joint City of Su­bi­aco-New Nor­cia func­tion.

For a copy of Dr Girola’s Sal­vado book or the lat­est New Nor­cia Stud­ies, visit www.newnor­ prod­ucts.

The trans­la­tion of Rosendo Sal­vado’s re­port on New Nor­cia.

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