Giuseppe turns 100
FAMILY and friends gathered at a home on the outskirts of Bright at the weekend to celebrate a very special occasion, a 100th birthday.
Giuseppe Paola is from a small town in the south of Italy called Confleti, he migrated to Australia in 1951, and on Monday, October 29, turned 100 years old.
The celebration was held at Giuseppe’s son’s house next door, and Mr Paola marked the occasion surrounded by family members and friends from the region.
Mr Paola first moved to Australia for work, leaving behind a country struggling to recover from the war, and also leaving behind his wife and young family, with the intention of returning after a few years.
But he soon realised that life in Australia wasn’t too bad, so in 1955 he sent for his family and they joined him in the new country.
Mr Paola originally worked for the SEC in Drouin, but moved to the North East to work in tobacco share farming in Mount Beauty and Markwood, as well as in the Bruck textile mills in Wangaratta.
In 1967 he bought his current 114-acre property in Bright.
Back then there was an old house on the property, so he built a new house next to it and lived there with his wife and children.
The original old house is still there, half of it anyway, and Mr Paola has been prevented from pulling the rest of it down because of its heritage value.
Out the back there is a garden where he grows tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants, beans, cucumbers, corn, and potatoes.
“He never stands still and I put his longevity down to that,” Tony, Mr Paola’s son, said.
“He’s always on the move and doing something, and that’s what keeps him young, even at 100 he’s keen to get out into the garden.”
Mr Paola gets moving beyond the garden, too, and he maintains a regular social calendar, going to Myrtleford once a week to meet with friends, and he’s a member of the Savoy Club.
Apart from staying active and busy, Mr Paola puts his longevity down to eating a lot of organic food from his garden and the occasional glass of wine or beer.
“He’s had a good life, he’s got his family and friends around him, he’s still active, and that’s what he’s happy about,” Tony said.
Before leaving his home the Alpine Observer promised to come back next year to write another story for his 101st birthday.
Mr Paola laughed and agreed, saying “I’m not sure, you never know what can happen, but we’ll see.”
FAMILY: Giuseppe Paola and his son Tony in front of the family home in Bright. Giuseppe turned 100 years old on Monday, October 29.