Emilio Verna and Marianna Di Renzo
The Verna family adventure started in 1951, when Emilio Verna left Celano, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, in search of a better life for his family. Emilio’s wife, Marianna, and children, Giovanna, Marisa, Romolo and Marcello followed in 1953. The family disembarked, like many immigrants from Europe, through the renowned Pier 21 in Halifax. They travelled by train across Canada. With great joy, and relief, Emilio, along with Aunt Orsolina and Uncle Giuseppe, met Marianna and the kids in Kelowna, BC.
In Italy, Emilio had a business of transporting goods from one town to another with his horses and cart. Marianna, looked after the four children and the family farm. She would hire transient workers to bring in the grain harvest and at the same time she would make big lunches for both family and workers. In Kelowna, Emilio worked on the Constantini farm, located on Rutland Road. His terms and conditions of immigration required him to maintain employment and self reliance.
After the family reunited, they lived in a number of houses, including one owned by family friends Agostino & Marietta Cacchioni. After several years they acquired a small acreage on Brookside Avenue, near Capri mall. The family grew pretty much all the fruits and vegetables with a big garden and chickens. Emilio worked in the mining and construction industries. Road construction projects included the Hope-Princeton, Rogers Pass and Mara Lake (around Revelstoke). He cherished his home, farm, friends, family and homemade wine.
Giovanna, the eldest child, went to Calgary to work, returning to Kelowna, where she met her future husband, Lorenzo Romei. They were blessed with five children Michele, Mario, Assunta, Lorenzo and Rita. The Romei's purchased Winfield Garage in 1961 and four years later purchased an orchard where they raised their family in Winfield (Now Lake Country) In 1978 they replaced the garage with Il Cavaliere Pub.
Marisa went to Kelowna Secondary School and eventually met Luigi Russo. They had five children: John, Tony, Geneen, Gloria and Robert. Luigi and Marisa became orchardists in Rutland, Glenmore and Lake country. They also operated a small lumber mill in Rutland for over forty years.
Romolo (Rome) also attended Kelowna Secondary and then went to Calgary to further his education. He met and married Cathy Rebaudengo and had two children: Giuliana and Anthony. Romolo spent most of his career in sales and Marketing, with Xerox, Investors Group, GE and Bombardier.
Marcello went to school at Dr Knox, and became a star hockey player, and fan favourite, with the Kelowna Buckaroo hockey team. He met and married Linda Smith. They have four children: Lia, Emilio, Tana, and Carlo. Marcello and Linda made their living in farming as well. The family purchased orchards in Glenmore and East Kelowna (currently known as the Harvest Golf Club).
Rome Verna and Marisa Verna Russo
6/23/2021 11:40:43 am
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