Vale to my great-aunt, Nancy, Nanna Francesca’s sister. In Mezza Italiana, I wrote about when she was born in Stanthorpe in the 1930s and her parents named her Soccorsa, they hadn’t even left the hospital when the nurses, adamant Soccorsa was too hard to say, called her, ‘Nancy’, a name that was to stick for life.
‘But Mum and Dad always called me Soccorsa, or Corsa for short, at home,’ my great-aunt Nancy told me with a smile. ‘It is officially my name.’
When I went to Palmi in Calabria to see where Nanna Francesca and my bisnonni had lived, it was sad that the house was only rubble after the war, however I was thrilled to see the name of their street was Piazzetta del Soccorso. Bisnonna Cesca had named her daughter after her own mother, Soccorsa who was the baker for all those in their area and it’s lovely that the street bears the name. Sadly, Soccorsa never got to meet the granddaughter that was her namesake but there is something beautiful and poignant in keeping those links with ancestral history though on the other side of the world, especially knowing back then they wouldn’t be able to see each other again. Sending much love to those closest to Nancy, Soccorsa. Zoë xx
The pictures show (top left) the street they lived in with the park Villa Mazzini above and the church on the corner as it is now, (below) the street sign that I took a photo of when I was there and (right) Nancy, Soccorsa as a teenager in Stanthorpe, my favourite photo of her.