Coffs Harbour Regional Museum has acquired a photograph of major historical importance to the Coffs Coast’s Italian community.
The Museum was approached about accepting the generous donation by Sergio Spagnolo who spent many years researching the image and the history of the Italian community in Coffs Harbour.
The photograph, taken on 29 July 1956 at Boambee Creek Reserve, captures the celebration of the ordination of Father John Dacey who served communities around the Mid North Coast throughout his over fifty years of service with the Catholic Church.
Mr Spagnolo’s parents were part of a strong Italian community which migrated to the area after World War II, mostly form the Veneto region in Italy. He was ten years old when the image was taken and is one of the 134 people seen in the image.
Being a professional photographer himself Mr Spagnolo recognised the significance of the image and the importance of retaining it in a state of perpetuity for future generations to enjoy.
The donation and presentation of the image acknowledges Father Dacey’s life and servitude to his community.
“We hold a limited amount about the Italian community in Coffs Harbour and this image and the research that goes along with it will be the foundation of building a historical record of this important part of our community,” Said Roslyn Cousins, Library, Museum, Gallery and Cultural Services Team Leader, Coffs Harbour City Council.
“By making this gift to the Museum it ensures that these historically significant items can be maintained in a way that ensures they last forever and this important piece of our history is not lost.”