Luigi Snr 1903 - 1980 & Aurelia 1911 - 2008 (born Betti)
Nonna and Nonno sitting on their back veranda having their cup of tea at the little table.
Nonno working in his shed and garden. The fact they always had soup for tea.
The biscuit house always full of anzacs.
Chicken spaghetti for lunch
Sleepovers, in that big double bed and breakfast in front of the oven on Nonna’s meters stove.
Lunch after church on Sunday, hoping it would be chicken risotto or pasta.
Raiding the shed that was full of preserves, jams, pickles galore.
Nonna’s shade house – what a great place to hide.
Luigi Tuia was born in 1903 to parents Angelo and Maria. Luigi was one of nine children, however his two sisters Rosa and Maria passed away at a very young age in Italy. Luigi spent time in the military and discharged in 1924 prior to leaving Port Genoa on the Ship Orama in 1925 headed for Fremantle, Western Australia. Arriving in Fremantle he was approached by Charles Bunning the original Bunnings founder and he started work for Bunnings cutting sleepers until he purchased land in Balingup with his brother Enrico.
In 1930 Luigi applied for and became a citizen of Australia. At the time while he could speak English he was unable to read the English language, so we can only imagine how hard it must have been in a new country for him, but then while in Collie he met Aurelia Betti and they started a new life together.
Aurelia was born on 16th June in the Valtelina Region of Northern Italy in the small village of Tresivio to parents Giovani Betti a peasant farmer, and his wife Louisa. When Aurelia was only eight she sadly lost her mother to a stomach tumour. Aurelia had little schooling and spent much of her time caring for her sister Sylvia’s children as she passed away at the young age of 17. In December 1927 at the age of 16, Aurelia set sail with her father, Giovani Betti and a young Les Betti to Australia. After three long months they arrived in Fremantle Western Australia and settled in Collie where Nonna worked in a wine saloon. It was here that Aurelia met a young Luigi, he was cutting sleepers in Bridgetown at the time. In 1931 they celebrated their love with a wedding in Bridgetown and they began their lives together on a property on Southhampton Road in Balingup.
In 1939 they moved to King Spring Road, Thomson Brook near Donnybrook and it was here that Aurelia raised her children Ida, Elsie, Nino and Lui while Luigi was busy on the farm. In 1944 the land was transferred into their name. Their home was the calling place of many Italians in the area with their wine and sausages bringing people together.
After 23 years on the farm in Thomson Brook, it was time to move into town, and so in 1962 they settled into their home at 13 Alnutt Street, Donnybrook. It was a busy hub and a home full of love. Aurelia and Luigi both tendered their garden with an abundance of vegetables behind the shed, everything from fruit trees to that strawberry patch delight. The beautiful roses bloomed, the shade house was full and no matter where you looked the garden was alive. They enjoyed sharing regular meals with family, grandchildren sleepovers and friends popping in.
After Luigi passed away in 1980, Aurelia stayed in her home. She attended church regularly, helped out at the Red Cross shop, was a member of the CWA and cooked for the Catholic Ladies when they catered for event.
In 1996 she moved into Tuia Lodge. She spent three happy years there but as her health deteriorated she moved into Donnybrook Hospital as a permanent resident until she passed on 21 April 2008.
Aurelia and Luigi are buried alongside each other in the Donnybrook Cemetery. Both Aurelia and Luigi have their names on the Welcome Wall in Fremantle and the South West Migrant Memorial in Queens Gardens Bunbury, recognising the vital role migrants played in the establishment and success of Western Australia.
- 1924 Military Discharge
- 1925 Passport
- 1928 Australia Arrival Card Aurelia
- 1930 Application for Registration
- 1930 Certificate of Naturalization
- 1930 Statutory Declaration
- 1931 Marriage Act Declaration
- 1931 Marriage Certificate
- 1937 Application for Admission of Relatives or Friends to Australia
- 1937 Report on applicant for Admission of Relatives
- 1938 Application for Admission of Relatives or Friends to Australia
- 1944 Transfer of Land
- 1951 Newspaper Article – Article at the Station New!
- 1952 Newspaper Article – School Bus Issue for King Spring Road New!
- 2005 Welcome Wall in Bunbury
- 2008 Aurelia Obituary
- 2013 Newspaper Article – Betti family recalls past 100 years New!
Documents related to Aurelia Betti
- Giuseppe Betti Application for Naturalization 1935
- Response to Question 7 in Giuseppe Betti Application for Naturalisation 1935
- Referee Response for Giuseppe Betti Application for Naturalisation 1935
- Giuseppe Betti Certificate of Naturalization 1936
- Giuseppe Betti Passenger List 1926