Emma Rose Betti (Born Tuia) 1922 - 2003 and Giuseppe Betti 1905 - 1973
Emma always celebrated her birthday on 30 th August but her birth certificate said the 31 st . Emma was one of 10 children born to Angelo and Maria Tuia in Castello dell’Acqua, Italy. Emma remembered from her childhood that they had a bonfire in January to chase away the old year, no Christmas tree, they had a wooden bowl instead of a stocking and you might get an orange or a lolly. She remembered that one year her brother received a cow horn and he was not impressed.
At Easter they would have chook eggs as a treat, the rest of the year the eggs would be sold. Emma said that while the bells were ringing on Easter Sunday, they would tie ribbons around the trees to make them have a good crop that year. Emma can remember picking mushrooms early in the morning and her parents would sell all of them. She went to school only to grade 5.
Emma spoke of her uncle Cesare Tuia and how mobile he was with only one leg, he could climb a ladder and chase them if they were being naughty. Cesare had lost his leg in WW1. She also mentioned her mother’s brother and how he had been killed by a falling tree.
The only photo of Emma in Castello is the family group photo taken on the day that they left their village for Australia. Emma along with her parents Angelo and Maria, her sister Pierina and brother Agostino departed Genoa aboard the M.V Remo 5 th April 1939, arriving in Fremantle 10 th May. Emma remembers that her sister was always being sick and cried a lot but she wasn’t sea sick, she had been pregnant. In Australia they first went to stay with her bother Enrico in Balingup and later she stayed with her brother Luigi in Donnybrook.
Emma had it pretty tough as newly wed and pregnant wife, they lived in a tent at a bush camp site out of Willow springs. Emma was left alone for most of the day while Giuseppe was out in the bush felling trees. She had not much to do and no English language. She often talked about how when she had to visit the doctors in Nannup she had to ride on log train with the driver and fireman, that was okay but it was the sparks that would burn holes in her only dress she didn’t like. Unfortunately her first child was stillborn and sadly Emma never got to see the baby boy, the baby was whisked away and Giuseppe dealt with all the details. Later Emma and Giuseppe moved into a house in Willow Springs but following a fire at the Willow Springs timber mill their whole house and family were moved to Northcliffe in1947.
Emma was a mother of 4, Nonna of 8 and great grand Nonna of 17 and 2 X Gt Nonna of 1. Emma passed away 2 nd September 2003 and is buried with Giuseppe in the Donnybrook cemetery.
- Andy (Joe)
- Mary Rose
- Peter Lidio