PIP Chapter #1 Chicago Meeting Report
The first PIP Chapter in America met on the evening of Wednesday, July 21st, 1999 at Suparossa Ristorante Italiano in Chicago's suburb of Woodridge, IL.
On this typical Midwestern Summer evening, 50 interested Italian genealogists gathered to partake in a delicious family style Italian dinner and then participate in a meaningful discussion of their Italian roots. Rose Ducato #1812 once again provided the group with her specialty, home made cannolis to the delight of all. Included in the attendees were four first timers: RoseMary Giova, Dan Beach, Jerry and Sharon Marconi.
The meeting was called to order by leader Cavaliere Anthony Lascio #1051 who welcomed the group and called upon each of the newcomers, who gave a brief self introduction. All were warmly received with applause.
First order of business was Chapter #1's e-mail, the PIP coollist. Six attendees joined as subscribers bringing the total participants to 47. There was some discussion regarding the nature and use of this communications format. Next, Anthony introduced the PIP group's official Webmaster, Lisa Perkins, who described the new Chapter #1 web site (Spring 1999) and asked for volunteers to form a committee who would further develop and expand the site in the future. Several PIPsters volunteered. It was emphasized that this web site is strictly genealogical and would not include other subject material. Lascio notified everyone that our site is now linked to all PIP chapters with web sites.
Lascio informed the group of the details concerning the Ellis Island American Family Immigration History Center opening late in the year 2000 and the extraordinary resource this will represent for Italian Americans in particular, since 90% of our ancestors emigrated to America via New York.
The next National POINT Conference in Austin, Texas was presented and discussed. Chapter #1 will consider several options on how its membership can assist the Conference Committee, Chapter #10, with its financial requirements. A decision will be forthcoming at the next dinner/meeting in October. A preliminary poll was conducted to determine how many of the Chicago group would be interested in attending the 2nd National Conference in October of next year. Eighteen (18) attendees expressed interest at this early stage. Lascio informed the group that POINT is a worthwhile consideration for those who are non members. About half of Chapter #1 are active POINT members.
Jenny Khalaf was provided an opportunity to give a brief presentation to plug her publication Jenny's Web Notes, an Internet Resource Guide to Italian Genealogical Research. She informed the group that an addendum would be available in the Fall to update this one of a kind and valuable resource.
The meeting was opened for questions, comments, problems and whatever anyone present wished to discuss with particular emphasis on the needs of the newcomers and problem solving. This segment of the evening consumed nearly an hour. Since so many attendees offered to speak and so many subjects were raised, due to the number in attendance, it would be most difficult to restate each person's specific remarks, therefore an overview or summary of the highlights will capsulize the balance of the evenings proceedings.
Gerald Farenga #1763 displayed a flag of the Kingdom of Italy, the one preceding the current tricolor flag of the Republic. It was the official flag of Italy from 1848 to 1946. This was the flag which all of our ancestors acknowledged. Following the meeting, he presented it to Leader Lascio as a gift to Chapter #1. It will be displayed at all future PIP meetings. Grateful appreciation to Signore Farenga for this wonderful surprise.
Susan Lehrmann described her recent Italian trip. Linda Messina Holda #2055 discovered, thanks to POINT, that Chapter #1 PIPster Rose Cortiletti #2911 is related. The two embraced to the delight of the applauding group. Rose Ducato #1812, presented a book describing the monasteries of Italy. She and husband Pete are traveling to Italy in October and planning to stay in at least one monastery. Lascio related his experience staying in a convent of the Franciscan Sisters in 1991 while in Rome, which has a room balcony overlooking the wall of the Vatican Gardens. Linda Fortunato #3769 related her recent experience in Basilicata Italy which was overwhelming and emotional.
Keith Grandolph asked the group for assistance on how specifically to conduct research while in Italy. Several attendees responded with valuable advise. Paul Carenen #1683 described a list of all the Central Vital Record Centers in Italy by various types and locations. Sarah Jacobs #2827 presented a large photograph of the 1926 Soldier Field, Chicago World Eucharistic Congress. Debbie Peters described a large framed document, her grandfather's Italian school diploma dated 1907.
Anthony Lascio talked about the pros and cons of utilizing relatives in Italy to conduct research in an ancestral town. Rose Ducato suggested asking Italian relatives to purchase and send postage stamps from Italy to use when enclosing self addressed envelopes with research requests. Dan Niemiec #2304 was applauded for having his photograph selected to adorn the cover of the July POINTers Journal.
The 27th edition of PIP Chapter #1 was lively, informative and interesting. It was agreed by all who attended to do it again on Wednesday, October 20th , same time, same location.
© PIP Chapter 1, 2003 ~ Webmaster: LPRoots@yahoo.com ~ page last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003