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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 10:56 GMT
Italian role in Scotland honoured
Archbishop Mario Conti
Archbishop Conti paid tribute to Italians' contribution
More than 650 members of Glasgow's Italian community have celebrated the contribution made by generations of Scottish Italians to the city.

An event held on Tuesday evening is believed to have been the largest gathering of the Scots Italian community for more than a generation.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti and city Lord Provost Liz Cameron hosted the event.

It began with a celebratory Mass, followed by a civic reception.

The Lord Provost said the bond the Italian community has with Glasgow "stretches over many years".

She said: "The real testament of their integration into the Glasgow family is the fact that this huge gathering of Scots-Italians is the largest for more than a generation.

'Sizeable community'

"Most Scots-Italians can trace their lineage directly back to the mass migration of the 1890s where their forefathers escaped famine, drought and poverty in their homeland for a better life in Scotland.

"However, it wasn't until the Great War that a sizeable Italian community, over 4,000 in fact, began to emerge in Scotland, with Glasgow housing the third largest community in Great Britain."

Sergio Casci
Sergio Casci celebrated the Scots-Italian connection
Archbishop Conti said: "After discussion with the new Consul General of Italy, Dr Andrea Macchioni, I felt it would be appropriate to hold a Mass for the Italian community, offering them a long-overdue opportunity to come together, recalling their roots but also recognising their contribution to this city."

Other guests present included Dr Andrea Macchioni, Consul General of Italy, The Solicitor General for Scotland Elish Angiolini QC and Linda Fabiani MSP, along with representatives from the Italian Cultural Institute.

Screenwriter Sergio Casci, who celebrated the Scots-Italian connection in his Bafta-nominated film American Cousin, said it is an important part of modern culture.

He said: "When you speak to a lot of Scots, especially Scots of a certain age, and ask them where they first met their husbands and wives, chances are they met them in an Italian ice cream shop.

"In the early 60s, late 50s, that is where young folk used to go."


SEE ALSO:
Sergio makes it a family affair
19 Jan 04  |  Scotland


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