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Sunday, September 24, 2023

The word "Ciociaro" refers to the name of the region South-East of Rome, "La Ciociaria", where the inhabitants traditionally wore the ciocie.

The history of the Ciociaro Club reflects the character of the tenacious, hard-working and passionate Ciociari.


The first Ciociari came to Windsor at the beginning of the Century. From the records found, it appears the first families who came to Windsor were Raimondo Fusciari and Luca Matassa, in 1905, from Casalattico.

1911 – Petrozzi family from Sora, and Giovanni and Altiero Morelli from Casalattico, came to Windsor.

1913 – 1925 – Many other families from Casalvieri, Belmonte Castello, Ceccano, Casalattico, Sora, S. Elia Fiume Rapido, Torrice, Ceprano, Ripi came to Windsor and area.

1950s – The emigration of the Ciociari in Windsor came after almost the total destruction of the Valle Comino and the Cassinate of the Second World War. Windsor was the final destination for many families because of the closeness to Detroit where many of their relatives and friends lived.

Nostalgia always growing, the Ciociari families embraced the dream of having a club of their own to enjoy a few hours among friends, hear their own dialect, maintain their artistic, folkloristic, religious and cultural traditions, in order to preserve them for future generations.

1972 – On July 10th, 1972, there was a general meeting. Present were Arcangelo Lombardi, Pasquale Carducci, Bruno Tomaselli, Pietro Irabella, Tony DeLuca and Americo Rizza. They decided to form a club for the Ciociari.

On the second and third meeting, the group got bigger. The elections were held and the first administration was formed with Steve DeLuca as President.

1973 – The membership at that time represented eight Ciociari towns and they decided to name the club the Ciociaro Club. On June 5th, 1973, 62 persons were members of the club. On July 20th, a bank account was opened for the club. On November 25th, about 110 members were present and it was decided to buy the land on North Talbot Road.

1974 – On January 20th, there were 155 members. They discussed the qualifications to become a member of the Club. It was decided that should be born in Ciociaria, children of native Ciociari or residents of Ciociaria. Domenic Lombardi and Gianni Tomaselli presented the club at the Freedom Festival for the first time. In April, by the initiative of Americo Rizza, Gianni Tomaselli and Luigi Tosti, it was decided to form a Ciociaro Folklore Group. On July 28th, two years after the founding, the Club’s membership had reached 474, and it was decided to accept young people as junior members. On September 8th, the design by Pat McGuire was accepted as an architectural plan for the building. These plans allowed for a typical Italian hall to accommodate 1200 people to be built by November of the same year.

1975 – On June 1st, 1975, a motion was made to finalize plans for the construction of the first phase of the Club. The Recreation Committee, with the Bocciofila, worked with enthusiasm to build the boccia fields, which are still in the same place today. On October 12th, Cesidio Acchione, with a bulldozer from D7L, started excavating for the construction of the building which was started a few days later by Tony Rea’s company.

1977 – On February 5th, 1977, Anna Saurini, Director of the Folklore Group, organized the first Banquet which had an attendance of 1100 people.

1987 – The Club committed to a major project, the construction of the entrance with the second hall. This masterpiece was built as replica of the Monastery of Montecassino, and with stone and marble brought from Italy.

The Ciociaro Club has always been very generous with the community and has collected money for the earthquakes in 1971 and 1981, with a contribution of $26,000, which was the largest contribution by a single organization.

The Club also was a promoter of many community and social events, and many musical performances including the popular songs of Napoli, the Sbandieratori of Cori, the Subiaco Symphony, the new theater of Rieti, etc.

The Ciociaro Club has a very important role in the Italian community and has contributed much, not only to revive the identity of the Ciociari, but to add enormously to the prestige of Italians.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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