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Monday, October 2, 2023
  The name “Fogolar” is derived from the Friuli region of the northern Italy, bordered by Yugoslavia and Austria, surrounded by the Alps, and made up of four provinces: Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia, and Trieste.

“Fogolar” represents the fireplace which was the centre of family
  life. “Furlan” is the name of the people who originated in the Friuli region; they possess a lifestyle and a language all their own.
1961   April 14th - Birth of the Fogolar Furlan of Windsor with 23 members. Worldwide, this was the 48th Fogolar Furlan to be formed. The first had been formed in 1930, and now there are approximately 218 throughout the world. The Fogolar Furlan of Windsor has grown to over 800 members, some of which are from the third generation.
1962   The first Spring Banquet took place and it was attended by 300 people. Also, The Fogolar Furlan Men’s Choir was established, which became known as the Italian Men’s Choir in 1968.
1964   The Fogolar Furlan of Windsor was incorporated under the laws of Ontario on November 14th. Earlier in the year a track of land was purchased at 1800 E. C. Row Avenue in what was then known as Sandwich East. At this time, the Fogolar Furlan Tug of War Team was established as the first sports team, and over the years they won many competitions. It was followed by the Men’s Bocciofila Team, and Soccer, Hockey, Bowling, Ladies Shuffleboard and the Women’s Bocciofila teams.
1965   Spring - The ground breaking ceremony was held on the newly acquired property. Professor Ottavio Valerio, President of the Ente Friuli nel Mondo was assisted by Remo Moro, President of the Fogolar Furlan, in turning the symbolic first spade. Before the cold weather set in, a foundation was laid for a building, which was to be used during the Fogolar picnics and for small gatherings.
1966   The original building was completed and it contained the kitchen, a refrigerator room, a bar and a stock room, as well as two washrooms. Adjoining the central room was the “rotunda” which contained two fireplaces that added to the beauty of the interior and served a functional purpose. A “barbeque” was built to the west of the “rotunda” to be used for picnics. The first picnic was held in the spring with numerous people attending. Food, music and games were available for all to enjoy, as well as dancing on the outdoor platform. Presently, the rotunda serves as the Member’s Bar and is often used for small parties.
1967   A new 5,000 square foot hall was begun, and the sixth Annual Banquet was held on May 31st in the unfinished hall. Work continued through the summer and upon completion, the official grand opening was held on September 16th with government officials joining in the celebration. The exterior of the building was adorned with a series of brick arches. The names of the deceased members were placed on the southern arch, while the symbol of Canada’s Centennial was placed on the eastern arch, both being located next to the entrance of the building. Large and small trees and a green carpet of grass created a welcoming atmosphere for members and guests. With the new hall, also came the first Children’s Christmas party, which still continues to this day. Besides the new hall, a small restaurant was created by adding an extension to the rotunda. At this time a number of women formed the Ladies’ Shuffleboard team and, over time, they evolved to become the Fogolar Furlan’s Women’s Association.
1967/68   The coming construction of the E. C. Row Expressway resulted in expropriation of land from the Club but also the addition of land to the East, all of which benefited both the Club and the City of Windsor.
1968   The Hunters’ Group, which formed in 1961, held their first annual banquet at the Fogolar. They provided the wild meat for the meal. This tradition continues today and the hall was decorated in a hunting theme.
1970   The Dante Costa Hall, with its decorative ceiling, was the Club’s second major expansion along with a new kitchen. Also, in this year, the entrance to the club property was built. It features the ‘Ciavedal’, the iron work for the fogolar (fireplace), which is the centre of the Friulian home.
1972   An enclosure was added to the outdoor dance platform, thereby rendering it useful as a bar during the summer months, and for small parties. The Miss Fogolar Furlan Club Beauty Pageant was started in the same year.
1974   Three hundred evergreens were planted on the property to provide year round greenery. A storage garage was built to the north-west of the central building to house machinery and equipment for the various Fogolar sports teams. The women’s shuffleboard games became an outdoor activity, the play area being built next to the outdoor platform.
1976   The Scholarship Program was established, and has evolved into the Fogolar Furlan Post Secondary Financial Awards Program, designed to provide awards for any graduate entering any worldwide post secondary accredited program. They are awarded to members, or their spouses, or their children at the Member’s Christmas Banquet. Presently there are six awards given out, some of which are in memory of deceased members. May 6th of 1976 also marked the devastating earthquake in the Friuli region of Italy. The Fogolar Furlan was the first to initiate fund raising for the victims and, in a brief time, were joined by the other clubs in the area and eventually across Canada.
1977   The City of Windsor and the City of Udine were “twinned”. As a result of the new association between the Club, the City of Udine and the City of Windsor, the latter created a small park near the Club, calling it “Udine Park”. It is a symbolic gesture that is much appreciated by the Furlans in the area. The five hundred members approved a further expansion to the Club, along with redecoration of the present halls.
1978   The Alpini Association erected a monument on the Fogolar grounds. While they are a separate group, they make their home with the Fogolar and, each September, they have a Mass in honour of their deceased members, followed by their annual banquet.
1978/79   A new addition was started, which is now known as the Canada Hall and the Friuli Hall. It features the foyer, designed to resemble the old houses of the Friuli, with a verandah looking down into the courtyard. A niche on the east side has the fogolar (the heart of the Friulian home), surrounded by wooden benches on three sides and a magnificent “Ciavedal” (iron work) stands on the structure. The terrazzo floor has five converging circles. Three represent the provinces of Udine, Gorizia and Pordenone, and the other two represent Friuli, with its eagle, and the City of Windsor. Typical Furlan scenes on the west wall depict the planting and harvesting. Taking two years to complete, this project was achieved through donated equipment and labour, an ongoing tradition which continues today.
1981   The 20th Anniversary of the Club was celebrated on May 30th, with the grand opening of the new facilities. Local and national dignitaries attended along with representatives of the Ente Friuli nel Mondo, and from the Friuli Region. The Sports Complex, now known as the Udine Complex, was started at this time and completed in 1985. Initially it housed the Bocce Courts, gymnasium, shower and sauna facilities, a tennis and racquetball court, and a weight room. There was also a mezzanine where a bar and eating area could be found. Today, it has the bocciofila courts, a small room for meetings, and the gym. The mezzanine is now a hall that has proven quite popular with our clients.
1982   The Fogolar Furlan Women’s Association was formed and on December 14th, 1983, they became officially independent with their own constitution, while remaining under the umbrella of the main Club. The women are dedicated to promoting the Furlan culture, supporting the Children’s Choir, the “Gotis di Rosade”, and have provided equipment for the former playground, volunteers for the Children’s Summer Day Camp, Carnevale, the former Young Peoples' Dance Group, plus the Children’s Christmas Party. Further activities include bazaars, bingos, fashion shows, garage sales and routine visits to various Nursing Homes. The Women’s Association has the Friendship Group under its wings. This group meets each Wednesday afternoon, and is involved in various sewing and craft projects, such as the costumed dolls and rose bouquets, and the costumes for the children’s choir. They also knit and crochet for the Children’s Aid Society, the Neonatal Unit and the Cancer Society.
1982   The Fogolar Furlan Children’s Choir, “Gotis di Rosade” (Dew Drops), was established to keep the furlan culture alive through traditional folk songs and costumes. Children five years of age and up are welcome to join regardless of their singing ability, for what is important is the outcome - young citizens with an enhanced self-image, who have learned to work in a group to create a positive outcome. While they learn about the culture of Friuli, it also fosters affection for the Club. This in turn leads them into becoming employees, and eventually active members of the club “family”. Some go on to join the board and/or various committees.
1986   The Club celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a banquet and the publication of its 25 year history.
1987   An exhibit was held at the Club: Mostra della Civilta Friulana di Ieri e di Oggi. (Societa Filologica Friulana, 1983, Udine. Giuseppe Bergamini and Manilo Michelutti. Fogolar’s Federation of Canada).
1989   About this time, a number of volunteers came together to form the Gardeners’ Group. They are still going strong today, beautifying the grounds from spring to autumn. Some of these seniors are joined by other volunteers to decorate the Club for the Christmas Season.
1995/96   The Fogolar Furlan Library was established in the Cultural Centre. A collection of books, photos, electronic media, artifacts and archival records provide students with material for school projects, and enjoyment for the members. At present, it is being re-organized to function as a catalogued collection.
2000   Yet another project was begun in anticipation of the 40th Anniversary: The Memorial Chapel, to remember all of the beloved deceased members, plus 175 trees were planted in the memorial garden.
2001   The 40th Anniversary of the Club was celebrated with ceremonies, good food and music.
2002   Father’s Day Celebration. After the mass, a small ceremony took place at the Memorial Chapel. There was a blessing by Monsignor Marcuzzi, of Italy, and Father Feccia, from St. Angela’s Church. Our choir, “Gotis di Rosade”, sang the three national anthems: “O Canada”, “Inno d' Italia” and “Un Salut a le Furlanie”, in honour of this occasion and dedications were read both in English and Friulian. The ribbon cutting followed, and the children placed a basket of flowers in the little chapel.
2003   The building of a state-of-the-art kitchen was begun. The space that became available from the dismantling of the existing kitchen, was used for additional storage and to create a main hallway to facilitate the delivery of food from the new kitchen to all of the existing halls. Also, an extension to the second floor (which houses the Cultural Centre and the Alpine Room) created by the building of the kitchen, provides storage area, work space for volunteers, and winter shuffleboard games.
2004   The Father’s Day Mass took place in the Canada and Friuli Halls, at 11:30 a.m., during which the names of the deceased members were read. After the Mass, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing of the new kitchen. This was followed by a delicious buffet style luncheon.
Fogolar Furlan of Windsor History - Abbreviated & Updated from previously written histories found in Anniversary Books - May 2004
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