Book, 'La Santa Messa' (The Holy Mass) published by Unione Giovanile Cattolica, Viterbo, Italia, 1933. The book, produced to provide Catholic education for children, was brought by Giuseppe (Joe) Tesoriero to Australia when he migrated from Italy in 1937. It remained amongst his small number of possessions while he was detained as an enemy alien during World War II.

Joe Tesoriero was born in 1925 in Sicily, Italy. In 1937, Joe migrated to Australia with his brother Sam, joining their father who had previously migrated to Melbourne around 1926. They worked in fruit shops around Melbourne and were reunited with their mother and sister in Melbourne after the war had ended. In 1943, Joe and Sam were detained as enemy aliens as were many Italians during World War II. They were sent to cut wood, first in East Gippsland and then at Butler's Gorge in Tasmania. After the War the brothers returned to their fruit shop business, with Sam and his wife returning to Sicily in 1965. Joe purchased the family business in Chapel Street, but retired in 1970 to care for his elderly mother.

Physical Description

84 page book with printed text and black and white illustrations. Front cover pale green with black and red text and decorative floral border.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection represents the important theme of internment and restriction of 'enemy aliens' during World War II. It complements other material in the Museum's collection relating to German and Italian internment such as the Karl Muffler German pastry chef and internee collection.

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