Carnevale Party 2014
- Quiz Night in aid of the British Heart Foundation
- OLIMPIADI GIOVENTU ITALIANA 2nd – 4th June 2012
- CSIF raises £1,300 for COSMIC - Children of St Mary's Intensive Care
- Victoria & Giorgia Ferri - Race for Life
- Italian Fashion: GIORGIO ARMANI by Gaby Cardoso
- Orecchiette alla Barese by Gianni Gagnier
- A Tribute to Our Finchley Team Manager - Gaetano Attanasio by Maria Tozzi
- Claudio Baglioni at the Royal Albert Hall by Luigi Moccia
- YOU HAVE A FRIEND REQUEST. CONFIRM OR IGNORE? HMM... by Angelica Alu
- Puglia - History & Geography by Gianni Gagnier
Discovering Italian Routes!
The Club Sociale Italiano di Finchley (CSIdF) was formed some 30 years ago by Padre Pier Giorgio Venturini of the Saveriani Fathers and Zino Daley. Coincidentally, the Saveriani Fathers principal headquarters was in Parma, an area from which many of the Club's founding members and committee originated. It was the Saveriani Fathers who proposed the idea of the social club despite the existence of a similar and well established club at St. Peters in Clerkenwell; the principal difference with this Club being that it would be created to cater for those from the Italian Community that had left the Islington and Clerkenwell areas and had moved to North London. At the time there existed no place for Anglo-Italians in North London to meet and socialize. In fact, the founding committee was formed by a group of friends in the local community whose first action was to organise social gatherings every Friday night, where members of the Community could play Briscola, Tre Sette and Quintiglio. The involvement and support of the Saveriani Fathers in founding the CSIdF was extremely important in driving forward the concept of a new club, in fact to this day and in recognition of this initial and vital support, it is written in the Club's statute that where possible it should contribute to the well being of the Saveriani Fathers and their charitable work.
The first gatherings to be arranged by the newly founded Club were simple social events which sought to attract families and provide them with a meeting place and an opportunity to socialise with others from the local Community. A typical event would involve traditional but simple food (panini with mortadella, formaggio or prosciutto cotto) and the odd glass of wine or bottle of beer. However, the functions would not have been successful had it not been for their music; in fact in some of the more traditional events, the music was important in attracting people. The Club's events have been graced by the musical talents of Mario & Pasquale, the Viazzani Group, Collini (famous for playing the accordion whilst also having a whistle in his mouth!), Allodi, Marcello and Pino Piletto.
The first few cene balli were held in the Empire Rooms in Tottenham Court Road, however, once a solid group of members had established itself, the decision was taken to move such events to St. Philip the Apostle, Gravel Hill, Finchley Central on a more permanent basis. It was Father L. Thomas who initially gave the Club permission to use the church hall which would become the Club's base for the next 20 years. The decision to locate to this venue made sense as the Anglo-Italian Community in the area was of a significant size and it was central to the Community. The Club and the Church had a strong relationship throughout this period and enjoyed and benefited from many successful events together.
The Club’s first President was Giovanni Battista Fabrizzi, but subsequent Club Presidents have included: Paride Ferrari, Erminio Gazza, Nino Avogadri, Zino Daley, Guido Franchi, Gaetano Attanasio and the current incumbent Luigi Moccia. However, the Presidents, and indeed the Club would not have been where it is today without its Secretaries, Treasurers and supporting committee members which have included, Gianni Emoli, Lory and Gianni Lava as well as John Rossi. Other committee members throughout the period in which the Club relocated to Finchley Central, have been Tony and Parry De Ferrari, Charlie and Joanne Solari, Emilio Moruzzi, Sandro Vacca, Giovanni and Maria Rossi, Freddie Villa, Michele Mori, Adriana Guselli and Maria Tozzi.
The success of the Club is owed in part to the networks its members established in sectors which could help the Club run events, i.e. catering and music. Typically the feste would support the OGI team, charities and fund raising (part of the constitution). At one point in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a Youth Club run at St. Phillips for the younger generation of Anglo-Italians. At the time the only method of advertising functions was through word or mouth and the grapevine, there were no adverts or facebook!
Like many social clubs of its kind, the CSIdF has had its ups and downs. It was in the late 1980s and early 1990s that support for the Club began to dwindle due to a number of reasons, but, with the commitment of a few key individuals, the Club managed to continue operating throughout this time, particularly due to the commitment of one Erminio Gazza (we have a special article from Erminio in this edition of Lo Stivale).
The Club has also witnessed a change in the demographics of its members. When it first began many of the members originated from or had connections to the Parma and Piacenza regions in Italy, however, although members from these areas are still pivotal to the Club, the 1990s has seen an influx of Committee and Club members from Southern Italy, noticeably particularly from Calabria and the towns and villages surrounding Napoli.
A significant part of Italian life and therefore also of the many events that the Club has held continues to be the food. The Club’s success, in part, has also been the result of the many talented chefs which have graced its Committee and their contributions in providing the gastronomical delights to which members have become accustomed at all the Club Sociale’s events; and particularly in their ability to work to extremely high standards, in confined spaces and within a limited budget. Antoniazzi was one of the initial super chefs, but the Club has had a number of key individuals, each with their own characters and personalities and styles of cooking.
Other chefs have been the Nino Avvocati, Tony Zucconi, Gugliemo and Giuseppe Siccheri, Osvaldo, and the current super chef, Gaspare Maranzano. Initially the food at the Club’s events tended to be representative of the population for which it was catering, with a Northern Italian feel, however, as the demographics of the members changed, so too did the cooks and indeed the menus. Typically, at some of the early balli, polenta e salciccia, antipasto all’italiano, ravioli, pasta fagioli or brasato featured on the menu. Food has played a significant part in the Club’s history and the focus on food as one of the central pieces at all of its events led to the eventual purchase in the early 1980s of the famous limited edition Club Sociale Italiano di Finchley crockery!
Throughout its existence the Club has held regular committee meetings and AGMs to inform the Community of its most recent activities and of its future plans. Initially the meetings were held and minuted in Italian, however, as the needs of the community changed, the decision was taken in the mid 1990s for meetings and meeting notes to be produced in English. Throughout the Club’s history a committee member has also always been elected onto the FAIE, (Federazione Associazione Italiane All’Estero) in order to tune in, to what other associations across the UK were doing.
Here to help you and your family...
The Italian Medical Charity was formed to give financial help to Italians and those of Italian descent with medical problems and those caring for them.
Since its foundation the Charity has made grants to over 2000 separate cases to those in need of financial help with their medical problems.
Visit the website to find out more: