Book celebrates Italian history

Felice Cavalotti Lodge participates in book launch party

Italian history and culture will be celebrated at the Nanaimo Museum Sunday (Aug. 28) with the launch of historical author Lynne Bowen’s latest book.

Whoever Gives Us Bread recounts the history of Italian immigrants in B.C., particularly their contributions to building communities like Nanaimo, Trail and Fernie.

Italian immigrants started to come in the 1860s via San Francisco to escape poverty.

The decision to focus on Italians in B.C. was sparked by a trip to Italy with her husband in the 1990s.

Researching the book over the past 10 years gave Bowen the perfect excuse to visit Italy and savour the country’s cultural delights.

Whoever Gives Us Bread is Bowen’s sixth book on B.C. history, her previous titles focusing on coal mining, Robert Dunsmuir and settlers.

The Felice Cavalotti Lodge, one of the oldest Italian clubs in B.C., presents a variety of Italian food and games during the book launch, such as the sweet treat crostoli, fresh sausauges and card games Cava Camiza and Tressette.

The sausauges will be mixed and stuffed in the morning, barbecued in the afternoon and sold for $2 a piece.

The lodge was formed in Extension in 1900 as a mutual aid society.

It offered social activities and support to new immigrants with help finding housing, work and language assistance.

Events run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with Bowen’s presentation at 1 p.m.

Whoever Gives Us Bread is available at local bookstores and the museum.

For more information, please call Bobbi Williamson at 250-753-1821 or visit