“One month in a boat…”

Jacques vdMerwe artist. Sculptor, visual art, fine art

D.O.B. // 21-11-1916
DATE INTERVIEWED // 13-11-2015
COUNTRY OF BIRTH // ITALY
COUNTRIES LIVED IN // ITALY, AUSTRALIA
DATE OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA // 04-02-1950
KIND OF ENTRANCE // P.O.W.

Angelo is 99 years old. He came to Australia as a Prisoner of War. He is the oldest person I have ever spoken too. I left that day of the interview uplifted by his positive energy and laughter. He is a true inspiration when it comes to living one’s life.

Name Angelo Valiante, 21 November 1916, Jelsi Born, Province de Campobasso;  Arriving in here on the 15th 1949. When we went to Sydney haha, stop want that he said train for Wallangarra. Wallangarra, everybody wants to go to Wallangarra. Wallangarra? We have never been before. My wife, this one (pointing at a photo next to him on the table) She said: “this man said Wallangarra.”  Say, ” we close (?) to Wallangarra – we never been to Wallangarra.” Forget that, we want to go to Stanthorpe. (Laughing) That is why, we missed the train and lucky we found the club Italiana over there.

Jacques asking: “how did you get here?” By Boat, one month in a boat. Jacques: “One month in a boat..” My Wife! this one (again, pointing at a photo next to him on the table) Stopped in the bottom (meaning they were in the lower deck), she come nearly vomit all the time, want to go for lunch in the kitchen. … (she) just go to the door and go Huahuh and go back. (Laughing) Jacques: “Seasick…” One month after, one day (she) tell me, “Angelo, one month nearly, (and) always Potato-Potato-Potato-Potato-Potato… (Laughing) “Say when is this finish this Potato? I don’t eat much of it you know…” (meaning, they have never eaten that much Potato)