About Pat

Hi! My name is Pat LaManna!

Thank you for taking your time to read my interpretation of “Faith, Love and Hope”, which has given me a joyful and peaceful life. Briefly, the following is the beginning of my life story!!

I was born in Italy on 10 June 1932, to Vincenzo and Angela LaManna. My father and mother were humble people, whose priority was to provide food for the family. My parents and grandparents were small farmers, growing food crops for consumption by the family, but too small for commercial purposes. In our village, only a few people owned huge acreages of land, which they leased to other people. At harvest time, the products were divided 50% to each. Because there was no irrigation or pesticide control, most years the crops would fail to produce both quality and quantity. As a result, there was a continuous problem of providing food.

My father was a natural provider. He could see there was no potential there to provide a better future for his family, so he decided to emigrate to Australia to look for opportunities. He made three trips - the first in 1922, leaving my mother and my brother, and the last in 1936, leaving my mother and four children. I was then four years of age.

A short time later, the Second World War began. As a result, we lost contact for five years, during which time there was no financial assistance, or any other kind of help. The war was around us, and my native village was bombarded at 3 am on 25 May 1943. Eleven bombs were dropped over the village, where three thousand people resided.

It was the weekend for the yearly celebration of St Pasquale, the Patron Saint of the village named Bellantone. Huge numbers of homes were destroyed but, fortunately, no one was hurt or killed. It was truly a miracle! I was eleven years of age, but I will never forget the frightening experience!

My mother could not read or write, but she was naturally clever. The five of us experienced hardships, including hunger, which is an indescribable pain. However, my mother worked extremely hard to provide food, even walking across vacant land looking for edible weeds to make sure we would survive. We owned enough olive trees and a small vineyard for our own use, so my mother encouraged her children to drink red wine, and drown the food with olive oil. My mother was confident that the combination of both would give us enough strength to survive.

At the end of the war, it was the best news ever to receive a letter from my father, saying he was well, and ‘vice versa’ when my father received a letter from us saying we were all well! Imagine the excitement and happiness for all of us as, in those days, a letter would take thirty-five days to go each way!

The second best news was when my father decided to call Australia home, and the whole family emigrated in 1948. I thank God for my early sufferings because, by the experience of sacrifice, your heart and mind become compassionate.

Because of the war, during my most important school years in Italy, there were shortages of all necessary learning items, including teachers. As a result, I missed out on something for which I was longing - a good education!

When I arrived in Australia at the age of sixteen, meeting my father was like meeting God. Since I was only four years of age when he left Italy, I could not remember my father. It was the greatest moment of my life!

Within two days of our arrival, I started to work in Colac, digging potatoes and picking onions up off the ground. The basic wage was then six pounds (equal to twelve dollars) per week. Because I took advantage of the opportunity to succeed in life, I was a fast worker and I earned, on average, eighteen pounds (equal to thirty-six dollars).

The whole family worked hard to re-establish ourselves in our new country. Six months later, I started work in a fruit shop in Melbourne. My wages dropped to three pounds ten shillings (equal to seven dollars) per week. However, I was happy, because it gave me the opportunity to listen to people talking English. That was the way I learned to speak the English language.

Because of my long working hours, school was out of the question so, again, I missed out on an English education. My Italian and English language is therefore ‘home-made, self-taught’, so the poor knowledge of the English language has been the biggest problem of my life.

Fortunately, my Faith in God has been my number one priority, and will continue to be as long as I live. I feel that God has been alongside me every time I have needed help to get my message across when I need to speak in public.

These two pages give only a small insight into the story of my difficult years at a tender age. However, I believe they have been the best years because, if I had not experienced poverty, lack of education, war and, worst of all, hunger, I would not have appreciated God's Gift of Faith as much during my blessed life.

Click to view some short stories about faith in my lifetime

viagra for sale nz viagra online nz cialis pills nz cialis new zealand kamagra gel nz buy levitra nz viagra nz cialis nz cialis en om dagen cialis online danmark kamagra bivirkninger viagra virkning viagra priser apotek levitra virkning