NEWS » Unsung pillars of our community recognised by Garibaldi Awards

Unsung pillars of our community recognised by Garibaldi Awards

150 Years On

When Giuseppe Garibaldi visited London in 1864 he met his compatriot Giuseppe Mazzini.They decided to establish an association called La Societá per il Progresso degli Operai Italiani in Londra  which would assist Italian immigrant workers in London and encourage support for Italian unification. The first two members of the association were Garibaldi and Mazzini. The Societá changed its name to the Mazzini Garibaldi Club and became a focal point for Italians in London providing economic and social support to its members. Many distinguished people visited the Club at its premises in Red Lion Street, Holborn including President Saragat of Italy.

The Club ( continues to work to promote British-Italian relations and to preserve the historic memory of the contribution made by the Italian community in London to British society so that future generations will not forget.

Mazzini Garibaldi Club is 150 Years Old!

To mark the 150th anniversary of the club a special celebration lunch was held at Highgate Golf Club on Sunday 25th May. The lunch, attended by a full capacity of 150 members and guests was prepared by Giorgio Locatelli and his team. The presentation of The Garibaldi Awards by Chairman of The Mazzini Garibaldi Club, Domenic Pini, followed the superb lunch.

The Garibaldi Awards

As part of the organisation for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the visit of Giuseppe Garibaldi to London in 1864, it was decided by the organising committee under the auspices of the Italian Embassy to create an award to mark the event. This idea was the initiative of Sir Tony Baldry MP, Chairman of the British Italian Parliamentary Committee. The Garibaldi Award would be conferred on individuals who have not received previous recognition and have made a substantial contribution to British-Italian relations. The panel had a very difficult task to select candidates but the following successful candidates were chosen:

Luigi Salvoni

Luigi founded a one-night-a-week homeless shelter and has grown the project to become a full-scale volunteer programme that hosts 40 people, 365 days a year.

Cabache Femy

Since arriving in London 1990, Cabache has performed enthusiastic and constant voluntary work for Visitatori Volontari Italiani, Villa Scalabrini and Padre Carmelo.

Onorina De Cristofaro

Onorina has always worked far beyond the call of duty. Since drawing her pension some 27 years ago, she has worked as a volunteer assisting Father Carmelo and cooks for St Peter’s Project.

Dr Gino Amato

Dr Amato is a key member of the Italian Medical Charity and on the board of COASIT, a committee for organising and funding Italian lessons in South and Central England and Wales. He is also a member of the Amici di Ravello committee.

Sandra and Modesto Tondelli

Sandra works purely to fund her trips with ACROSS to help children with disabilities to visit Lourdes. She also works tirelessly to help the Italian church and is Chair of Circolo Veneto.

Modesto is a committee member/trustee of the Italian Hospital Fund as well as the Italian Benevolent Society, organises CLIC events for teenagers and is always available as a silent helper at St Peter’s Church.

Michele Morena

Michele runs St Peter’s Club and is always available to help at the church, OGI and other organisations.

Marco Fiori

Marco has been  Chair of the Friends of Villa Scalabrini fundraising committee for a number of years devoting substantial amounts of his time preparing and organizing many fund-raising events including the ever popular and successful Annual Scampagnata.

Francesco Giacon

Francesco is chair of AC Finchley FC which involves over 300 youngsters from mainly Italian backgrounds. He started and edited the Italian/English BACKHILL magazine for many years and has assisted with the Italian Procession and Sagra for around 40 years. He also chairs COASIT.

Rebecca Cudderford

Rebecca works at the Italian Consulate and has been of outstanding assistance to the Italian community in her professional capacity, including forming the London chamber choir which has toured Italy.  

Pino Ferrarra

During the 25 years he has been in London, Pino and his wife Wilma have been involved in a great number of social and cultural activities including supporting Italians in hospitals and prisons, nurturing orphan baby Adam who is now studying at university and making a staggering 161 blood donations.


BackhillOnline congratulates all the award winners and wishes the Mazzini Garibaldi Club continued success.

Photos (of the award winners and the MG committee) kindly provided by Salvatore Mancuso of S M Photo News Agency ( 


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