On a crisp but gloriously sunny day, the Ballarat Italian Association (BIA) with the support of the City of Ballarat held the annual Flag Raising Ceremony, celebrating Italian Republic Day [Festa della Rupubblica Italiana].
Festa della Repubblica (Italian: [ˈfɛsta della reˈpubblika]; English: Republic Day) is the Italian National Day and Republic Day, which is celebrated on 2 June each year, with the main celebration taking place in Rome. The Festa della Repubblica is one of the national symbols of Italy.
The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.
The ceremony of the event, organized in Rome, includes the deposition of a laurel wreath as a tribute to the Italian Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria by the President of the Italian Republic and a military parade along Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome.
The Fiat Car Club of Victoria with Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club of Australia (Victoria Division) presented a vibrant display of Italian cars, parked out the front of Ballarat’s majestic Town Hall.
Preceding the official raising of the Italian flag, attendees were addressed by the Master of Ceremonies, Cr Samantha McIntosh, who then introduced Intercultural Italian Ambassador Antonella Cupello for an Acknowledgement of Country. Cr McIntosh also invited the City of Ballarat’s Mayor, Cr Des Hudson OAM and Ballarat Italian Association’s President, Frank Cotronea to speak.
Ballarat’s own Twilight Gypsí performed live, with a lovely acoustic version of the Italian National Anthem, enjoyed by all. This led into the official raising of the Italian flag at Ballarat’s Queen Victoria Square, opposite the Town Hall in Sturt Street.
The Ceremony then concluded with a morning tea in the Trench Room of the Town Hall.
With a large presence of the BIA committee and its members, community leaders, Black Hill Primary School students and the general public, this event was a rousing success, so we thank you all.
Below are some photos taken on the day for you to enjoy.