NUPTIALS: Michael McCormack and Johanna Bertoli married at Woodburn on August 27, 1919.
NUPTIALS: Michael McCormack and Johanna Bertoli married at Woodburn on August 27, 1919.

An Italian married an Irishman 100 years ago, party goes on

JOHANNA Bertoli and Michael McCormack married at Woodburn on August 27, 1919, and a hundred years later more than 100 of their descendants met to celebrate their nuptials.

Johanna - also known as Giovanna or Josie - Bertoli (1898 - 1951) was born at New Italy, the eldest of seven children of Borto and Marietta Bertoli.

Both Borto and Marietta were survivors of the ill-fated Marquis De Rays expedition that founded New Italy.

Michael (Mick) McCormack (1890-1957) was born at Southgate, he was one of 11 children.

He became an auctioneer at Woodburn and the business still operates as T & W McCormack in Casino.

The couple went on to have nine children and when their time came, they were buried at the Evans Head cemetery.

A hundred years later, their youngest daughter, Clare Carusi, presided over celebrations held by the family.

Clare's younger brother, Barry McCormack, was unable to attend.

For two days, grandchildren, Johanna and Mick's great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren arrived from London, Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Port Macquarie and across the Northern Rivers for the celebrations.

Peter Blackwood from the New Italy Museum, said the celebrations included a commemorative tree planting in the Park of Peace at New Italy, a lunch at Swan Bay, dinner at Evans Head and brunch at Teven.

Mr Blackwood's wife, Paulene Blackwood (nee McCormack), is one of the couple's granddaughters.

"We are delighted that Clare was able to be there and she attended each of the functions," he said.

"This is a family that stayed close together, it's a wonderful tribute to Johanna and Michael that their children and grandchildren have all remained close throughout the years.

"Because of this, some of the grandchildren thought they would all come together and celebrate Johanna and Michael's marriage in 1919."