Just over 30 years ago, on the 22nd of November 1982, after numerous years of planning and many, many months of hard work and dedication, workers and volunteers laid down their tools and inaugurated ANFE House – the first Italian club in the Fortitude Valley/Newstead area, and headquarters of the National Association of Migrant Families also known as ANFE.
It was a joyous occasion and it marked the beginning of a new era for this well-known and active association. In the 80’s, ANFE House, which is situated at 10 Wyandra Street, Newstead, became the hub for many social and cultural activities and every week, hundreds of people poured through the club house to enjoy a traditional plate of pasta or a “stecca al piatto” (steak on a plate) as it affectionately became known, which had been prepared by the volunteer ladies of the ANFE committee.
Today ANFE House, which has been re-branded to ANFE ITALIAN CLUB, continues to be a very popular haunt for both locals and visitors to the area and has introduced an authentic Italian Restaurant within it’s premises where a team of very talented chefs from Italy will tantalise your tastebuds with their genuine authentic recipes direct from the kitchens in Italy.
Maria Maruca's father Carmelo Caruso founded ANFE Brisbane in 1962 on request of the Italian Government. From when she was a child, Maria has always been involved in the Italian Community and in the later years, focussed on youth affairs. Maria was only 10 days old when she attended her first ANFE Function with her parents. She grew up within the Association and was also involved in many aspects of ANFE, in particular the founding of ANFE Giovani (Youth) in the 1980's & 90's, ANFE Borsa di Studio (Scholarship program 1998-2005), Anniversary Celebrations (2002 & 2012) and has represented ANFE at the Worldwide Conference in Rome in 2013. Maria became Treasurer of ANFE in 2012 and was elected President in 2014, a role she carries out with the same passion as her father. Maria's vision for ANFE is to ensure that the Association will continue into the future and that the community has a place where they can feel at home.
Gino Toscano was born & raised in Brisbane. He attended Holy Rosary Primary School in Windsor and then St James Christian Brothers College in Spring Hill. He has an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering and currently works as a Communications Technician for Telstra, a job he has held since 1986.
Gino married his beautiful wife Bronwen in 2001 and they live in New Farm, not far from the ANFE Italian Club, a place they have been frequenting for quite a number of years.
"I am honoured to be Vice President of ANFE and look forward in working closely with Maria to help make the club a success and establishing it as a great dining and entertainment venue for all ages whilst still keeping the traditions alive and honouring the great many people who have made the club what it is today".
Concezio Ottobrandi is considered a pillar of the ANFE Association and is very heavily involved in the running of the day-to-day operations.
Concezio joined the ANFE Committee in November 1972 and took on the role of Secretary, a position he has kept to this day making him the longest serving committee member in the history of ANFE. He was part of the committee which worked very hard in the 1980's to raise funds for the construction of ANFE Italian Club and continues to work tirelessly to ensure ANFE continues to operate for future generations to enjoy.
"Con" - as he is affectionately known - is usually at the Club every day and always willing to have a chat with everyone and tell you all about the history of ANFE and how it got to where it is today.
Pina Mangion is originally from Sydney and works as a Financial Accountant. Pina joined the ANFE committee in mid- 2015 as Treasurer, a position she has retained since.