Book Presentation and reading by the author Davide Cottone – Canecutter

Book Presentation and reading by the author Davide Cottone – Canecutter

WHEN: Sunday, 26 May 2013

TIME: 12.00pm - 3.00 pm

WHERE: The Commissariat Store, Royal Historical Society of Queensland. 115 William Street, Brisbane.


In collaboration with the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and as part of the Italian Presence in  Queensland  feature, author Davide Cottone will present his new book 'canecutter' and discuss the backstory and read from his book. Sunday 26th May and time 12pm – 3pm. See below for full program of days events.
Please contact the 
The Commissariat Store to make a booking on  (07) 3221 4198 


Canecutter is a biography of a Sicilian emigrant, Carmelo Cottone, who came to Australia as a young man to escape political persecution under the dictator, Benito Mussolini. Mussolini wanted to subdue Sicily to demonstrate his signature leadership style to Italy and the rest of the world. After years of neglect from the administration in Rome after the Unification of Italy, Sicily developed its own leadership under the Mafiosi who developed pockets of resistance across Sicily with their own galantuomo at the helm of each community. Mussolini had to crush the resistance put up by these powerful community lords and he did this callously and clinically until he brought the Sicilians to their knees.

Canecutter had to choose between oppression in Sicily under Mussolini and freedom as a canecutter in Far North Queensland. He chose the latter.
The story is based on his life as a child and a fugitive in Sicily, as a canecutter, a farmer with a young family in a foreign land and as a classified enemy alien. His stoic belief in the innate goodness of his fellow human beings and his faith in God are put to the test time and time again in his valiant struggle against adversity and the harsh contrasts of Australian life.
Full Program of Events 
RHSQ At HOME  Sunday 26 May 2013 as part of Italian Week
Entry fee $5.00, $3 concession. Children free. 
11.30 Registration
12.00 Welcome by the President of the Society
12.10 Guest speaker is Davide Cottone author of Canecutter, a novel based on his father’s life story. 
‘Davide’s father Carmelo Cottone’s entire life story, from his birth in Agira, Italy, to escaping the Fascist dictatorship and coming to Australia by boat with next-to-nothing, to starting a cane farm in Babinda, returning to Italy to find his wife, being interned as a Prisoner of War in Adelaide, and fathering 3 boys in the Far North Queensland jungle.’ (Northern Herald, 18.4.2013)
1.00 Guest speaker is Peter Connell, Director of the Mercy Heritage Centre, Brisbane.
‘Romanesque Churches: Corpus Christi Church and the Holy Name Cathedral.’
During the years 1912 to 1927, the Catholic Church undertook a building program of enormous proportions. Two Romanesque style buildings from the late 1920s provide interesting insights into the ambitions and influences of the incomparable Archbishop James Duhig.
2.00-3.00 Afternoon tea (gold coin donation) and tours of The Italian Presence exhibition with Ms Lisa Pavarini will be available. 
3.00 Close
Peter Connell
BA (Anth), GradDip AppHeritStds, MMusmSt
Peter has worked in museums and archives for over seventeen years and has been the Director of the Mercy Heritage Centre, All Hallows’ Convent, since 2001.  
He has served as an Executive Director of Brisbane’s Living Heritage Network (2005 – 2008), and as a Committee Member of the Museum Historians’ National Network (2006 – 2010).  
Peter has published articles through the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society and the Brisbane History Group; and presented conference papers for Museums Australia (Canberra; Adelaide), Australasian Mercy Archivists (Sydney; Brisbane), and the Mercy International Association Archives Committee (San Francisco).  
BA (Anthropology), Graduate Diploma in Applied Heritage Studies (Built Heritage and Museology), Masters in Museum Studies.


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