March 2019



Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler


President’s Message

Brothers and Sisters,

Happy March! It is hard to believe that we are already three months into the year. This is the month that we not only celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but also the Feast of St. Joseph. Sister Monica Mortara and her committee are already busy planning this year’s festivities, which will occur on Saturday, March 23rd. We have chosen to move the date so that more people from the church can attend. The meatless feast is shared with all, and we take a collection for the church’s charitable endeavors. If you have never attended a St. Joseph’s Day feast, I highly recommend it. It is a special experience.

Thank you all, as always, for making our lodge so special.


President Brooke

Installation Dinner 2010 058

Membership Information

General Membership Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, 140 W. Government St. Pensacola.

Our next General Membership Meeting is Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Center. A business meeting will follow at 7:00 p.m. Please bring a nonperishable food donation for the Manna Food Pantry,

If your dues are not paid by the end of this month, you will be dropped from our membership rolls.

Council Meetings

First Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at Franco’s Italian Restaurant.

Grand Lodge Quarterly Meetings

Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2019, Four Points Sheraton, 33 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, hosted by Port Charlotte Lodge.

2019 Grand Lodge State Convention, June 26-29, 2019, Doubletree by Hilton, 100 Fairway Drive, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.

The Grand Lodge’s website: www.osiafl.org

Meeting Set Up/Clean Up Committee:

We need all the members attending a meeting to help clean up after the meeting. 


If you have a charity that you would like supported by Buona Fortuna, please contact Michele Ledoux.

Lodge Committees

The current list of committees is located on the Buona Fortuna Officers page on our website. Here is the link: 


Buona Fortuna needs your participation. If you would like to join a committee, please contact President Hardy.

Dates For Upcoming Events:

You can also visit our website calendar for all the year’s events at https://soibuonafortuna.org/home/buona-fortuna-calendar/

Scholarship Application Deadlines

Buona Fortuna is offering two scholarships for high school seniors of Italian descent who live in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Deadline for remitting your application is April 20, 2019. The La Famiglia Scholarship award is for members’ children and grandchildren only. To access the applications, please visit the website at this location: https://soibuonafortuna.org/home/scholarship-application/

Dining Out With Giovanni 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at 6:00 PM at Italy’s finest Pizzeria, 6014 N. 9th Ave., Pensacola, FL 32504

If you wish to attend please email John Mirra at  john.mirra@att.net

St. Joseph’s Altar Celebration

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 5:30 PM, St. Joseph’s Parish Center. If you can attend, please RSVP to Monica Mortara – monicamortararealtor@gmail.com

Spring Dance

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 6 PM, St. Joseph’s Parish Center. Mexican themed decorations and food.

Lodge News

Election Results For Delegates To The Grand Lodge State Convention


Joyce Bollenbacher

Ginny Barberi

Patricia Russo

Lucy Smith

Mark De Nunzio

Alternate Delegates

Paul Vincent – First Alternate

Ken MacLean – Second Alternate

Thomas Cacciatore – Third Alternate

Monica Mortara – Fourth Alternate

New Members Joining Buona Fortuna

Second, from the left is Gunther Hascher and fourth, from the left is Vincent Tucei.

Our Italian American Heritage

The Miami Consulate General of Italy with the support of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast and the Italian Trade Agency has published a joint report regarding the Italian presence in the southeast of the United States, with a particular emphasis on the economic and trade aspects.

The jurisdiction of the Italian Consulate in Miami includes Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and the Caribbean Islands of Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Cayman.

The first important statistic noted is the considerable increase of Italian citizens living in the area under the Consulate’s jurisdiction. In just four years, the numbers have gone from 28,000 to over 41,000, of which 35,000 live in Florida. Also, there were 260,000 Italians who traveled for business or holidays to Florida in 2017, generating an impact of 755 million dollars for the local economy.

Italy benefits from a trade surplus with the U.S. Southeast for about 3 billion dollars a year. In 2017, Italy exported products for over 5 billion dollars while it imported just over 2 billion dollars. The most exported Italian products are related to the automotive, industrial machinery and home furnishings sectors.

There are a total of 216 Italian firms with commercial offices or production sites in the region. Florida leads the ranking with 114 Italian companies, followed by Georgia with 59. The direct jobs created by these companies are over 8,000.

Food Matters

It started with suet. Some say camp administrators decided that Italian internees should cook with suet instead of olive oil to cut costs. Others say lower ranking internees, who had been crew members on the ships they were taken from, suspected that former officers were getting olive oil while they were stuck with beef fat. Either way, tensions hit a breaking point when a group of angry internees charged into the kitchen.

“They were swinging suet at the cooks,” says Carol Van Valkenburg, a Professor Emerita at the University of Montana School of Journalism who wrote a history of the Missoula internment.

It was the summer of 1941 in Fort Missoula, Montana and the United States would soon be at war. Approximately 1,200 Italian nationals, most of them sailors on boats stranded in American waters or employees of the Italian Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair, had been rounded up by the American government as “enemy aliens” and brought to Fort Missoula. The Italians called the camp Bella Vista, meaning beautiful view, but their view was marred by barbed wire.

In some versions of the olive oil tale, guards rushed in and sprayed tear gas to break up the fight, and in the chaos, a watchtower guard accidentally shot himself in the foot. According to Van Valkenburg, however, the olive oil agitation didn’t escalate, and the tear gas spraying and accidental self-shooting occurred during a more serious riot between the pro- and anti-fascist internees at the camp.

Food was serious business for the Italians at Fort Missoula, who often complained about the provisions. Not use to canned food, they claimed it was making them sick. Envious of the supposedly superior food eaten by their diabetic counterparts, internees fell victim to a “diabetes epidemic”—until the camp doctor warned them that true diabetics had to undergo treatment. For prisoners far from their homes and families, food mattered.

The Italians at Missoula were just a fraction of the 600,000 Italian Americans whom the U.S. government labeled “enemy aliens” during World War II. Across the West Coast, federal agents placed thousands of Italian immigrants under curfew. Authorities confiscated fishermen’s boats and forced thousands of those living close to the California coast to relocate inland. Across the country, intelligence agents surveilled Italian neighborhoods, searching for Mussolini supporters. Immigrants who had made the United States their new home found themselves, suspects.

The Italian internees weren’t alone. Missoula held over 100 Germans and 1,000 Japanese Americans, who had been rounded up as part of a much larger surveillance program. When the United States entered the war in 1941, the intelligence machinery swung into action. Federal agents forced Japanese Americans from their homes and into camps. Initially, agents targeted Japanese Americans with prominent roles in their communities: newspaper editors, judo teachers, Shinto clergy. But more than for anything they’d done, says Brian Niiya, content director at Densho, an organization dedicated to preserving the memories of interned and incarcerated Japanese Americans, the U.S. government targeted Japanese-American people for their race.

The 1,000 Japanese-Americans interned at Fort Missoula were officially there for “loyalty hearings” conducted by the Department of Justice’s Alien Enemy Hearing Boards. But for Japanese Americans, says Niiya, determinations of loyalty often derived from racial stereotypes.

“There was this sense of racial inscrutability,” says Niiya. “With people of European extraction, there was this idea that you can investigate, you can tell who should be interned and who was okay.” But when it came to the Japanese, he says, “The Japanese people were the enemy, not a particular leader.”

Missoula residents treated the prisoners differently too. While townspeople viewed the Japanese internees with “suspicion,” Van Valkenburg says, “the community accepted the Italians with open arms,” viewing them as “happy-go-lucky.”

This belief extended to the highest echelons of American government, with Roosevelt himself famously declaring Italians to be “a lot of opera singers.” Among the Italian internees at Fort Missoula, the stereotype wasn’t entirely false. The seamen and World’s Fair workers included several musicians, and the Italian internees even performed for the Missoula residents.

Racial tensions at the camp extended to eating arrangements. Italian and Japanese internees lived in segregated quarters, with separate mess and kitchen facilities. Each group cooked their own food. According to a newspaper account from the time, camp officers provided each group with rations according to their cultural preferences, with “spaghetti, olive oil, and garlic for the Italians, and rice, soybeans, and fish for the Japanese.” Administrators purchased the Italians’ food from a local grocery store set up by Italian immigrants who had come to work for the railroads.

In 1943, Italy surrendered and soon joined the Allies in fighting its one-time German partner. In 1944, the Italians at Fort Missoula were allowed to go home. Some returned to Italy, delighted to see their mothers again, the local newspaper, The Missoulian, reported. Some stayed in the United States, fearing their native country would have no work. Some remained in Missoula. Alfredo Cipolato, who maintained an Italian deli in Missoula until he was 94 years old, became a town icon.

The Italians left things behind: An archive full of photographs. A train platform full of sobbing local women (two of whom, Van Valkenburg says, discovered during this tearful farewell that they had been dating the same Italian man). At least one child, the fruit of such a union.

They also left positive memories. “There has been no hate toward the Italian people and there has been not the slightest desire to punish the Italian people for the misdeeds of their criminal leaders,” an editor wrote in the Missoulian newspaper in 1943.

But for the Japanese internees, Missoula was only the first stop in a long journey that, for survivors and descendants who live with the historical trauma of incarceration, continues today.

Many of the Japanese Americans interned at Fort Missoula went on to what Niiya and his organization refer to as concentration camps: the 10 crowded, desolate camps operated by the War Relocation Authority, in which Japanese Americans were incarcerated solely for their race.

Food mattered at those camps, too. For many incarcerated people, the American food served in camp messes was not only bland and of low nutritional value, but a sign of the assimilation forced upon the community by the United States government. In several camps, incarcerated Japanese Americans protested on the suspicion that white kitchen workers were stealing their rations. In Utah’s Topaz camp, which suffered from meat scarcities, Japanese-American residents agitated against the serving of organ meat. Eventually, Japanese Americans used the camps’ coercive agricultural work programs and their own resourcefulness to become self-reliant, growing vegetables, raising livestock, and making staple foods like tofu.

For Niiya, interned and incarcerated people’s agitations over food were about more than taste. “It may not seem so to us, but for that population, it was a really important thing,” Niiya says of the Italians’ aversion to suet. “Just like the Japanese eating the organ meat: It would keep you alive, it would feed you, but it was just repulsive to a lot of the population.”

By agitating for familiar foods, interned and incarcerated people demanded more than just to stay alive: They demanded lives of dignity.


Italian Language – Using Gender

Generally, masculine nouns end in ‘o’ in the singular and in ‘i’ in the plural. Feminine nouns end in ‘a’ in the singular and in ‘e’ in the plural. Singular nouns ending in ‘e’ become ‘i’ in the plural and can either be masculine or feminine:

Il ragazzo – Boy (masculine singular)

La ragazza – Girl (feminine singular)

I ragazzi – Boys (or a mixed group) (masculine plural)

Le ragazze – Girls (feminine plural)

Il fiore / I fiori – Flower / Flowers (masculine)

La televisione / le televisioni – Television / Televisions (feminine)

As is often the case when you learn a language, you learn the rule and then you find out that there are always exceptions to the rule! Here is one of those exceptions – a group of nouns that change gender in the plural.

You may have come across the Italian word for egg: ‘l’uovo’ which is masculine in the singular but becomes feminine in the plural: ‘le uova’. Another common one is ‘il paio / le paia’ – pair / pairs, here are some sentences using this example:

Hai un paio di scarpe da prestarmi? Have you got a pair of shoes to lend me?

Mia nonna ha cento paia di scarpe! – My grandma has 100 pairs of shoes!

When talking about distances in Italian, the word for mile ‘il miglio’ becomes feminine in the plural ‘le miglia’:

Ho camminato per un miglio – I walked for a mile

Ho camminato per dieci miglia – I walked for 10 miles

There are two nouns in this group relating to numbers:

Il centinaio / le centinaia – one hundred / hundreds

Il migliaio / le migliaia – one thousand / thousands

Here are some example sentences:

Ho ricevuto un centinaio di lettere – I received a hundred letters

Migliaia di persone sono andate al concerto – Thousands of people went to the concert

The last group of nouns that change gender in the plural are related to body parts. They are masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural:

il braccio / le braccia – arm / arms

il labbro / le labbra – lip / lips

l’osso / le ossa – bone / bones

il ciglio / le ciglia – eyelash / eyelashes

il sopracciglio / le sopracciglia – eyebrow / eyebrows

il dito / le dita – finger / fingers

However, for the following body parts you can use the masculine or feminine plurals:

il ginocchio / i ginocchi or le ginocchia – knee / knees

l’orecchio / gli orecchi  or le orecchie – ear / ears

Buona Fortuna 2835 Lodge Officers

President Brooke Hardy

Immediate Past President Joyce Russo Bollenbacher

Vice President Patricia Russo

Orator Eric Frulla

Recording Secretary Barbara Ferg

Corresponding Secretary Jovina Coughlin

Financial Secretary Thomas Bollenbacher

Treasurer Lucy Smith


Phyllis Alles, Ginny Barberi, Nancy Colalillo, Joseph Del Signore, Al Hargis, Tami Pecora, Mary Resedean

Guard Shirley Cotita

Mistress of Ceremonies Dawn Wilson

Master of Ceremonies Andy Fricano

Past Presidents Gene Valentino, Mark De Nunzio, Pete Resedean

Herald  Tod Wilson

Public Relations/Webmaster/Newsletter Editor: Jovina Coughlin

Lodge Chaplain  Giovanni Mirra

Lodge Photographers: Al Lombardi/Shirley Cotita

State & National Officers

State Trustee-Region 1 Thomas Bollenbacher
State Deputy Bill Smith
National Foundation Trustee Mark DeNunzio
Arbitration Commissioners

Joyce Bollenbacher, Peter Colalillo, Mark De Nunzio, Barbara Ferg, Tod Wilson

 Alternate Commissioners
1.  Anne Hargis, 2. Paul Pecora, 3. Dawn Wilson, 4. Lucy Smith, 5. Phyllis Alles

Lodge Contact Information:

Sons & Daughters of Italy in America – Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. P.O. Box 12351, Pensacola, FL 32591

Webmaster/Editor – Jovina Coughlin – jovinacoughlin@gmail.com

Website Address: https://soibuonafortuna.org/

Buona Fortuna Email System

Our email address is buona-fortuna@googlegroups.com

Visit Us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sonsofitalybuonafortuna 

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/BuonaFortunaSon

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/buona.f/


Remember Those Who Are Ill

  • Rita Somma
  • Vera Fricano

March Birthdays

Cindy Backer
Robert Catone
Jennifer Fournier
Peter Comer
Paula Rosasco
Patricia Russo
Donald Taylor
Gene Terrezza
Walt Viglienzone

Italian Cookbook For Sale

Preserving Our Italian Heritage. Cost per book $15.00. Great gift for Birthdays, Weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas. 

Grand Lodge 2018 Calendar For Sale

Calendars are available to purchase and cost $50. The calendar program is part of the Cash Three-Evening Florida Lottery Program. Prizes range from $100.00 to Special Holiday prizes for up to $1000.00.  You may purchase a calendar at the General Membership Meeting. Checks should be made out to the Grand Lodge of Florida.

Newsletter Article Deadline

The newsletter is published monthly on the first day of the month. The deadline to submit information is the 30th of the previous month. Submit all information to Editor:  jovinacoughlin@gmail.com

Newsletter Ads

Members’ Personal Ads for Selling Consumer Goods cost $3.00 per month. Business Ads cost $36.00 for 12 months and are payable each January. Email a copy of your business card information or your personal ad information and a photo of the item you are selling to jovinacoughlin@gmail.com. Please make the check payable to Buona Fortuna Lodge and mail it to Buona Fortuna Lodge #2835. P.O. Box 12351, Pensacola, FL 32591.

Community Business Ads








The Drowsy Poet Coffee Company


“Best Cup of Coffee on the Coast!”

86 Brent Ln, Pensacola, Florida 32503

  (850) 696-2887