• Fishing Fleet Festival committee member Nunzio Pisani with a copy of Blessing of the Fleet, which celebrates 70 years of the festa. Photo by Steve Grant

A STUNNING new history of Fremantle’s iconic Blessing of the Fleet will be launched tomorrow (Sunday October 7) to mark the 70th anniversary of the festival.

From the first organising committee of 1948 who took the brave step of publicly celebrating their faith and culture after years of internment as “enemy aliens” during WWII to the blessing’s official Facebook page, the book is packed with fascinating photographs and quick yarns that chart its evolution.

Blessing of the Fleet: A History of Fremantle’s Festa was written by Susanna Iuliano (who recently took up the role of Vincent council’s history librarian) and Maria Amato-Gorman.


Festival committee member Nunzio Pisani said the only hiccup had been naming the Festival Queens (“Royal search,” Herald, May 18, 2018), with memories too faded to be certain about some years.

But he says the committee is proud of the book, which will be launched in the Town Hall at midday. Although there are only a limited number of books for the launch, the committee will be taking orders for when the big consignment hits the city.

The Blessing of the Fleet and procession will be held on Sunday October 28.


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