Watertown Sons of Italy to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Feb 07, 2020 218

This year, 2020, marks the 100th Anniversary of the Lodge Piave Fiume #1036 of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, located in the Town of Watertown. The Piave Fiume Lodge was founded in 1920 by 20 Italian immigrants living in Watertown, Massachusetts. Over the years, the Lodge has met at various locations, including: a back room of a Nichols Avenue grocery store (its original location), the Windsor Club, the Eagles Hall, and Whitney Plaza. It wasn’t until 1974 that a new building was constructed at 520 Pleasant Street, and became the permanent home of the Watertown Sons of Italy.

Over the century, Watertown’s Piave Fiume Lodge has been a beacon for Italians and Italian-Americans to gather, socialize and, more importantly, take part in the Order Sons of Italy’s charitable endeavors. Consistently, tens of thousands of dollars are raised and donated annually, to many deserving charities, scholarships, and other non-profit causes, including: the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Watertown Youth Sports, and many more.

“The Lodge has been an intricate part of the Watertown Community,” says Antonio Mastantuono, President of the Watertown Sons of Italy, “from holding fundraising events, to providing scholarships, to donating its function hall to charitable causes. I am honored to be the co-chair of the 100th Anniversary event, and to be the current sitting President during the Centennial year.” To celebrate this historic event, the Piave Fiume lodge will host an Anniversary Gala on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The Gala is made possible by the generosity of Centennial Sponsor, Attorney Philip J. Privitera, the Sons of Italy National Recording Secretary. “It’s an honor to help the Piave Fiume Lodge make its Centennial Celebration as grand as possible.” Privitera explained, “some of the first brothers and sisters I ever met in the Order were from the Watertown Lodge, and some of my closest friends to this very day remain from Watertown. Like all brothers and sisters, we may not always see eye-to-eye, but Watertown has always been there for me, and I will always be there for Watertown.”

Privitera sponsored the Centennial Gala as a dedication to the memory of his mother, Jennie “Jean” Privitera (1936 – 2008). Jennie Privitera adored her brothers and sisters from the Piave Fiume Lodge, as well as, the fraternal time she shared with them at events in Watertown’s elegant Ballroom. Jennie was known to say that Watertown epitomized all the great qualities she loved about her Italian Heritage.

The late Jennie Privitera founded the Privitera Family Charitable Foundation which, over the years, funded both State and National Scholarships for the Sons of Italy, as was well scholarships for numerous other Italian American organizations, including The Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, The Pirandello Lyceum, and others. The Privitera Foundation has also donated to the Cooley’s Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Doug Flutie Jr. Autism Foundation. In addition, the foundation has donated several statues of Italian-Americans in the Boston area. The Patriarch of the Privitera Family, 88-year-old Francis D. Privitera, congratulated the Lodge on its 100th Anniversary and stated, “it’s an honor for the Privitera Family and our Foundation to be an integral part of the Piave Fiume Centennial. We are so proud of our Italian roots and heritage, and the Piave Fiume Sons of Italy Lodge is an organization that is extraordinarily rich in both Italian culture and charity.”

The Gala event will feature a dinner reception, live music by Pane e Cioccolato from New York and special guests including the National President of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, Nancy DiFiore Quinn. Tickets for the event are $120 per person and program book advertisements are available to support the cause.

About the Organization:
The Watertown Sons of Italy is a non-profit, 501(c)8 fraternal organization established in 1920. It is an affiliate lodge of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America. It provides a place for members and their families to celebrate the Italian Heritage, socialize, enjoy activities, and raise funds to support educational and charitable causes. It holds several social events during the year for members and nonmembers alike. Membership is open to everyone. More complete information about the organization is available at www.WatertownSonsofItaly.org.

About the Sponsor:
The Privitera Family Charity Foundation is an independent, 501 (c)3 charitable organization. It supports and donates to Italian and non-Italian organizations alike. It has donated funds for several scholarships, educational prizes, causes, charities and several statues around Boston (including Tony DeMarco in Boston’s North End; St. Thomas More, at Boston College Law School, Newton; and Dante Alighieri, in Cambridge). The Privitera Foundation was founded by Jennie “Jean” Privitera, and is maintained in her memory and honor, under the leadership of her son Philip, to the present day. Despite a premature death from an incurable illness, Jennie fought every day to help people and to make the world a better place.

SOURCE: Tony Mastantuono, President Watertown Sons of Italy

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