Cath a unique link to past
CATH Moore, aged 107, is a unique person to do a story on about unlocking the past.
Born in 1907 to Domenico and Augusta (nee Roder) Piccoli, Cath grew up at New Italy and is one of the last of the first generation to be born to the newly-arrived migrants from Italy.
The oldest of nine children, Cath was expected to work hard on her parents' farm, getting up at 4am to milk the cows, help cut cane and plant it.
As she got older Cath and her friends and siblings attended the many dances at the local halls.
"Every night we went to a dance and would come home at daylight to milk the cows," she said. "One night on the way to Meerschaum Vale, a friend was taking us there in his truck which slipped and we were only six inches off the river.
"My brother and three others jumped out and pushed the truck back.
"They saved our lives."
She met her husband John at a dance at the Dungarubba Hall and they were married in 1933.
A report in the Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser on February 28, 1933, described the wedding as "very pretty".
"The bride, who entered the church on the arm of her father, looked charming in a classical cut frock of ivory marocain and silk lace," the paper reported.
"She wore the customary wreath and veil and carried a beautiful shower bouquet of ivory roses and asters, relieved with maiden hair and asparagus fern."
John and Cath moved to a dairy farm in Woodburn and continued there for a number of years.
"I didn't like milking cows but I did it as I had no choice," she said. "I always wanted to be a dress maker."
Cath made wedding dresses, debutante dresses and clothes for her children on an old sewing machine.
"The first dress I ever made was a velvet one with a yoke around the neck for a 13-year-old girl," she said.
"Everyone said how good it looked and people came from Grafton so I could sew for them." Cath never learnt how to drive a car when they became the common mode of transport.
"John took me for a lesson down Broadwater Road and I nearly cleaned up an ambulance," she said. "After that I got out of the car and told him he can drive home."
After John died in the 1960s, Cath worked in a shop to help pay the bills.
Cath recently celebrated her 107th birthday and lives in the BCS retirement village in Coraki.