HerStory

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Maria Antonia CICCONE

Also known as: née Cotela, Antonia

Born: 1891

Died: 1979

Additional Information:

Maria Antonia Ciccone arrived from Serrata, Southern Italy in 1933 and came straight to Alice Springs to join her husband Patsy.  He had been here seven years already, trying to get established in order to bring his wife here.
The life that faced the young Italian woman in a strange land was a hard one.  It meant putting up with the tough, trying conditions of living in mining camps on lonely mining fields.  For the first ten years of her life in the Northern Territory, they lived at Winnecke goldfields, about 80 km north-east of Alice Springs.
Then they moved to Tennant Creek, which meant shifting their ten-year camp and establishing it again.
Later the hard working couple moved to Wauchope and tried wolfram mining.  Mrs Ciccone not only looked after the domestic side of things but she worked alongside her husband as well.  Later still they moved to the "Pinnacle" mine to look for copper and finally to the Harts Range mica fields.
There were three productive mines --- "Patsy's Prospect," "Big Gun," and the "Pyritic Show" --- owned by the Ciccone family.
In 1952 the Ciccones returned to Alice Springs and opened a grocery store on the corner of Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace, becoming leaders in the Italian community in town.
In a 1953 newspaper article, Patsy said of their nomadic lifestyle, "That 'sa harda work --- but Maria she makesa home anywhere."


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