The Sons of Italy Garibaldi lodge held our 2nd annual President’s Reception on March 7th 2014. This was its own very special evening whereby our Gala title sponsor RBC, platinum and gold sponsors, SOI National President, CIBPA National President, Honourary Co-Chairs, Gala Committee, our Charity of Choice CancerCare Manitoba, Father Sam and our honourable Sons of Italy Past Presidents came together in one beautiful room for “one to one” discussion.
The evening commenced with Father Sam Argenziano greeting all that attended with his warm voice and jokes that invited laughter throughout the night. We were happy that Rob Johnston,RBC President of MB, SK and NWT could reschedule to share this occasion with us and provide greetings to all.
Our first female National President of the Order Sons of Italy of Canada, Josie Cumbo spoke about how significant the Garibaldi lodge is in what they accomplish for both the Italian and Winnipeg community.
Our CIBPA National President, Bob Sacco then spoke about what CIBPA collectively in Canada has achieved in providing very significant scholarships and donations to Italian causes. The CIBPA Chapters have distributed almost $9 million to various Canadian community based charities and education programs.
A special unexpected announcement was made. Bob Sacco was proud to honour our title sponsor Rob Johnston from RBC with an honourary membership to CIBPA National. Rob came up to accept the certificate and our president Tat-Liang Fabio Cheam also gave Rob an honourary membership certificate to our Winnipeg CIBPA Chapter for his enduring financial support of our Galas. Rob Johnston was clearly not expecting this honour and was very happy to receive this recognition.
Now it was time for a very unique and prestigious ring presentation to all the Past Presidents of the Sons of Italy Garibaldi lodge. There was excitement in the room as each of the Past Presidents were called up to receive the distinguished gold rings. Click here for full story and pictures of the past president ring ceremony.
Current president Tat-Liang called up each of the past presidents and spoke a few words about how each contributed. Photos were taken including a group photo on the main entry steps to the RBC Convention Centre.
Next was our gift presentations to our Honourable Co-Chairs and Father Sam for all they did for our Gala. Father Sam was in fine form and injected humour between speakers to add levity to the formality of the evening.
Bob Jones from CancerCare ManitobaFoundation gave thanks to the Sons of Italy for all they have done for CancerCare including the Challenge for Life walk.
The evening’s accolades were capped off with informal talking with wine in hand. It was truly an electric and yet genuine atmosphere in the room and was an amazing prologue to the main Gala story that would unfold the following night.
photos by: John Johnston (on FaceBook), and