Story: Italians

Sciascia reunion

Sciascia reunion

One of the earliest Italian immigrants was Nicolas Sciascia, who became a lighthouse keeper at Māhia Peninsula. He married a Māori woman, Riria McGregor, and together they had 11 children. Nicolas died in 1893 on Portland Island, off the peninsula, and his descendants, who number over 2,000, meet every few years to commemorate his life and legacy. This photograph was taken in Formia, Italy, in 2002, when Nicolas’s great-grandson Piri Sciascia (left) met another descendant, Michael, whose great-grandfather was Nicolas Sciascia’s brother.

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Private collection, Piri Sciascia

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How to cite this page:

Tessa Copland, 'Italians - Leaving Italy', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 August 2022)

Story by Tessa Copland, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2015