Aurelia Bonomi

Aurelia Bonomi (nee) Cassotti was born in 1900 in the town of Gorfilgiano, in Lucca, Toscana Italy.  She was the eldest of a family of four,  Michele,  Eugenio and  Ugo,  being her three brothers.  Her Father Pietro Cassotti was born in Lucca and married Assunta (nee) Ferri.

 

Aurelia married Frank Bonomi and they had three children, Ivo, Peter, Delmo (d. 5yo) and Adele (Lil).

 

 They decided to migrate to Western Australia in 1930 because of the regime at that time in Italy.  Frank came out first, with Aurelia following 2 years later with son Peter.

 

Aurelia moved to Wiluna to join Peter who was working in the mines, and took over the running of the boarding house for the workers.

 

A daughter Adele (Lil) was born to them in Wiluna hospital in 1940.  She was cared for mostly by a nurse maid because Aurelia was busy working.

 

The marriage later ended and so in 1939 Aurelia and the two children moved to Perth where it was found that Aurelia had TB and had to spend 6 months in the Sanatorium in Wooroloo.  The children were cared for by their Godmother whilst  attending school at St. Bridget’s and Aquinas.

 

They then moved to North Dandalup where Aurelia worked for the Abernathy family doing home duties.  At this time Adele (Lil) attended school at St. Josephs in Pinjarra as a boarder and son Peter spent time in the North then came back home for a time.  He later went to London where he trained to be a chef whilst staying with his cousins.

 

1942 found them in Mandurah where Aurelia and son Peter were employed by The Perrin Brothers running the café opposite the Old Mandurah Bridge.

 

By 1948 the family had moved to Pinjarra where Aurelia and Peter, who was now  a chef, took over the shop “O’Rose Café” which belonged to the Samios Brothers and situated opposite the Exchange Hotel.  There were rooms at the rear of the shop which they resided in.

 

Aurelia was known to have run the boarding house in James Street.

 

Aurelia employed immigrants from Germany, Poland and Italy.  These people had to work for two years before they could move on to lead an independent life.  She spoke very good English owing to having worked with the Red Cross back in Italy, and so was able to help immigrants who found it a problem with the language.

 

When she left the premises in George Street she purchased Glenloch house in James Street where she resided until her death in 1968.

Murray Districts Historical Society • Old Schoolmaster's House, Henry Street • Edenvale Precinct • Pinjarra Western Australia

Phone: 0408 846 567 or 0407 422 771