Lucy Catania was surprised by the cold.
“Where I come from, we have mountains, and lots of snow, but I said (to everyone) in Italy, it’s not that cold.”
But she smiles when she thinks of her 1965 landing in Halifax and coming to Canada for the first time.
It was October, she came to her new home country with her family, a brother and a sister along with her parents. She went to work right away. And she fell in love with the Great White North.
“We were so blessed to come to Canada,” she said.
Blessed and joyful, she said. Her family took to their new homeland quickly, absorbing culture, language and community. They were happy, and full of opportunity.
To this day she is grateful for everything her new home has brought her, so much so the Emery senior cherishes the paperwork that made her Canadian.
“I don’t even have my Italian citizenship,” she smiled.
She got her Canadian citizenship in order to be part of the conversation and make her voice as a member of society heard.
“If you get it you can vote,” she said. “And that’s important.”
And she’s happy locally. Living and hosting her family in Emery Village.
She calls it a peaceful mix between the city and the country, enjoying the relaxing afternoons in her own home where she enjoys a ‘beautiful’ garden, and the convenient shopping and services offered by the area and its many businesses.
“I think the person makes the house,” she said. “I think this is the most beautiful area. I have no intentions to move.”
Her children Anthony and Mary attended local Catholic schools and now visit mum frequently from their homes in Woodbridge. Lucy has lived in emery for 42 years and is enjoying all of the change she’s watched.
“It’s lovely. We have newcomers coming into big beautiful houses and bringing big beautiful families,” she said. “It gives me flashbacks to when I moved here.”
There are lots of children on the street, she added. The familiar sounds of families making a home.
A lively member of the golden set Catania is expressing herself through the canvas in her retirement. She’s taken up painting, and is using the imagery and the creativity to keep her mind active.
“It’s very important,” she said. “We have to keep the mind active.”
She produces canvas after canvas, painting almost everyday, she said, always making sure to put aside a few hours while remaining careful to maintain balance.
“You have to have your priorities straight.”
And it’s not a business she is running, but an artform she is creating for pleasure.
“I wish a lot of people could experience painting. You get lost in a flower. When you paint you forget.”
And yet Lucy’s pieces are memorable.
An Emery senior and a benefit to the art community the flourishes here.