SONS OF ITALY NEWS
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE
GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS New England’s Largest Italian-American Newspaper Email: email@example.com • Website: www.osiama.org
VOL. LXXXV - NO. 4
OSIA 96th Annual State Convention Highlights by Dorothy Berlandi
On Saturday, June 12, 2010, Grand Lodge Delegates gathered at the Holiday Inn, 31 Hampshire Street, Mansfield, Massachusetts for the one-day State Convention. Convention Chairman State 1st Vice President Carmelita Bello greeted the assembled Delegates and acknowledged the Members of the State Council, Benefit Insurance Commission, Chairmen of Permanent Commissions, Lodge Presidents, National Officers and State President James DiStefano and First Lady Kathy DiStefano to their places. State President James DiStefano introduced guests, National Past Historian Lucy Codella and State Past President Joseph Fay of New York. State President James DiStefano was handed the gavel and called for a preliminary report of the Credential and Registration Committee. There being a quorum, the officers donned their regalia and the First Session of the 96th Annual Convention was declared officially opened. The Principles of the Order were read and the Colors presented by the assigned flag bearers, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the playing of the Italian National Anthem and of our National Anthem. The colors were then posted and State Chaplain Reverend Father Gregory Mercurio delivered the invocation asking all delegates to keep in mind the Fraternity on which our Order is based. A motion was made and seconded to accept the Minutes of the 95th Annual State Convention as printed. Voted and so ordered. A motion was made and seconded to accept State President James DiStefano’s Report as
printed in the 96th Annual Convention Workbook. Voted and so ordered. At this time a motion was made to accept all the reports with the exception of Judiciary and Budget. Motion was seconded, voted and so ordered. State Recording Secretary Ron Hill was asked to read any correspondence, or notices from lodges to the delegation. Brother Hill read the various notices of events which will be held in the various lodges and the Grand Lodge throughout the following months. The Committee on Budget and Finance, the Committee on Laws and the President’s Cabinet Meeting met in various rooms at 10:15 a.m. At 11:00 a. m. the Committee on Italian Culture and the Committee on Social Justice held their meetings. After lunch the convention reconvened with the reports of the various Committees. Brother Arthur Bennett Chairman of Budget and Finance reviewed the Budget with his committee and brought his report back to the delegation. Motion was made and seconded to accept the report. Voted and so ordered. The Committee on Laws met at 10:15 a.m. with Chairman Philip Privitera, Esq. and Vice Chairman Robert Boncore, Esq. There were three proposals to be addressed. The first proposal was from the G. Marconi Lodge #1620 proposed that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts submits a proposal to the 2011 National Convention to amend the General Laws to allow filial lodge members who are out of state, country, or incapacitated and cannot be present at the date of Elections of Officers or Special Elections for Officer(s)
or State Delegates to VOTE by Mail. (a) The Member(s) will have to request a Vote by Mail Ballot to receive the Mail in Ballot. (b) The lodge will mail the Mail in Ballot to the member along with an envelope marked Election Ballot enclosed. (c) Once receiving the Mail in Ballot, the member would complete the ballot, put it in the Election Envelope, seal it and enclose the Election Ballot in another envelope with a return address and mail it to the President of the filial lodge. (d) The President will forward the unopened Election Envelope to the Financial Secretary who will check the eligibility of the member on the night of the election and forward the unopened Mail in Ballot to the Electoral Committee to be opened and included in the vote tally of the election. (e) The Mail in Ballot must be received no later than the date of election to be included in the election result. The Committee on Laws recommended rejection of the proposed by-law change, and the Chair so moved. The motion was seconded, and after some discussion, the motion was carried. The second Proposal was from the Santa Famiglia Lodge #2834 proposes that M.L. ART.21 (State Council – powers and prerogatives) to be amended to add the following: To authorize a financial hardship waiver to any Lodge which submits a written request to the State Council. Such request for a waiver shall be for an amount not to exceed one quarter of a Lodge’s yearly total Per Capita Tax, as assessed by the Grand Lodge. (Continued on Page 5)
ITALIAN LANGUAGE Advanced Placement Program The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) has joined with a coalition of organizations working to preserve the advance Placement (AP) Italian Program and has launched a nationwide fundraising campaign to help fund this important language program. The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers high school students the chance to complete college-level courses in 22 subjects, including foreign languages. AP courses help prepare students for collegelevel work whereby they gain college credits, which allows them to take more advanced courses when they get to college. Students who have successfully completed AP courses receive special consideration by college admission, which increases their changes of college acceptance and scholarship awards. Despite its growing popularity in US schools, the AP Italian Program, that OSIA helped establish in 2005, is in danger of permanent elimination for lack of funds. Approximately $3 million is required to save the program. Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Giulio Terzi Di Sant’Agata was instrumental in obtaining
a commitment from the Italian government to for $1.5 Million over a three-year period to underwrite the AP program, providing this country’s national Italian American Community raises matching funds. OSIA considers preserving and expanding Italian Studies an integral part of its raison d’etre. As such, in December 2009, OSIA officers unanimously voted to support funding for the AP program and have pledged a minimum; of $75,000 over three years. Other Italian American Organizations including NIAF, UNICO, Columbus Citizens Foundation and the American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit, also have pledged funding and more organizations are expected to join this coalition with varying amounts of pledges support. We are asking our members to help save our beautiful Italian language from elimination in our schools and depriving students of their choice to study Italian. A donation from your Lodge would greatly assist us in achieving our goal and preserving the AP Program in Italian. Checks can be made payable to Grand Lodge, 93 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478.
State First Lady
Kathy DiStefano SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2010
Please join us in honoring OSIA’s First Lady Kathy DiStefano on Sunday, October 3. 2010 at 12:00 noon at the Crestview located at 36 Montvale Avenue, Woburn, Massachusetts. As the saying goes behind every successful man is a great woman. Kathy DiStefano is not only a gracious lovely lady she is a supportive wife to Order Sons of Italy State President James DiStefano and loving mother to their children and grandchildren. Kathy will be honored during October Italian Heritage Month, which is a month to acknowledge the beauty of our Italian culture and to recognize the accomplishments of Italians and Italian Americans. For more information and to order your tickets please log onto www.osiama.org or call the Grand Lodge at 617-489-5234.