buber.net > Basque > Diaspora > Immigrant > Casares
by Nadina-Louisa Assante
This is a little story of a migrant family from Bilbao to Australia.
When the World War2 ended, Australia represented a very good alternative
for many Europeans and Basques, and one such Basque was a handsome young
man called Eduardo Casares. Eddie as he was to be known was a very talented
welder and metal craftsman, and he went to Australia in the late 50's to
work on Australia's biggest dam project, The Snowy River Mountain Scheme.
Migrant families from all over the world worked there in the 50's and 60's.
He was happily married and he left behind in Bilboa, a beautiful blonde
wife, Marianne Machin with her 2 year old twin daughters, Wendi and Maria,
and a baby named Stephanie. Marianne was a half
Basque, her mother being Norwegian and she had the whitest of white
blonde hair, as did the 3 girls.
After 3 years of hard work, Eddie had enough money with help from
the Australian government to bring his family, who at this stage lived in
the small village of Lekeitio, to the NSW Snowy Mountains, and after 12
months the family was offered a job by a company in Sydney who recognised
Eddie's talents as a welder. Eddie went on to be a very successful "art"
welder and he specialised in art forms for displays, some of which are
displayed today in the Sydney Opera House. From a welder in Bilboa, Eddie
became a comfortable and successful artist.
They saw all three of their daughters marry in to Australian and Australian
migrant families and their life in Australia was pure happiness. In 1992
after a long illness caused by smoking, Eddie passed away peacefully and
was buried in a Sydney Cemetary. Marianne is still alive and well and for a
lady of her age, almost 70, is super active and in fact now has a
boyfriend, who is in his 70's and rides, YES, a Harley Davidson !!!
The talents in the arts that Eddie passed on went to his grandchidren, One,
David O'Brien, is a very talented sculptor and is said to be the spitting
image of old Eddie. Another is now a rock singer, Xantia-Maria Assante. And
yet, another, Sarah Vincent, is now a talented playwright and author living
in New York.
How do I know all this?
I am Nadina-Louisa, grand-daughter of Eddie and Marianne, daughter of one
of the twins Wendi (married to Rocco - my father) and eldest sister of
Xantia-Maria Assante (the singer) and Rikki Georgetta Assante, who is a hot
young surfer and a very talented marine sculpture maker.
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