Nicola Lopreiato: the first one hundred years. Best wishes!

TORONTO – Nicola Lopreiato has entered the Olympus of Italian Canadian centenarians with momentum. Today, December 22, in fact, he is celebrating his 100th birthday surrounded by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends.

Born in Sant’Onofrio, a town in the regional municipality of Vibo Valentia, Nicola is the second of six children born to Onofrio Lopreiato and Fortunata Moscato. At the age of 18, he left his native town and joined the Guardia di Finanza, assigned first in Rome and then in Sondrio.

That experience came to an end, temporarily, with the outbreak of World War II. Conscripted, he served in Albania, where he was eventually taken as a prisoner of war. It was difficult but he subsequently managed to escape and joined the partisans.

At the end of the war, Nicola Lopreiato returned to Italy, where he resumed his career in the Guardia della Finanza. Within a few years, he decided to take his leave and return to his hometown of Sant’Onofrio. Here, in 1949, he married Maria Disi, the great and only love of his life. Their marriage produced two children, Tina and Onofrio.

To say that Nicola Lopreiato dedicated himself to his work and his family would be an understatement. In Italy he developed skills as a bricklayer – an artisanship that served his family well. He first went to Argentina, later, in the 1960s, with his family, to the USA. In 1970, he and the family emigrated to Canada, which they now call home.

Nonetheless, his bond with his native land has always been strong. As a pensioner, he spent the summers in Italy together with his beloved Maria. Unfortunately, Maria passed away on July 6, this year.

For those who know him, Nicola is a reassuring, charitable individual whose heart is filled with love for everyone. His family adores him. His grand-daughter, Marinella Pascale, is effusive: “What a true blessing from the Lord to be able to enjoy the company of my 100-year-old grandfather. Words cannot describe the emotions I feel bearing witness in this festive occasion and being in the company of a centenarian!”

She expands, “my grandfather is not a stereotypical 100 year old person; he is sound of mind and healthy of body. Don’t even think you can beat him at Briscola… because he is laser-focused and more! I love you grandpa and pray I will have even more memories of you for many years to come! Happy 100th birthday!”

His great-grandson, Antonio-Joshua Pascale, also had words of love for his great-grandfather. “Dearest great-grandfather Nicola, I am very happy that you are turning 100! I’m also thrilled that you are the only person I know in my family who has reached 100! I love you very much! Happy 100th birthday grandfather Nicola! Cheers!”.

Family and friends send Nicola Lopreiato their best wishes for his milestone celebration. Corriere Canadese join in wishing Nicola the Happiest of Birthdays!

In the photos, Nicola Lopreiato (in the pic at the top of the article, the centenary when we was young wearing the uniform of the Guardia di Finanza)

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