Josie, Gabriella and Maria Bencic

The three imsepparable Bencic sisters (from left to right): Josie, Gabriella and Maria, all born in Istria, have a special history as Istrian refugees who ultimately settled in Toronto, Canada. Gabriella briefly outlines her family's history:

I was born in Spidugola (on the hill overlooking Sicciole) in 1956.  (Papa was working in the saltpans in Sicciole.) In 1958, after selling or giving away most of our possessions and livestock (chickens, etc.), we went for a "visit" to Trieste to see my zia Maria. We stayed at the San Saba refugee camp for a month, then were sent south by train to the camp in Altamure, where we stayed for several months. There were many trips back an forth to Latina for the various "commissions", and early in 1959 we were sent to the camp in Aversa called Carinaro di Aversa. My brother John (1959) was born there.

In June of 1960 our family was sponsered by the Thornhill Lions Club and came to Canada (via Canadian Pacific Airlines) and arrived at our new home on June 19, 1960. My sister Caroline (1962) was born in Toronto and died three days after birth. My brother Edward (1963) was born in Toronto, and we are now six surviving children in this particular branch of the Bencic clan.

Ladies, we are pleased and proud to be part of your Istrian family online.