The Fraternal Society was formed in the year 1931 in New York City by immigrants from the town of Canicatti and established themselves in New York City and vicinity. Canicatti is located in Sicily which is a southern province of Italy.
The society was formed to maintain our culture and to assist one another in a foreign land.The members of the society organize events and other festivities to encourage the preservation of our cultural identity.
Immediately after the disastrous events of World War I and the subsequent economic depression that afflicted Italy, the immigration of Canicattinesi to other countries, especially the United States, reached its apex.
Far from Italy, the Canicattinesi in New York felt the need to unite. In 1918 they constituted their first association as a lodge of the already thriving “Independent Order Sons of Italy” where they remained for the next fourteen years, continuing to grow and evolving into an organization that was seen by its members as the answer to many of the problems they were experiencing in their host country.
In December of 1931, by unanimous action of its assembly, The lodge detached itself from the Order of Sons of Italy, and constituted itself as the Fraternal Society of Canicatti; an independent mutual aid society. Vincent Giardina, Filippo Polizzi, Luigi Gallo, Vincenzo Capizzi and Antonio Barnaba wrote the constitution, prepared the documents of incorporation and submitted them to the State of New York, which approved them on January 18, 1932.
The first President of the reconstituted association was Vincent Giardina; currently serving in this office is Osvaldo Lo Verme.
The aftermath of the enormous disaster of World War II was an Italy in ruins and the City of Canicatti is still grateful for the immediate aid received from the Fraternal Society of Canicatti of New York. When the dire need for an orphanage arose, the Society responded to the plight of the orphans of Canicatti and surrounding towns, with a very moving and generous heartfelt act of Christian solidarity and brotherly love; making it possible for the “Maria Bonsangue Orphanage” to come into existence.
The Society continues to support various charitable organizations in Canicatti and in the United States.
Written by: Vincent Zucchetto