Unione Ticinese June 2020 Newsletter

Dear Members, 

I am writing this newsletter sitting at my garden table, overlooking the numerous plants of tomatoes, courgettes, lettuces and flowers that hare thriving thanks to the extra attention I have been able to give them over the last few weeks and thinking how fortunate I am to enjoy such a calm outdoor space and to find rest and relaxation in a "newly rediscovered" hobby...gardening! I hope that the wonderful warm weather we have had in the UK over the last few weeks and the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions are contributing to ease the pressure and to a gentle feeling of return to "normality". I am very aware that lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of you and in the name of the committee, I would like to offer our support and sympathy. The UT began as a benevolent society and until a couple of decades ago it was possible to be in regular and close contact with all our members. This is no longer the case, but the wish to be in contact remains. If you are feeling lonely and would like to chat, please do not hesitate to contact me or Peter Barber

It will not be possible to meet in large groups for a few more weeks or months, and as such the AGM will be postponed until the Autumn. As I am sure it has been the case for many of you, the UT committee members are embracing new technologies and ways of communication. Nearly all of us managed to call into our very first online committee meeting without too many technical difficulties....and we might consider a similar format for the AGM....we will of course inform you in due course. 

In this newsletter you will find

  • Announcement and registration of the very first UT online Quiz
  • Article from the "Voce di Blenio"
  • Instructions on how to access the "Pro Ticino Rivista" online
  • Lecture by Peter Barber
  • Special Wishes to...

Cordiali Saluti, 

Emilie Martinoni Hoogenboom
UT President

UT QUIZ NIGHT 10th June 2020

I hope we will soon be able to travel abroad and spend some time on the shores of a lake or in the mountains in Ticino, but in the meantime, we would like to take you on a virtual journey and discovery history, facts, geography, gastronomy of Ticino with an online QUIZ via zoom! The event is free to attend, but we would like to know how many people to expect. Please register here and receive the details to access the zoom meeting. We hope to see many of you on the night, feel free to join the meeting with your own boccalino or tazza di té o caffé. 




The editors of the "Voce di Blenio" newsletter kindly agreed to share their current edition with the members of the UT, where you can read "Una bella storia" about Dora Diviani. You can read the full article and look at the pictures in italian here, and the english translation (thanks to Peter Barber) is here!

Dora Diviani will be remembered in her last years by some of our members as a dignified old lady and very much the matriarch of her large family.  She was a regular attender of the annual barbecue at ‘Dapps’ near Hurstpierpoint,  She is buried with her husband in the Islington and St Pancras Cemetery  East Finchley, not far from the Unione Ticinese graves.  Most of her decendents are active members of the Unione Ticinese and have served as officers , on the committee and as auditors.  This is true also of the Poglias, who are descended from one of her sisters.  Her daughter Linda was married to Ernest Berti, who served as Secreter from 1949 to 1955 and died while still young, shortly before Linda.  He was the son of Carlo Berti, a leading figure in the Society’s history in the first part of the twentieth century, and a brother of Virgil Berti, who served as President of the Unione Ticinese between 1966 and 1968. There was another sister who married into the Locatelli family and her descendants too continue to live in London.



Pro Ticino publishes a bi-monthly magazine, which is comprised in your subscription to the UT. For members abroad it is available online (the printed version will cease to be shipped abroad soon). You can request your login and password to access it by e-mailing directly the editorial team and letting them know that you are a UT member:



Peter Barber has prepared an illustrated lecture, to be given remotely, on a Swiss theme for a London society, The Hakluyt Society, which has existed since the 1840s to publish historic travel accounts and he serves on its Council.  A lecture is always given at their AGMs, and this year I was asked to give one for this year’s AGM on the 17 June (which will now be a Zoom AGM) and selected the theme, From Geneva to the Rigi: British Images of Switzerland in texts, guidebooks and maps, 1650-1904.  The society has agreed to kindly made the lecture available to everyone and it will be of interest for many of you. The lecture lasts an hour and will be available on this link from the 17th of June, date of their AGM. On their webpage you will find also several interesting lectures.


Very Best Wishes to 

George Fernandez (May)
Margrit Lyster (July)

Who celebrate  significant milestones!