TORONTO - «In my own small way, I wanted to make a difference», Vittorio La Pianta, 1936-2017
One could not tell by looking at him in the last few years, disabled as he was and confined to a wheelchair, but his spirit and desire to be a part of the community he loved and helped shape was as energetic as ever.
Accompanied until the very end by his childhood sweetheart, Maria, with whom he married in 1961, he stayed active in the Circolo Monteleonese and all its functions and activities. In fact, he served as its President for 10 years from 1992 to 2002.
He and Maria did their utmost to construct a community centered around “il Circolo”, that included raising funds for scholarships, for donations to organizations catering to the infirm and the elderly. He promoted the establishment of cultural events, la Società San Rocco, the bowling league, the annual golf tournament, and the Club’s sponsored soccer team at the semi-pro level.
He felt it was part of his civic duty to throw himself headlong into activities and events that would strengthen his community or bring honour to his compaesani, family and Canadians. Democracy is a wonderful thing, he would say, exercise it or lose it, when asked why he went on to become a delegate in a federal Leadership Campaign.
With a twinkle in his eye, he would say, that’s how one makes a marriage work. Maria met him as a soccer player in a game just outside their hometown, when she was barely 17 and he 18. She emigrated to Canada in 1958. He vowed to join her as soon as he fulfilled his military duty. He did. One month after his arrival in Canada, they married in March, 1961.
Never apologetic about his work station in life, he threw out the challenge to all family and friends: remember that it is what you do with what you have that counts.
For him, the professional and social successes of his children and grandchildren, and now also one great grandchild, is what mattered above all. Second only to that young girl with whom he fell in love and for whom he travelled half way around the world to marry.
The Corriere joins in the expression of condolences to Maria and family on their loss.