Lo scorso 17 Maggio, dopo circa un anno dalla Sua morte, sono giunte ad Ustica, provenienti dalla Louisiana, le ceneri della Signora Claudia Mumphrey (in origine Manfrè) oriunda Usticese. I figli Abraham ed Anthony Boackle hanno alla lettera esaudito la volontà della mamma che, prima di morire, aveva espresso il desiderio di essere cremata per essere successivamente tumulata ad Ustica, Isola che ha apprezzato ed Amato tanto. Ad accompagnare i due figli c’erano il nipote Frank Mumphrey e l’amico di famiglia Daniel Carter.
Giorno 18 l’urna, contenenti le ceneri di Claudia, è stata portata al Comune in sala consiliare per l’ultimo saluto prima della tumulazione. Numerosi i cittadini che hanno voluto essere presenti al commovente incontro ed in particolare una nutrita rappresentanza di allievi della scuola media. Per una strana coincidenza, ai numerosi presenti, si sono aggiunti altri oriundi usticesi, arrivati ad Ustica nello steso giorno, figli di emigrati in Algeria alla fine dell’800 (Caserta, Famularo, Sciacchitano, Longo, Famularo, Licciardi, Tinchi e Alaimo.
Di Seguito gli Interventi del sindaco Aldo Messina, dei figli Abraham ed Anthony Boackle.
“Nell’esprimere il cordoglio della cittadinanza, voglio evidenziare che la signora Manfrè rappresentava l’espressione dell’ identità usticese in quanto tale attaccata alla sua terra.
Dobbiamo ringraziare Claudia perchè , ascoltando quanto di lei affermano i suoi figli, comprendiamo che ha saputo assimilare, portare e mantenere i valori della nostra cultura: amore per la famiglia, per la propria terra e, perchè no?, per il gusto. Claudia ci ha oggi fatto capire che le forza universale ed immortale dell’amore e quella, seppur più effimera, dell’abbattimento delle distanze dovuta agli aerei ed ad Internet, ha fatto sì che oggi il sogno di Claudia di tornare alle sue origini , si realizzasse. L’amore e la distanza vengono così accomunate da un’altra parola che descrive bene Ustica: identità”
Il Sindaco Aldo Messina
“Claudia Rose Mumphrey (Manfre’) Boackle was laid to rest in her final resting place, the Licciardi family tomb in the Ustica Cemetery.
In 1940, Claudia was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA) to Frank Mumphrey and Frances Licciardi Mumphrey. She was an elementary school teacher in Chalmette, Louisiana for more than 30 years. Both of her parents’ families are descendants from Ustica, a small island north of Palermo, Sicily.
In 1999, Claudia found her mother’s address book and wrote a letter to relatives in Ustica. Salvatore and Gianna Licciardi responded to the letter and invited her to visit them in Ustica. Claudia, her sons Abraham and Anthony, and her daughter-in-law, Emily, traveled to a place that was last visited by Claudia’s mother, Frances, in 1973. The reception and welcoming by the family was joyous. Since the first visit, Claudia and her sons made several visits with each trip being more special than the previous one.
Last week, following Claudia’s wishes, Abraham, Anthony, nephew Frank Mumphrey, and long-time family friend, Daniel Carter, brought Claudia’s remains to Ustica as the place of her final interment. She had passed away last year after a long, courageous battle against cancer.
On May 18th, Peter Bertucci organized a meeting with the Mayor of Ustica at the government building. Mayor Aldo Messina hosted a gathering of the Boackle sons with their Ustica relatives and family friends. In addition, two other groups were in attendance, approximately 15 Ustica descendants who live in France and approximately 35 school children with teachers. The Mayor reminded the group of the importance of family ancestry on the island of Ustica and the meaning of being an Ustica descendant. He was inspired by this story of an American who wanted to return back to her ancestral home.
Claudia’s elder son, Abraham, read a brief story about the life of his mother. He described that her family and friends were always the center of her life and that she found a particular feeling of peace through reconnecting with her relatives in Ustica. He ended by saying that “today, my mother would be celebrating that she was home and her life’s story was shared with family, friends, and school children”.
I would like to express my thanks to Gianna Licciardi and to all of our family and friends of Ustica who helped in bring my Mother to Ustica, her final resting place. The Mayor and his staff along with Pietro Bertucci help make everything a wonderful experience for everyone. None of this could have happened without two important things: LOVE and FAMILY.
Anthony M. Boackle
Dalla California Marlene Rovershaw (Manfrè)
Ciao, Salute Pietro; I watched with interest and admiration of the very nice tribute and funeral of Claudia Manfre on the Blog. She had a very nice family. Everyone made a very nice and respectful funeral for her.
I could see Rosa Salerno Licciardi in the pictures and also saw you in just 1 picture.
God Bless, Marilena