‘Mamma Rosa’ would be proud

The Morelli family pictured at the book launch at The Arcadia in Portrush on Wednesday.
The Morelli family pictured at the book launch at The Arcadia in Portrush on Wednesday.

THERE were more than a few tears shed at the launch last week of a book detailing the Morelli family history when author, Daniela Morelli, dedicated it to her beloved Mamma Rosa.

Cento Anni, the fascinating and funny account of one immigrant family’s struggle to become Ireland’s most famous ice cream brand, would have made her mum so proud, Daniela told the upstairs gathering at Portrush’s Arcadia.

A first time author, whose coffee table read has already become a bestseller in Coleraine, Daniela lost her mum suddenly less than two years ago but was surrounded by her remaining family including dad, Guido, who spoke of his pride at seeing his youngest daughter in print.

“When Uncle Peter started business in Coleraine all those years ago, little did he realise what he he started,” said Mr. Morelli.

“This book is a story of a young married couple who left their country of origin to start a new life in Ireland. It’s also a story of a family that experienced anxiety, apprehension and fear during World War Two. Thankfully when peace returned, the family once again became united.

“We would like to express our gratitude to those residents in the past who accepted our parents, thereby securing their future and offering a climate of opportunity.

“This may not be a large book but its contents are a true picture of the history of the Morellis,” he said.

Raising a toast to Daniela, Mr. Morelli closed by telling the room that all of his family owed Daniela a “debt of gratitude” for “the great job she did with the book” during their 100th anniversary year.

Following a short address by Malcolm Johnston from Ulster publishers, ColourPoint, Daniela took the microphone to thank everyone for making the book launch (and the book) such a success.

She told the launch party: “The process of writing the book has been a bit of a rollercoaster - both practically and emotionally - but I hope that you’re all happy with the end product because I certainly am.

Thanking everyone for their input into the very enjoyable read, Daniela, praised her family “for their support throughout the writing process” and singled out her grandparents “Nonno and Nonna, for without them there really would be no story.”

Welling up with emotion, Daniela asked everyone to raise their glass and to drink a toast “to my Mamma Rosa” to whom she dedicated the whole book.

“It’s only right that we should raise a glass to my mum because I know she would have loved to have been here,” she added.