In the Winter 1996 edition of The Hummer readers were able to enjoy an interview with Charles D’Aprano by Carolyn Moore. Sadly, on 10th November, 1999, Charles D’Aprano succumbed to cancer at the age of 76.
Charlie was born in Castelforte, Italy, in 1923 and migrated to Australia in 1937. Although he came from a fairly conservative family, Charlie became active in the anti-fascist Italia Libera, helped publish Il Risveglio and joined the Australian Communist Party, largely as a result of his experiences as a factory worker in the 1940s and 1950s. Later, Charlie became a history teacher and an Italian lecturer.
Charlie campaigned strongly against the Menzies’s Government’s Communist Party Dissolution Bill as he did not wish to see Australia follow the USA’s anti-democratic path to McCarthyism. In later years Charlie was a campaigner for other progressive causes, especially concerning the rights of migrants, and the author of short stories and several history books. More details of Charlie’s activities can be gained from re-reading the interview in The Hummer.
Charlie is survived by his daughter, Leonie, his wife Mary and her family. He will be sadly missed.