Sisters of Colombo banquet in Trail on Oct. 20, 1931. (Trail Historical Society photo)

Trail Blazers: Sisterhood since 1924

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

With Monday, Oct. 12 being Thanksgiving Day in Canada and Columbus Day in the U.S., Italy and Spain – a Sisters of Colombo banquet in Trail circa Oct. 1931 is what’s on the menu for this week’s Trail Blazers feature.

Previous: Italian treats highlight Piazza Day

Previous: Colombo Lodge Piazza Day

The Sisters of Colombo was founded in 1924 and open to all women of Italian descent.

The society held banquets, dances, socials and cabarets at the Colombo Lodge hall on Rossland Avenue and pursued benevolent activities within the community. The hall is still the heart of the Italian community and the lodge focuses on being a primary centre for Italian tradition in the region.

Excerpt from Trail of Memories:

The Sisters of Colombo was founded February 3, 1924 by Mr. Domenic Daloise, who was then the president of the Colombo Lodge.

With the success of the Colombo Lodge it was decided to unite the women. Mr. Daloise advised the Italian women in 1924 that it was the opportune time for them to form their own Benevolent Society. Eighty-seven women showed their willingness to organize and form the Sisters of Colombo. They worked out their own constitution and had a Benevolent Society similar to the Colombo Lodge. Bianca Barichello was the first elected president and Elvira Muzzin was the first secretary.

Through the years, the membership has risen from 87 to close to 500.

The Sisters of Colombo share the hall with the men for all their activities. They hold banquets, dances, socials, and cabarets together and sometimes on their own. They help each other financially, medically, emotionally and socially. The two Lodges work together in harmony, but each independent of the other, and yet united in every way.

The Sisters of Colombo has now included the community in its support and has donated regularly to charitable organizations within the community. It presents a scholarship every year to a graduate who is selected by the teachers. It has participated in the Trail Silver City Fiesta Days Sidewalk Cafe for many years and members have helped at teas, meetings, extended care, and special events throughout the community.

To join the Sisters of Colombo one has to be of Italian descent or married to an Italian who is a member of the Colombo Lodge.

Dues are minimal. They have one meeting a month. There are two supper meetings during the year; a Strawberry Social after the June meeting and a Christmas Party following the December meeting. They put on two banquets a year where members and friends are invited.

The Sick Visiting Committee is a very important part of the Lodge.

They report at every meeting the members who want to be reported as sick or in hospital, and visits are made and financial assistance is offered. Financial assistance is also offered toward funeral expenses for deceased members and a donation is made to their chosen charity.

The Funeral Committee is present at all funerals, if requested, say a few meaningful words at the altar, and continue to the cemetery with the family and friends.

The Sisters of Colombo have existed since 1924 and continue to do so.

There is a great history and heritage to preserve from these many years and the Sisters of Colombo are well aware of this. They will strive to keep their Society strong and active.

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