The New Year promises to be an exciting one for the Dante Alighieri Society. 2015 not only coincides with the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri but also marks a half century of activities for the promotion of Italian language and culture by our Society in Canberra.
At the recent biennial congress of the Dante Alighieri Societies of Australia it was decided that such an important anniversary of Dante’s birth should be appropriately commemorated by the Societies that bear his name. Preliminary plans are for a program of celebrations, coordinated by the Adelaide Committee, in all the cities with an active society. The feasibility of some exciting events is being considered and more information will be provided as planning progresses.
The Canberra chapter of the Society has been active for some 50 years. The Society began life as an unincorporated association in the early 1960s. The exact date it began operating is not known. The earliest references to a Dante Alighieri Society in Canberra that we have been able to verify date back to 1964 followed by more solid evidence of an active Society in 1965. The idea that an active Society may have been established to coincide with 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri is quite appealing and consequently we will be celebrating a half century of activities in an appropriate manner in the course of this year.
In addition to these special celebrations, plans are well advanced to extend the range of activities offered to members and students. The Society will seek to cooperate and coordinate its activities with other organisations engaged in the promotion of Italian language and culture in Canberra including the Italian Embassy, the Italo-Australian Club, schools and other cultural institutions. The aim is to provide our members and students with an enhanced range of opportunities to practise their Italian language skills and enjoy a richer and more varied cultural experience.
The Society will also be expanding the use of new technologies to communicate with members and the wider Canberra community. Plans are well advanced for the launch of an e-newsletter to augment the information distributed in our more traditional Dante Review. The focus of the e-newsletter will be on the distribution of timely information at substantially shorter intervals than is possible with the Dante Review. As the name implies, the e-newsletter will be available only via email to anyone, members and non-members alike, wishing to receive it and will provide information on all Italian activities and matters of interests in Canberra and not just those organised by the Society. Work will also be undertaken to enhance our online presence through improvements of our website and Facebook page.
The Society wishes all its members and their loved ones a happy and prosperous 2015 with lots of opportunities to strengthen their interests in Italian language and culture.
President – Dante Alighieri Society Committee