15 Sep 2022

Best friends make a perfect match

Aldo-and-Erica-Floreani-e1661837069629-850x455.jpg

The Southern Cross  |  September 2022

Best friends make a perfect match

Spending time together, having common interests and ‘generally liking each other’ have provided the foundations for 50 years of happily married life, according to Lockleys parishioners Erica and Aldo Floreani.

Celebrating their golden anniversary on December 16 this year, they are one of many couples throughout the Archdiocese that will have their significant milestone recognised at the Anniversaries Mass being held in parishes on September 18.

Having grown up living in the same street in Thebarton, it was probably inevitable that the young Aldo’s attention would be drawn to the attractive Erica who passed by his house on the way to Mass. Both attended Queen of Angels Church as teenagers but it wasn’t until a few years later that they became a couple.

“It was Easter weekend in 1969 when I had just started teaching and Erica had started working that a mate rang me up on the Sunday and said let’s go out tonight,” Aldo recalled.

“I said I didn’t feel like it but he persisted and said he would be around at seven to pick me up to go to the 4Y dance at Payneham (a gathering of the four YCW groups in the area).

“So I put on my three-piece suit and who should I meet at the dance?”

After a great night together on the dance floor, Aldo invited Erica to go to the footy at the Adelaide Oval the next day and “we’re still together”.

There were many more footy games to come, with Aldo playing 206 league games for West Torrens between 1969 and 1980.

For the Floreanis, the past half a century as husband and wife has been the source of much happiness. After raising four sons they are now blessed with seven grandchildren. But they are under no illusions that marriage is easy, and said communication and being prepared to put in the hard work were essential for a relationship to succeed.

“I guess we like each other and that’s a good start,” Erica laughed.

“We’ve always enjoyed being in each other’s company and having the same faith has been a natural part of our life.

“But you have to be willing to put in an effort because it’s not all shine all the time, that’s not real.”

Nodding in agreement, Aldo added that they were fortunate to “share the same thoughts and values”.

“We enjoy spending time with each other…we have a coffee every morning and that’s one of our favourite times of the day,” he said.

“We communicate well, we talk a lot – about our kids and grandkids.

“We were both from families where family was important. You looked after your family and you put yourself out for them, so we have had the same philosophy.

“Now when we get together as an extended family, Erica and I just look at each other and say isn’t this fantastic? We just love it!”

Aldo and Erica have been active members of the Lockleys parish for the past 48 years, and many of their friends are from the parish and their involvement with St Francis School.

They said it was fitting that their special anniversary should be celebrated in the parish.

A school principal in Catholic education for 29 years and a member of the Ministry Formation team for a decade, Aldo retired last year and said he was enjoying being able to spend more time with Erica – even though they did work together for 10 years at Rosary School.

Plans for the future include overseas travel, trying out a new camper trailer and spending time with their family.

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