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[Congressional Record: July 18, 2000 (Extensions)]
[Page E1257]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                          HON. ROSA L. DeLAURO

                             of connecticut

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, July 17, 2000

  Mr. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to 
honor an extraordinary individual whose contributions to the Italian-
American community in my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut have been 
truly invaluable. A friend to all who know him, I am honored to pay 
tribute to my Uncle Gino as he celebrates his 90th birthday.
  The son of an Italian Supreme Court Judge, Gino grew up in Rome and 
came to the United States with his family shortly after the conclusion 
of World War II. Ambitious and hard working, Gino took on a variety of 
jobs throughout Greater New Haven, doing whatever necessary to support 
his wife, Nerina, and two children. Always committed to his Italian 
heritage, one of Gino's firsts jobs was delivering the news on the 
local Italian radio station. During his first years in New Haven, he 
found a friend and mentor in my father, Ted DeLauro to help guide him 
as he began a new life in America. Gino and his family formed a special 
bond with my family. My mother, Luisa, was especially close with her 
Aunt Nettie, whom she lived with until Nettie was fifteen years old. 
Gino's family would come to dinner every Thursday night and I can 
remember listening in wonder to his stories of Rome and Amalfi, New 
Haven's sister city. His gentle nature endeared him to all those 
fortunate to know him and I consider myself blessed to be in his 
  After becoming a prominent figure in the Italian-American community 
of the Greater New Haven area, he began to use his many talents to 
assist Italian immigrants with immigration formalities, translations, 
and travel arrangements to the ``Old Country''. As a native of Italy 
and immigrant himself, Gino understood the fear and confusion of coming 
to a new country. He used his knowledge of his homeland and what he had 
learned here to support and comfort families that sought his 
assistance. Finding more and more of his time focused on these issues, 
he established the Balsamo Agency at the age of fifty-two and ran the 
company until his retirement at the tender age of eight-four. His 
compassion, warmth and unparalleled dedication to the Italian-American 
community helped thousands of Italians adapt to their new lives in 
America. Without his diligent efforts on their behalf, many would have 
found the daunting task of starting a new life a much more difficult 
experience. He made a real difference in the lives of many--a rare 
  It is a pleasure for me to stand today to recognize Gino's lifetime 
of achievement. He has left an indelible mark on the New Haven 
community and words cannot begin to express the thanks and appreciation 
he deserves for all his kindness and good works. I am honored to join 
his wife of sixty-six years, Nettie, his children Dino and Fausta, 
family and friends in extending my best wishes to Gino as he celebrates 
his 90th birthday. Happy Birthday Uncle Gino!