Angelo Pola was born in 1869 in Switzerland in the small village of Campocologne. This is in a wine growing region near St.Moritz and close to the border with Italy.
Angelo came out to Australia on the “Chimborazo” in 1886 when he was seventeen. He worked for a short while on the railway line between Sydney and Brisbane before going to Corowa where his brother, Carlo, was the licensee of a hotel.
There he became a blacksmith and worked in that trade for about ten years, becoming well known and appreciated as “one of the best”. He was naturalized in 1898, the same year in which he married Elizabeth Butler of Howlong. Soon after marriage, he left blacksmithing and turned to farming, selecting the property “Hit or Miss” and later, “Melrose”.
Angelo and Elizabeth’s 3rd child, Norman, was born at Momalong in 1901 when that property extended as far as Tocumwal. Angelo’s brother, Simon, a pastrycook, lived with them and one of Norman’s childhood memories was the wonderful pastries and buns his uncle cooked. Simon later decided to return to Switzerland but died on the journey.
A hard worker, Angelo rose at 4am every day, winter and summer, first lighting the fire, then milking the cow as soon as it was light enough. He died in 1948. His son, Norman, married Bertha Wardrop, the daughter of Agnes Jones and Robert Wardrop, the proprietor of the “Berrigan Advocate”.
They had two daughters, Judy and Margaret. This short history of the Pola family is compiled from a wonderful collection of family memorabilia gifted to the museum by Marg Pola.