It is with great pride that Fioretto Fencing Club announces that Maestro Jospeh D'Onofrio was awarded the O.A.M. (Order of Australia Medal) on Australia Day, 26th February 2014, in recognition of his service to the local community and to fencing since he immigrated to Australia as a young man. It was fitting that a reception morning tea was held at Fioretto Fencing Club, his pride and joy, on the 15th of March to celebrate his acheivement. Guests included Anna Burke, Bill Pontikis (Monash Council) and Simon Auty (President of Fencing Victoria), with many other apologies and letters sent in. Most importantly Maestro's children and grandchildren were all there to share the moment with him.

And of course Fioretto members were there in force even though it was still quite early in the year. As with many of our events the whole morning was catered by volunteer contributions from fencers and their parents. It was a true delight to see the care and thought that went into the selection of delicous snacks and cakes that were provided. Presiding over all the organisation of the food and the decorations was of course Winsome, who has become a familiar face behind these events. Despite her stress levels nearly overwhelming her, the day was flawlessly executed and on behalf of the club I would like to thank her and all the other parents that worked behind the scenes to make the morning such a wonderful success. Maestro was very touched by the amount of effort everyone went to.


Many people had kind words to share about their relationship with Maestro in the many years around the local community. We heard from Bill Pontikis, a local business owner when he met Maestro, now councilor with Monash City, Damon spoke about the impact Maestro has had on his life and that of his family, and most importantly Maestro's grandchild, lead by his daughter, Lisa, all got up to say a few words, or in the youngest one's case, present him with their own version of the OAM ahead of the official presentation on Queen's Birthday.

brook and bill pontikis

 And, of course, there would have to be some fencing. We had guests after all. And for this we were very happy to put the spot light not just on our juniors, but on juniors girls to highlight the great progress Fioretto has been making in getting more women and girls into the sport, with participation well above the state average. A big thanks to Ruby and Michelle for putting on a great display match infront of a packed house audience. They were both a bit nervous to begin with but the fencing soon took over and it was excellent viewing for all.


 Anna Burke, local member of parliment and long time friend of Maestro's through his involvement in the community, very thoughtfully brought in her own certificate of acknowledgement for Maestro which she presented to him personally and discretely while the guests were busily enjoying the morning tea. This gesture in many ways represents the journey that has brought Maestro to this point in life, full of a variety of endeavours, social organisations and most importantly, people. His gusto for life and passion for fencing have made a great impression on everyone he has met. Indeed it is that impression that has lead the people whose lives he has touched and enriched to nomiate him and pursuit the OAM award on his behalf, and in secret. To these people, who due to the nature of the OAM process shall remain nameless, thank you. The true measure of esteem for someone is not what we say, it is what we are willing to do for them. The OAM application process is not short, nor is it simple, purely for the reason that a nomiation should show the strength of conviction felt by the people making it, and should have a backing equal to the honour.


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