Piave Fiume Lodge # 1036
The Watertown Sons of Italy Lodge Piave Fiume was founded in 1920 by Salvatore Cesareo, Antonio Abbondanzio and Michele Pane along with a group of 20 other Italian immigrants living in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Originally, the group met in a back room of a Nichols Avenue grocery store and continously moved around various rental facilities including Natoli's Hall on Main Street. In 1938 the newly formed Windsor Club Trust bought the first Watertown Sons of Italy facility on Langdon Avenue. A popular sporting club, the Windsor Club was the home to the Sons of Italy until 1943. The group resumed in various places, including Bond's Hall on Main Street, until 1947 when the Lodge purchased land from the Hood Rubber Company on Bigelow Avenue in East Watertown and used a Quonset Hut as a meeting hall. This meeting place lasted until 1955, when the Lodge purchased a building from the Leavitt Shirt Company on Spring Street. Until the mid 1960's this large mill-type building served as a home to the Lodge, but due to wear and tear it was time for a new home, so the building was sold. In the years to come meetings were held in Eagles Hall and the Italian-American Social Club until the late 1960's where meetings were held at the Whitney Plaza Apartment Complex, due to the generosity of Pasquale 'Pat' Pannesi and efforts of Ralph Giradi. In 1970 under the leadership of Guy Carbone and Paul Trombino, bond drives were held for the construction of a new building on land at 520 Pleasant Street. Finally, in 1974, the current Pleasant Street building was dedicated and became the permanent home of the Watertown Sons of Italy.
The Bocce courts, located at the rear parking lot, were constructed by the vision of members Ferdinando Santamaria and Joseph Cimino. These two individuals are the catalysts who brought bocce to Watertown and made it what it is today. Over the years the Watertown Lodge has won many local and state tournaments, which are represented by the numerous awards on display in the Members' Lounge.
The name Piave Fiume was given to the lodge by the founders who participated in a great battle,which took place at the River Piave, a river in northern Italy. In 1918, during World War I, it was the scene of Battle of the Piave River, the last major Austria-Hungarian attack on the Italian Front, which failed after costing Austria-Hungary nearly 200,000 casualties. The Battle of the Piave was the decisive battle of World War I on the Italian Front. The river is thus called in Italy 'Fiume Sacro alla Patria' (Sacred River of the Homeland).
A painting made by member Joseph Santoro of this river and the bridge where the attack occurred hangs today in the upstairs main function hall.
The Watertown Sons of Italy - Piave Fiume Lodge # 1036 - is a filial lodge of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge of the Order Sons of Italy in America. Watertown Member James DiStefano is currently the State President of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts; Ron Hill is currently State Recording Secretary and Stephen DeAngeles is a State Trustee.
Antonio Mastantuono is the current Lodge President.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM at the Lodge Home, 520 Pleasant Street Watertown, Massachusetts.