The Italian Consul General in Vancouver, Fabio Messineo, travelled to Calgary to meet the Country’s largest Italian community in Alberta to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the city’s Italian Cultural Centre and to introduce the newly appointed Consular Correspondent, Attorney Andrea Riccio. He took the opportunity to also visit the International Disaster Relief Centre of the NGO Samaritan’s Purse which, in March 2020, was one of the very first organisations to intervene in Italy at the peak of the most critical phase of the COVID-19 emergency. A team comprising 75 physicians, healthcare workers and technicians installed a completely self-sufficient makeshift hospital with 68 beds, divided between intensive and pre-intensive care units, in the proximity of the Cremona Hospital, thus treating hundreds of people.
The Italian Embassy in Ottawa and the Consulate General in Vancouver facilitated the arrival of the contingent and of the 20 tons of medical equipment in a period when any connection with Italy had become difficult and kept in constant contact with the Samaritan’s Purse throughout their mission, hoping to be able to meet with the volunteers and thank them in person once they returned to Canada.
“Today I kept the promise made during the emergency – said Consul General Messineo – and I gave Ian Stokes, director of the Canadian NGO’s centre, a plaque in sign of recognition and in timeless remembrance of this generous mission driven by solidarity and a tangible sign of the friendship that bonds Italy and Canada.”