The First Ten Years – Part 1 – How I got my name

The last light of the day
The setting shining its las light across the sea

I was born on 14 March 1950. The other big news event of that day was  that of a half-grown female leopard escaping from Auckland Zoo.  Like Caesar, the Ides of March  (15 March) was not a good day for this leopard as it only got to eat half a possum before it was hunted down and shot dead by the local army officer. 

This news story lead the front page of the Christchurch Star-Sun even superseding the news from the Malay Emergency.  Also mentioned was the King of England awarding a gallantry award to a NZ officer for his role in Malaya.

No wonder the event of my birth did not  make the headline news that day.

I was named after Liana Angelicci – an Italian school teacher my father met in Piarocco, Italy during World War II.  He emphasised it was a platonic relationship however he was in a war torn country; he was a shell shocked machine gunner who had seen service in Egypt as well as Italy. Who knows the real truth? My feeling is that he took comfort where and when he could and perhaps that helped him survive those stressful times. 

Many years later, both my parents went to Italy on a 27 Battalion reunion  tour. They found that little village of Piarocco and Liana’s old house, knocked on the door and discovered she had married a doctor in the next village and moved away.  Whatever happened, I do feel a special connection with Italy. Growing up, I did not know of anyone else who shared my name. I love my name as it is quite unique. I feel that it has strengthened my sense of individuality. 

The dictionary definition of Liana means a ‘clinging jungle vine” I like to think that I am tenacious rather than clinging. I can survive through tough times and I seldom give up despite at times being in a less than nurturing environment.

Does our name influence who we become?

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