The Ghenga


`Ghenga' was the transliteration current amongst Italians on the canefields for the English term `gang', meaning `squad' or `team'.

This cane gang includes from the viewer's left to right the Schio anarchist Gaetano Panizzon & FG Fantin. Panizzon was the supplier, witting or unwitting, of the explosives used in the 1921 Diana Theatre outrage in Milan, the worst anarchist terrorist attempt in Italian history. Fantin was a known associate of Panizzon in his youth in the Schio district.

Note Fantin's battered work hat, an identifying element in this and other photographs. Both Panizzon & Fantin spent much of the interwar period commuting between the canefields and the Geelong textile mills, Fantin residing with the Panizzon household.

Fantin's comrades recorded after his death that that he was known throughout the canefields for his antifascism, and Australian intelligence received one report that he would preach communism at the drop of a hat to his workmates.

The ghenga's will have been the venue of much of his proselytism by word of mouth & press distribution, & his fundraising for political victims of fascism & the Spanish republicans.

BACK