Lesmurdie to Argentina and Italy: Carmel Caputo (90) says ‘si si’ to travel


Carmelo Caputo wants his relatives to pay his fare to his party overseas if he makes it to 100. Picture: David Baylis           d452512
Carmelo Caputo wants his relatives to pay his fare to his party overseas if he makes it to 100. Picture: David Baylis         d452512

CARMELO Caputo may be about to turn 90, but unlike most people his age, he shows no signs of slowing down.

The Lesmurdie resident has just returned from a whirlwind trip to Argentina and Italy on the eve of his 90th birthday on Saturday.

“My daughter and I are going to Buenos Aires to pick up my niece,” he told the Gazette the day before he left.

“My brother’s daughter is 70 years old and has not left since she arrived in Argentina 66 years ago.

“I want to show her some places. We will travel around Italy, and she will see Rome.

“I will take her back to Perth for my birthday party as well.”

But it does not stop there.

The avid traveller will continue on to Brisbane next week, to continue celebrating the milestone with east coast relatives.

“I love to travel,” the great grandfather said.

“Every year in October with my late wife, we used to go away.

“Sometimes it was just to the bush, but we still went.

“I never like to stay in the same place.”

One of 13 children born in Italy, Mr Caputo migrated to Perth in 1951.

After a four-week boat journey, he arrived in Perth ready to start his new life.

“It was just after World War II,” he explained. “And there was not much to do.

“We couldn’t work permanently, just a few days a week.

“There wasn’t much to eat either, so I pressured my uncle to come over here.”

Eldest daughter and travelling companion Lydia Frisina said although her father had always loved to travel, he caught a severe case of the travel bug three years ago.

“In 2013 he decided he wanted to go to Italy,” she said.

“But when we came back he told me he didn’t think he could do it again, as it was too far.

“So the following year we just went to Brisbane to see relatives.”

But Mr Caputo’s itch kicked in again shortly after.

“Then last year, I booked to go to Argentina,” Ms Frisina said. “He wasn’t meant to come, but he said he wanted to, so he did.”

Ms Frisina said she admired her father’s sense of adventure.

“I think it’s marvellous,” she said. “On his own, maybe I wouldn’t let him do it.

“But he’s capable to still travel, so why not?”

“I’ll have to find somewhere to travel next year now!”