ItalianNotebook – Italy Travel Blog

The Watertown Sons of Italy: A Rich History of Brotherhood and Community

For over a century, the Watertown Sons of Italy has been a vibrant force in the community, bringing together generations of Italian-Americans and celebrating their culture and heritage. With a long history of charitable work, cultural events, and social gatherings, the Watertown Sons of Italy has become a beloved institution in the town and beyond.

The origins of the Watertown Sons of Italy date back to the early 20th century, when a group of Italian immigrants in the area saw the need for a fraternal organization that could provide support and fellowship to those who shared their heritage. In 1915, they founded the Watertown Lodge #2056 of the Order Sons of Italy in America, and over the years, it has grown to become one of the largest and most active chapters in the country.

One of the defining characteristics of the Watertown Sons of Italy has been its commitment to philanthropy and community service. Since its inception, the organization has raised millions of dollars for charities and causes both locally and nationally. Through fundraisers, events, and donations, the Watertown Sons of Italy has supported a range of organizations, from hospitals and schools to veterans groups and disaster relief efforts.

In addition to its charitable work, the Watertown Sons of Italy has also been a key player in promoting Italian culture and heritage. From language classes and cooking demonstrations to cultural festivals and parades, the organization has helped to preserve and celebrate the traditions and customs of Italy. Through its efforts, the Watertown Sons of Italy has fostered a deep sense of pride and belonging among Italian-Americans in the community.

One of the most well-known events sponsored by the Watertown Sons of Italy is the annual Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Held each September, the feast is a four-day celebration of Italian culture, featuring food, music, games, and religious processions. The event attracts thousands of visitors from around the region and has become a beloved tradition in Watertown.

Despite its long history and many accomplishments, the Watertown Sons of Italy has not been without its challenges. Like many fraternal organizations, it has seen a decline in membership in recent years, as younger generations of Italian-Americans have become less involved in organized groups. To address this issue, the Watertown Sons of Italy has launched a number of initiatives to reach out to younger members and make the organization more relevant to their interests and needs.

In addition, the Watertown Sons of Italy has also faced criticism in recent years over its connection to the controversial Columbus Day holiday. While many Italian-Americans see Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, others argue that it commemorates a historical figure who played a role in the oppression and exploitation of indigenous peoples. As a result, some chapters of the Sons of Italy have dropped their support for the holiday, while others continue to celebrate it.

Despite these challenges, the Watertown Sons of Italy remains a vital and beloved part of the community. Its commitment to charity, culture, and brotherhood has helped to create a strong sense of community among Italian-Americans in the area and has made a lasting impact on the town and beyond. Whether through its annual feast, its charitable giving, or its cultural events, the Watertown Sons of Italy continues to honor the rich legacy of Italian-American heritage and to bring together generations of people in the spirit of brotherhood and community.


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