In early 1904 a decision was made by my grandfather, Joseph Felando (age 18,) to leave the land of his birth to seek a better life in America.

Joseph left Komiza in March of 1904 accompanied by 47 friends, relatives and neighbors for Le Havre, France. There, the 48 people boarded the S/S La Bretagne and sailed on March 5, 1904, for the voyage to New York City.

After a nine day journey the ship arrived in New York on March 14, 1904. Joseph Felando made his way by train to the West Coast to meet with his uncle, John Borcich. Joseph eventually went on to San Diego, California. From San Diego Joseph wrote to his father, Augustine, in Komiza and encouraged him to come to America.

On December 3, 1904, Augustine Felando (age 46) with his son George (age 12), Joseph's half brother, sailed on the S/S La Lorraine for America. Arriving in America on December 10, 1904, the two then made their way by train to the West Coast.

In October of 1906, Joseph's fianc'e, my grandmother, Lucy Pecaric (age 18,) and Augustine's wife, Aneta with four of her children (Anton, Augustine, Mary, and Florence,) made their way from Komiza to Fiume (Rijeka) to board a vessel for America. They sailed from Rijeka on October 4, 1906, aboard the S/S Pannonia, as second class passengers via Palermo, Naples, and Gibraltar to New York City, arriving in New York on October 23, 1906, a journey of 20 days. On arrival in New York, arrangements were made to travel by train to San Pedro, California, where the men now resided. The train trip to the west coast consumed another five to eight days, so the total journey was well over thirty days.

Upon Lucy's arrival in San Pedro, Joseph and Lucy made arrangements at Mary Star of the Sea Church for their wedding. They were married on Saturday night November 17, 1906, with George and Margaret Evich as their attendants. They then settled down in San Pedro to make their life together in America, never to see Komiza again.

On February 18, 1911, my grandmother, Nina Greget (age 22) and my grandfather, Matij Zanki (age 25) were married in the Church of Saint Mary in Komiza. In June of 1911, they left Komiza together to make a new life in America.

They sailed aboard the S/S Chicago from Le Havre, France to New York City, arriving in New York on June 19, 1911, with a predetermined destination of Balichin (Bellingham perhaps,) Washington.

Nina's older brothers had preceded her to Washington, so Matij and Nina went there first. At some point, they relocated to San Diego, California, where my uncle was born. They later moved to San Pedro, California, where they settled to make their new life in America, never to return to Komiza.

This work is dedicated to my four Grandparents, their memory, and their efforts to seek a better life and raise their families in America. Neither Joseph, Lucy, Matij, nor Nina ever returned to Komiza, and to my knowledge, I am their only descendant to have ever made the journey to the land of their birth. 

Copyright ©1998-2003 David Felando, All Rights Reserved