ITALIAN-BORN EMIGRANT WHO FOUND A WELCOME IN FORFAR

A LINK to Forfar's past has been broken with the recent death, at the age of 84, of Italian-born former fish and chip shop owner Enrico Iannarelli.

Also known as Regate or Rick, Enrico was the last of the Italian-born post-war emigrants who found a welcome in the town.

He and his late wife Miranda will be remembered as the owners of the fish and chip and sweetie shop in East High Street, Forfar, for many years.

Enrico was born in Belmonte in the Monte Cassino area of Italy.

He came to Forfar in 1948 and, a year later, married Miranda, whose father Sandy had established the fish and chip shop in 1920.

Initially, Enrico worked an ice-cream van, taking over the well-known fish and chip shop in the 1960s.

For the next 20 years, with Miranda, he worked 12-hour shifts for eleven months of the year.

Building on the good reputation of his late father-in-law, Enrico continued to serve fish and chips to discerning Forfarians and upheld a worthy Scottish-Italian tradition.

Having retired in 1982, Enrico sold the business in 2002.

Until 1972, Mr and Mrs Iannarelli lived above the shop.

They then moved across the street to recreate a piece of Italy in their own home and garden.

Enrico took great pride in his garden, growing a variety of fruit. His house did not escape his green fingers as visitors marvelled at the vine varieties producing grapes in the conservatory.

Away from work and the garden, Enrico was a fervent supporter of Forfar Athletic and also played dominoes with a passion and ability that made him a formidable opponent.

He was a winner with the Jarman's Hotel and later the Caledonian Bar teams.

Enrico kept in close contact with other Italians who found new lives in Scotland in the aftermath of world war two, being an active member of Club Romano in Dundee.

Three other loves in his life were his poodles, cats and cars.

Some may recall his pink Vauxhall Cresta in the early days and thereafter his Jaguar, with two or three poodles lording it on the back seat.

Widowed in 2002, Enrico remained a member of St. Fergus Church community, which he, along with his late wife, Miranda, and sister-in-law, Lena, had so enriched by their participation and support.

Reflecting this, Enrico's funeral mass was celebrated by former parish priest Father Neil Gallagher and Father Aldo Angelosanto, in Italian and English - a joyous celebration of Enrico's life and faith, his Italian roots and Scottish flowering.

Enrico - who spoke a distinctive broken English with a strong Forfar accent - is survived by his two brothers, nieces and nephews in Italy, and, in Forfar, his nephew Riccardo Lorente, May and their family and Miranda's niece Frances Etheridge and her family.