Flanders to Rome

Nicola Sciascia
Family Pilgrimage 2007

Sonny and Maude Sciascia


Noel Horace Sciascia (Sonny) was born in Levin on December 23, 1929, the sixth child of Jack and Alice Sciascia.

He was educated at Koputaroa School and Horowhenua College.

He married Aroha Jacob in 1953, and they had five children Leslie Martin (1956), Jillian Rae (1958) Vivienne (1959) Beverly Dianne (1961) and Colin Noel (1966).

In 1953, Sonny went to the building business with brothers Geoff, Gordon and Roy.  Sonny was the managing director of Sciascia Brothers Ltd, and is proud of the number of local buildings they built from 1953 to 1981.

Having started with virtually nothing, they had taken risks and worked hard to create a business that had provided a lot of jobs in the community. Being progressive meant putting through a lot of apprentices and running a predominantly Maori staff.

“We were very enthusiastic to get as many of these young men into work as possible. We encouraged them to build their own homes and many are still living in their own homes because of that.”

Among the buildings he is especially proud of is the Levin Domain grandstand, because he chaired the Horowhenua Rugby Union committee that financed the project and saw it completed in the early 1960s.

During the Sciascia Brother years he was president of the Horowhenua Master Builders Association, and on the executive of the Manawatu Master Builders Association.

Sonny was mayor of Levin from 1986 to 1989, and served on the Levin Borough Council for six years before that.

After the mayoralty Sonny and Aroha started Sciascia Books and Souvenirs.

Sonny has given many years service to the community and in the 1992 New Year Honours was awarded an OBE for his services to sport and local government.

His work includes:

  • Horowhenua College Board of Governors for 18 years, including a stint as chairman.
  • Chairman of the Kereru Marae Committee and currently a Trustee.
  • Advisory board of the Levin Periodic Detention Centre
  • Member Ikaroa District Marae Council and Raukawa District Maori Council
  • Chairman of committee for the restoration of the 28th Maori Battalion Hall in Palmerston North
  • Building co-ordinator for the re-building of Rangiatea Maori Church
  • Steward of the Otaki Maori Racing club
  • Chairman of the Horowhenua Rugby Football Union for 14 years
  • Life member Horowhenua Rugby Football Union
  • Life member Horowhenua Rugby Referees Association
  • Life member Levin Old Boys Cricket Club
  • Life member Horowhenua Cricket Association

Life member Levin Rotary Club and awarded ‘Paul Harris Fellowship’ for services to Rotary

Sonny has represented Horowhenua in rugby, cricket, badminton and basketball, and was a New Zealand representative rugby referee receiving 13 New Zealand appointments, including six Ranfurly Shield games.

Aroha died in 2000 and he is now married to Maude.


Maude was born Maude Mary Winiata on January 18, 1944. She went to Poroutawhao Primary School and Horowhenua College.

She married Michael Mulholland in 1963 and had four children and lived in Wellington for 12 years.

After her divorce she returned to Levin 1976, and married Bob Norman in 1977. He died in 2001.

Maudie married Sonny in 2004 and they live in Levin.

She was an active sportswoman, involved in hockey, netball and golf, and prominent in indoor and outdoor bowls.

For five years she was the Ladies Captain at the Levin Golf Club, and has been secretary for the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the Levin Fundraising Committee.



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Nicola's and Riria's portrait images kindly scanned and edited by Diane Taylor
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