Page 1 | 2
A summary of the oral history transcript of Joe
Fabbri in which he describes coming to Lethbridge, the jobs
he held, the challenges of being an immigrant, the Italian
community in Lethbridge, and returning to his home town 25
years after he left.
Arrival in Lethbridge:
- Joe arrived in Lethbridge in 1925 from Urbino, Italy. He left
his home town because of unemployment.
- He would have come over earlier but he had to serve 18
months in the army. After serving in the armed forces he
called his cousin, who already lived in Lethbridge, and
asked if he could come over.
- He was told that he had to come over as a farmer, so
he arrived and spent one year farming before he could
pursue other work. He had to pay the government a 200
dollar deposit when he arrived, and in order to get that
back, he had to work on a farm for one year.
- After his year on the farm Joe took work with the
Brewery as a truck driver. He drove truck for eight
years before being offered a job inside which paid more.
Joe worked for that company for 42 years before retiring
- Joe compares the wage he earned in 1925 with the
Brewery to the wage he was earning when he retired. When
he started he would work two days a week at 40 cents an
hour. When he left he was making $4.50 an hour. At the
time beer was only $1.75 a case.
Challenges of being an Immigrant:
- Joe explains that he was lonely much of the time
before his girl (soon to be wife) came over, and that he
cried a lot. Eventually she came over and they
- The depression of the 1930s meant work was scarce, so
Joe counted himself lucky to have a job. He says that
1939 was one of the worst years, however the War changed
Listen to Oral History |
Read Short Biography