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     Mary Biollo Doyle:  Summary of Transcript

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Carlo & Lina 

Rudy & Rita 

Mary Biollo Doyle

Tony Falcone

Bill Nigro

 Sabatino Roncucci

Spinelli Family
Alessandro &
Lina Urso

Fiore M. Vecchio


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Mary Biollo Doyle being interviewed by Adriana Albi Davies, 2002.  Photo by David Ridley of the Heritage Community Foundation.The discussion centred around the Biollo emigration experience and Mrs. Doyle's own experience growing up and teaching career.

  • Olivo John Biollo was born in Campolongo Maggiore near Padova in the Province of Venice, Italy, on May 27th, 1883; came to Canada at age 19 when hired by a labour agent to work on the Transcontinental Railway Line; worked off his passage

  • He was clever and worked hard; acquired part-ownership of the Savoy Hotel in Winnipeg hotel on Portage and Main; signed share to his partner because he didn't have Canadian citizenship and lost everything; he then worked in Three Rivers before finally coming to Edmonton

  • With respect to the Venice settlement, Mrs. Doyle remembers they had a beautiful home with furniture from their Winnipeg home; the settlement had a store started by her Father and a movie theatre

  • Mr. Biollo had brought his two brothers and families from Italy, Angelo and Sante

  • Mrs. Doyle as the first baby was badly spoiled; learned Italian; had a lot of freedom; became a schoolteacher and taught for 38 years; her Father was a great believer in education; he himself went to an agricultural college

  • Of growing up: they lived in a tent next to the store; her two sisters went to the Lac la Biche Mission for school; at age six went to the Mission School where she stayed for five years; had to learn French at school and learned it within four months; her Father first built the Christy Creek School and, then, in Venice where she completed grades 6-8 and then finished her schooling in Edmonton first at the Assumption Convent and then at St. Mary's High School; she went to Calgary to the Normal School for teacher training

  • Mr. Biollo besides being the storekeeper also was the postmaster and build roads including the one at Plamondon: he used to say that it was diritto [straight]

  • Her Mother was not happy in Venice; her parents had married when she was 24 and she was 16; very hard worker but had come from a big city to a rural area; her Mother spoke Italian, French, Polish and Ukrainian Mrs. Doyle is proud of her Italian heritage and the fact that there are priests in the family; her family always had an image of St. Anthony in the home and said the following prayer: 

  • Sant' Antonio di Padova chi dispensati grazie al di, 
    Tutti quanti a casa nostra 
    Chi fa il ben,
    Chi fa il mal,
    Il signore benedetto ti piace.

    Saint Anthony of Padua who dispenses graces from God
    All in our home
    Who do good
    Who do ill
    The blessed lord loves you.
    (Rough translation by Adriana Albi Davies)

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