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    Community Oral History Project > Bill Nigro > Summary of Transcript

    Joseph Antonio Maria (Bill) Nigro Profile: 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


Bill Nigro discusses his father moving to North America, and his family's life in and around the Edmonton area.

  • Bill's father was born in 1882 in Grimaldi, and came to North America before 1900. His father was 10 years old when he came with a man named John Welsh. They went to Port Arthur.

  • His father got the farm in Clive in 1914. In 1925 the family moved to Edmonton. Bill was 11 years old at this time. He attended school at McKay Avenue School. 

  • Edmonton had about 80 000 people then, and the west end was 24th street. 

  • When Bill was a kid some of the main roads were Jasper and Whyte, and some of the main buildings were the Tegler, MacDonald Hotel, and the McLeod. 

  • Most immigrants in Edmonton at the time were a mixture of many races. Bill says that there might have been only 50 Italians or families in the 30's. He remembers the Biamonte family being in the city.

  • After completing grade 8 at McKay Avenue, he moved to St. Mary's for grade 9. He did his high school at St. Joe's, and attended the University of Alberta for one year. He remembers a teacher at McKay named Mr. Scott, who Bill claims was a "tough bugger". Father Daly was the principal at St. Joe's when he was there. He was thrown out of the U of A after one year, and then moved east in 1936 to attend school where he was known as the "outlaw from the west". He didn't return to Edmonton until 1955.

  • The family farm at Clive was a half a mile from the school. Some of the farm families he remembers are the Parents, Patries, and the Williams. His dad had to clear the land, and also helped build a road at Nisku around 1925. He remembers life on the farm as the happiest time of his life. They had nothing but Bill remembers having great neighbors and being thankful for what they did have.

  • Bill remembers eating pasta, pork, and boiled vegetables all the time while growing up. His family bought homemade wine off of Angelo Santa Rosa. Bill says even the police bought wine off of Angelo. Bill's father never went back to Italy, but his mother did.

  • Before Bill's father was married he worked with the Welsh family clearing land as a blasting expert. Bill remembers working on the Trans Canada with his father in 1937. His father could walk ten miles of road, and then turn around and tell you how much dirt had to be moved, how much rock had to be moved, and estimate the cost of building the road there.

Related Links

  • Nigro Family Timeline:  Follow the Nigro family as they emigrate, work, marry and contribute to the development of western Canada.  1882-1988. 

  • Immigration Chronology: An important chapter in immigration history is presented through the eyes of Nigro/Veltri/Anselmo families.    

  • The Diary of Giovanni Veltri: Join John Welch, his brother Vincenzo [Vincent] and Antonio [Bill] Nigro as they leave Grimaldi in 1885 and contribute to Canadian  railroad, road and  construction history.  

Watch Bill Nigro's Oral History Interview!  Read Short Biography


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