by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.
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(Jimmy) Anselmo-A contractor, who before W.W. II, had partnered
with Fedele (Felix) Nigro, who had a farm and raised horses.
Anselmo got small contracts from the government to fix roads and
Mr. Nigro provided the horses. When the war broke out and the
Americans built the Alaska highway, they left the machinery
behind and the partners were able to get some of it and went
into the road building business.
(Frank) Azzano-Frank came to Edmonton in 1913/14, at age 15, from Udine,
Italy. He was a baker by trade, but worked laying railroad tracks
(Spruce Grove and Dunvegan Line). Frank also farmed in Vegreville from
1929 to 1943, and then returned to Edmonton to work for the North
Western Brewery. Frank finally did a stint as a baker with workmen
building the Alaska Highway.
Lorenzo Bagnariol-came to Canada in 1951, leaving his wife
Assunta behind, and worked in the North in construction and also
as a taxi driver. He returned to visit his wife several
times and his son Mauro was born in 1955. They joined him in
Edmonton in 1960 where their daughter Katy was born in 1961.
He was a community pioneer involved in a range of activities
including the founding of Italian-language radio programming and
the legalization of winemaking in the Province of Alberta.
He was a co-founder of the Programma Italiano, which started
in the mid-1950s, with
Franco Spinelli and Joe Bocchinfuso on CHFA
and lasted for 25 years. He worked as a real estate agent
for many years and, according to a family source, sold many of the
Italian immigrants their first homes. In the early 1970s, he
began the Algonquin Hotel, which is still operated by the family.
He died in September, 2000.
Pietro Beccio-Pietro had a
confectionery called Vieni Confectionery where Edmonton Centre is now.
Benincasa-This individual worked at the MacDonald Hotel.
Joe Biamonte-Joe was a shoemaker.
He came to Edmonton c1910 at the age of 13. He
joined a brother and some cousins who were working at the Diamond
Coal Mine in Clover Bar, near Edmonton. He came from
Italy with a musical background, his salvation, as it got
him work in bands and helped stave off bouts of
homesickness. Luigi enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow
countrymen when his band traveled to and played at dances
for the Italian farming community of Naples. Besides his music,
he also earned a living working as a water boy on the railway
in the Coal Branch. He went to barber school, and worked
with Florenzo Comin in the Venice Barber Shop on 97th Street.
The he set up his own barbershop on Jasper with Bruno Lavorato;
a musician who set up a dance band. He also, for many years,
ran a travel agency.
Tony Biamonte-Tony was a shareholder
and director of one of the Edmonton coal mines.
Angelo Biasutto-Angelo was a community
leader who was instrumental in setting up a number
of societies. He also helped in the building of the Santa Maria Goretti
Church. Angelo was also honorary vice consul of Italy, and granted award
by Pope John Paul II in 1986. See
Congresso article in Italian.
John, and brothers Angelo, and Joseph Biollo- Mr. Olivo John Biollo was born in 1886, in Venice,
Italy. His wife came to Canada from Poland in 1899, at the age of 8. He arrived in Winnipeg c1900, where he married and started a couple of businesses with two of his
brothers. They proved unsuccessful, so he moved to
Edmonton from whence a number of Italian families got
together to form a farming colony near Lac La Biche,
approximately 200 km. north-east of Edmonton. In 1916,
O.J. Biollo was the first postmaster of the hamlet he named
Venice after his home city. In Edmonton, O. J. operated a rooming house known as the Savoia
Hotel on 96th Street and 3rd Avenue as
well as the Family Theatre; brother Angelo had a grocery store on 96th Street and
4th Avenue. O.J. passed away in Edmonton.
Bomben(s)- The family came to Edmonton by 1915.
Father Giovanni Bonelli-Father Giovanni Bonelli
arrived in Edmonton from Chicago in 1957 because of a demand by the Italian community
of Edmonton for their own parish. He and Father Rino
Ziliotto were sent by the Scalabrini Fathers in Chicago to fill the need.
He became the co-founder (with Father Rino Ziliotto) of the only
Catholic-Italian Parish in Edmonton-Santa Maria Goretti.