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     Venice Hylo:  World War II and After

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Early Years

World War I and
Interwar Period

World War II
and After

Cultural Life



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Gisella Biollo in her profile of Guiseppe and Filomena Michetti, Rudolph Michetti's parents,  writes:

November 25, 1925-Pietro Colbertaldo [from Edmonton], Antonio Rebaudengo and Gafolla from the Fascist headquarters in Calgary, came to Venice and the fascio de Venice was officially organized.  It was like a club where the members met once in a while as a get-together with never any harm done.  Although the organization was allowed in peace time, during the war it was considered a threat to the Allies.

October 10, 1940-O.J. Biollo, a member of the Fascist Party, was arrested by R.C.M.P. Corporal Fielding and sent to concentration camp without trial to Kananaskis, near Calgry, for a while and then to Petawawa, Ontario, where he stayed eleven months.

December 13, 1940-Rudolf Michetti, President of the Fascio of Venice, his father Joe Michetti, who was taken from a sick bed after an operation, Efisio Manca and A. Marini, who were also members, were arrested by Corporal Fielding and sent to Edmonton, where they had a trial.  By now, the government had changed the laws for the R.C.M.P. where they could not send a man to concentration camp without a trial.  All came back except Rudolf Michetti, who is sent to Kananaskis and then to Petawawa, Ontario, where he stayed ten months, leaving a pregnant wife and five children with no support, in poverty. 1

Joe Bonifacio in military training in Camrose, Alberta.While the shadow of Fascism and internment touched the community, many young men joined the military and served their country.  During the war, some worked at the pilot Abasands Oil facility, before going into the military.  On their return, they looked for work on the railways and the emerging petroleum industry.  Working six months on the farm and the rest on the railways, construction and other industry was common.  The core Italian families remained in the community with many of the older people going to Edmonton in retirement.

As the years passed, many new families moved in and settled in the Hylo area. The majority of these newcomers were Ukrainian and they slowly filled the vacant homesteads left by many of the Italian families who had settled and struggled to make a living through farming only to return to Italy or relocate to the United States.  Many of the Ukrainians that had come to Hylo had lost their land, machinery and assets in central Alberta.  When the Depression hit, they were no longer able to make payments and the banks and the railway repossessed their lands and machinery.


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