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    Gus and Assunta Dotto (Emilia Raffin) > Oral History Transcript Summary

    Gus and Assunta Dotto:  Oral History Transcript Summary

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Raffaele Albi

Mr. and Mrs.
Enrico Butti

Mr. & Mrs.
Domenico Chiarello
(Nella Anselmo)

Gus & Assunta Dotto
(Emilia Raffin)

 Attilio & Stella Gatto

Gus Lavorato

Giovanni Paron

Louie Protti

Mr. & Mrs. Sartor

Sam Scrivano

Silvio Tona

Paolo Veltri

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Trip to Canada :

  • Mother was not to keen on coming to Canada, and did not like it there. They left from Cherbourg, France. They only took a suitcase each, containing linen, a blanket, and some towels.
  • They sailed into St. John, took a train to Montreal, and then took another 5 day train trip to Edmonton. It snowed the whole way and they felt like crying. Not many Italians were making the trip to Canada at this time.
  • The Grey Nuns met them in Montreal and helped them find an Italian grocery store so they could buy provisions for the trip west.
  • The Consul met them in Winnipeg and helped them transfer from the CP line to the CN line.
  • They were met in Edmonton by a lady instead of their father because he was at the CP station waiting, and did not know that the family had switched lines in Winnipeg. They eventually met up with their father, and went shopping for clothes.
  • Emilia got a job at a hotel in Cadomin. Emilia says she made more money in a week in Canada, than she was able to make in a month in Italy, and she got to be at home with her family every night. Assunta went to work for private families cleaning house during the day.
  • In one house she worked in, Assunta was actually served lunch by the people she worked for. She could not believe it!
  • They remember other Italian families like Luchinni, Sartor, and Paron. They also knew Mr. Silvio Tona who lived in Mountain Park at the time. They all used to get together and play cards.
  • Emilia's husband was moved to the mines in the Crowsnest Pass, so she moved there a few months later with her newborn daughter. They lived in the small town of Hillcrest. Most of the people who owned and operated the mines at that time were English.
  • Because of World War ll, Italians kept a low profile. They remember being fingerprinted and having to report to the R.C.M.P. every month because they were considered enemy aliens.
  • Assunta was in the hospital at this time for an appendix problem, and the wife of the doctor brought the sisters a bowl of ice cream each. They were afraid to eat the ice cream because they thought it might be poisoned!


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