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A summary of the oral history transcript of Mr. and Mrs. Domenico Chiarello
He landed in Halifax with his mother on the 17th of
May, 1924. They took the train to Edmonton with his
Worked in the mines around Edmonton in 1924-25. He
landed in Halifax on the 17th of May, 1924.
He cleared land of bush to earn some money and was
happy to get a bonus of a dollar!
He went prospecting for coal with his father in Legal.
They found a good coal seam and opened a mine with his
uncle and Tony Biamonte. They worked that mine for 25
His mother would sell eggs all summer to help out with
the money situation.
He moved back to Edmonton and bought the store called
Venice Grocery. He operated that for 17 years before
The store was located near the immigration hall;
Mr. & Mrs. Chiarello found themselves helping many
new Italian immigrants.
Before his father came to Canada, he worked the land,
and then in 1905 he went to the United States to work.
After a year he returned to Italy to get married before
once again moving to Canada. Domenico and his mother
worked the farm in Italy while his father was in North America
Domenico was also an alter boy in Italy.
Domenico didn't have much time for recreation with
other kids during this time.
All they took with them to Canada was food, linen, and
their clothes. They left Naples on a ship called
"America", landed in Halifax, got on the
train, and rode it to Edmonton where they met his
father. They lived in the Old Strathcona area of
Even though he was only 15 years old, all Domenico did
was work when he got to Canada.
While in Legal the family had little contact with
other Italians, it was settled mostly by French-speaking
people. His mother maintained Italian customs
during this time.
Nella (nee Anselmo) Chiarello :
She met Domenico on the farm. Her brother was friends
with Domenico. They knew each other for 12 years before
they got married. Nella came to Canada when she was 19
Her brothers had already came to Canada.
She remembers loving Canada as soon as she arrived.
She had wanted to join a convent and be a nun.
She met Domenico in the Bay and told him that he
should come visit, as a friend, but he thought
otherwise. He showed up and asked her to marry him.
They got married in St. Joseph's Cathedral, and held a small
They had a wedding breakfast, she invited few friends,
he invited the whole town of Legal!
Kids didn't speak much Italian with profanities being