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The discussion centred
around Mr. and Mrs. Amodio's emigration
experiences, their community activities and issues of
Italian community identity.
- Arrival in Canada - Carlo arrived in Edmonton at 3:00 a.m. September 9, 1967
from Naples, via Rome and New York. He could speak some French but no English, so the cab driver took him to the YMCA. The next morning he heard someone yell, "Carlo, Carlo Amodio". He had no idea who it could possibly be. The cab driver was acquainted with an Italian in Edmonton who
might be of help to the newcomer. This was Carlo's introduction to Sabatino Roncucci. Over the years Carlo and
Lina have become involved in many areas of Edmonton's cultural and community life due to the encouragement of Sab. As Carlo puts it, "Sab pushed me into it!"
- Upon arrival in Edmonton, Carlo immediately went to work.
His technical engineering education in Italy, however,
did not prepare him for menial jobs, which was all he
could get with his limited knowledge of the English
language. Carlo attended evening classes and even took private lessons to learn English.
After a number of short-lived jobs he ended up as a blueprint operator with the Province.
- His intention was to stay and work for 6 months and then go back to Italy;
that is, be a sojourner as so many during the turn of the century were. But like many of the intentional sojourners from that era, Carlo also ended up making Canada his adopted home.
Many from the previous era stayed for financial reasons - they didn't earn enough to return or by the time they earned enough, they found themselves too much a part of the new community to leave or they even fell in love with the new country. Carlo stayed because of the influence of two people. One was Peter Caffaro, the acting consul at the time, and the other was his wife-to-be, Lina D'Aquino. Carlo returned briefly to Naples to get married to Lina.
She said it was a tough decision to come, but she has no regrets about staying here.
Lina put it bluntly: "Italy says 'Go, you're not
necessary'; Canada says, 'Come, you're welcome'."
- Carlo and Lina were part of the post-war era of immigration; isn't anymore immigration from Italy. In fact, a reversal of sorts is happening now that there's a shortage of labor in in Italy. Of the 100 or so people with technical diplomas that came overseas with Carlo, about 70% went back. Even the
Scalabrians have decided to no longer lead the church because in Edmonton,
Italians are no longer considered as an immigrant community.
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