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   Mary Biollo Doyle: Oral History Excerpts

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Mary Biollo Doyle

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Bill Nigro

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Spinelli Family
 
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Mary Biollo Doyle, 2002.  Photo by David Ridley of the Heritage Community Foundation.In the following excerpt, Mrs. Doyle talks about growing up in the Venice colony, near Lac la Biche: they lived in a tent next to the store; her two sisters went to the Lac la Biche Mission for school; at age six went to the Mission School where she stayed for five years; had to learn French at school and learned it within four months; her Father first built the Christy Creek School and, then, in Venice where she completed grades 6-8 and then finished her schooling in Edmonton first at St. Mary's High School and the Assumption Convent.

Growing up in the Venice Colony - Part 1
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Of the Venice colony, she says that they were brave people who worked hard; initially lived in huts; not all stayed; her Father was a good farmer and believed in pure-bred animals; his nephew is still there and has 200 head of Herefords, which was the stock her Father bred; he helped others to improve their stock; used Clydesdales and Percheron horses; he was the best educated person in the colony; clay soil with very few pockets of loam; had to be fertilized, crops rotated.

Growing up in the Venice Colony - Part 2
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Mrs. Doyle reflects on the W.W. II and internment experience, she notes that Corporal Fielding picked up her Father and he was put into a "concentration camp"; he went first to Kananaskis and, then, Camp Petawawa in Ontario; at least four to five men from the Venice/Hylo area were interned; a Corporal Hanna worked to get her Father released; this was hard on the family; no-one to replace him; a cousin from Edmonton came to help; there was a Fascist Italian Club but the family never discussed politics; her Father was a member of the Club and played bocce; she too was investigated because she was teaching school; taught Italian with books supplied by the Italian government.

Reflections on World War II
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Listen as Mrs. Doyle talks about her childhood pursuits - horseback riding, rowing, and other things!

Childhood Pursuits
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In the 1925 election it appears that Mr. Biollo got into trouble for vote rigging; Mrs. Doyle believes that he was too trusting; believed in the candidate Maynard and sponsored him to run for Parliament in St. Paul; Maynard turned against him; it would appear that ballots were falsified and that her Father bore the brunt of this and was actually sentenced to prison; her Father was very generous and gave credit to his customers and even went bankrupt; he ran a sawmill, flour mill, elevator, post office, livery stable; he could make money but couldn't manage it

Mr. Biollo's misfortunes
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Related Links

Biollo Family History:  Read about the Biollo Family as excerpted from "Harvest of Memories", by the Hylo-Venice History Book Committee.

Read Short Biography  |  Read Summary of Transcript

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