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Giovanni (John) and Margaret Mary (nee Davidson)
Marconi (Mucciarone)-John (1884-1964) was from Santa Angela
and came to Canada c1903.
in Lille c1906 after working in construction in Montreal
& on CPR work gangs. There he worked at Lille mine, until
the sight of a dead miner coming down the chute upset him so
much he left to work at Lille Hotel. There he met
co-worker Margaret Mary Davidson from Newcastle-on-Tyne,
England. They married in 1911 and had one daughter,
Catherine (Mrs. Makin of Hillcrest), and 3 sons, John T.
"Jack" (b.1915, in 1939 married Anna Alampi who
came to Canada from southern Italy in 1931, settled in
Coleman, 2 children), Gordon "Toby" (b.1917,
married Clare Dick in 1945, settled in Coleman, 4
children), and Francis (St. Catherines, Ontario).
John Sr. worked for International Mine from 1914 until
retirement in 1954 when the mine closed. Mary died
in Coleman in 1959, Giovanni in 1964.
Mascherin-Andrew was born 1883 in Cordenone, province
of Udine, Italy. He emigrated to Fort William with brother,
in 1905. He layed
track as far west as Hillcrest where he became a miner,
just escaping the 1914 explosion. Andrew worked at
MacGillivray Coal Mine in Coleman before returning to
Italy in 1922 where he met & married Maria. They
returned to the "Bushtown" area of Coleman;
daughter Catherine born 1923 (married Joe Alampi in 1940,
2 daughters). During strike of 1924 they returned to
Italy where son Elidio was born, in 1926 (married Shirley
Jean Dambois in 1952, 4 daughters). Andrew returned
to work in Coleman in 1928, and family joined him in 1937.
They moved to a house on second street (Italian
Town). Andrew died in 1950, Maria in 1974.
Biagio Mele-Biagio Mele came to Nordegg from San Giovanni in Fiore, Cosenza, Italy in 1921. In 1926 he went back to Italy, returning with his 11 year old son, Antonio/Tony (Kay Marasco). In the early 1950s, another son, Francesco, also came to Nordegg, meeting his brother, Tony, for the first time.
Mary Montalbetti-Charles arrived in Blairmore with
his brother, Felix, at
the turn of the 20th century. Another brother and some
cousins had previously come to work in Canada. They
worked in railroad and house construction. Mary came
from Italy to marry Charles in 1902, the first Coleman
marriage. Their house was buried in the 1903 Frank
Slide. Son Andy was the first white boy born in
Blairmore, and son Aldo was also born in Blairmore (married
Racheal Molina in 1930, 2 children). In 1907 the family
returned to Italy, Charles went back to work in Blairmore,
Christine was born in Italy. The entire family went back to Frank
in 1912. Aldo remembers bootlegging days with Uncle
Jack Sartoris, riding along in his wagon pulled by horse,
Nastasi-Giuseppe was born in 1879, in Reggio
Calabria, Italy. He emigrated with brother
Jim to Morrisey, B.C. in 1901, and moved to Coleman in
1902. He joined a CPR
work gang; moved to Lille in 1903, and began mining.
There he met & married
widow Eleanore DeLieu, who had emigrated from Lille,
France, in 1904, and who had 2 daughters, Eva (born in
Lille, France; married Joseph Nicifore, 3 children) and Georgina (born in Lille, Alberta; married William
MacDonald, died 1938 leaving son & infant daughter who
Mr. & Mrs. Nastasi raised ). Joseph and Eleanore had 4 children all born in Passburg; Sebastian
"Buster" (married Josephine Sterba, 2 children),
Celene (married William Ford), Erma (married Sil Favero)
and Leonard (married Margaret Dick). Mrs. Nastasi was a
midwife. Mr. Nastasi was a founding member of the
Italian Society in Lille, 1906. In 1910, Joseph,
brother Jim and cousin Frank Pelle built & operated a
bakery in Passburg until 1920. Jim moved to Coleman
to start his own bakery; Joseph opened a confectionary
store and worked in the Passburg & Byron Creek mines,
then in the West Canadian Collieries in Bellevue.
Filipponi - Nicifore Families-Nick
Nicifore was born in 1888, in Camina, province of Reggio
Calabria, Italy. He came to Frank, in 1904, and was met by brothers Pete
& Ralph who arrived in Lille a few years before.
Ralph was a miner, and also a shoemaker with his own shop in Magrath.
Pete was married, and had a macaroni factory & bakery
in Blairmore. He later moved to Creston, B.C. Another brother, Frank,
was killed in an accident when working for the CPR, left a
son Joe in Italy. Pete brought Joe to Canada; in the
1920s, Joe married Eva Nastasi, and raised a family in
Blairmore. He died in 1950s. Nick, a coal miner in Lille &
Bellevue, and survivor of Bellevue mine disaster, went
overseas with Canadian Army in WWI. He married Assunta
Filipponi of Blairmore, in 1919.
Joseph Filipponi (d.1947) met & married Michelina
(d.1923) in Rimini, Italy, where he patrolled the
seashore. They returned to Joseph's hometown of
Vicco in Cosanza where they had 5 children. Joseph
came to Canada in search of work in 1907, and worked for
"Pozzi" the contractor in Blairmore and for the
CPR. His family joined him during the war, in 1916 (only
son died in Italy at age 12). Daughter Katherina
married Jim Arcuri, of Blairmore, and moved to Kelowna. Rosa
married Antonio Ambossia; Barbara married Angelo Orlando;
and Assunta, born 1903, married Nick Nicifore, Bellevue,
Nick & Assunta Nicifore moved to Nordegg in 1919, where
Mary (Mrs. Arthur Hales of Calgary) was born in
1920. Nick worked for Bill Welsh in his coal mine in
Hardley. During 1922 the family returned to the Pass,
worked for contractor Augustino Cachioni, and in coal
mines. Josephine (Mrs. Albert Bernardo of Blairmore)
was born in 1922. William "Bill"was born in
Blairmore in 1936, and married Jeanne Aebli in 1961. They
had 3 daughters.
Nick died in 1957, a year after his retirement.
Assunta remarried Andy Oliva.
Andy Oliva-Andy was born in
Italy in 1890. He emigrated
to the United States with his parents in 1892. His parents moved back to
Italy, and Andy arrived in Coleman in 1906, worked in mine,
and built Toppano's Grocery store. He returned for awhile to
the States, and then operated an Italian Co-operative Store in
Coleman. In 1917, Andy moved to Drumheller to manage co-op
store, and in 1921 moved back to the Pass & was a businessman
of the community. He recalls horse racing events on a
large track where Crownest Pass swimming pool is
Giovanni and Giacomina (nee Del Net)
Pagnucco-Giovanni "John" was born in 1881,
in Arzene, northern
Italy. He first came to Canada in 1904. He returned to
Italy to marry Giacomina Del Net in 1910. She &
son Ettore (b.1911, married Margaret Cerney in 1942, 4
children) joined John in Bellevue in 1913. John
worked for the CPR in Cranbrook and in the mines at
Blairmore, Michel, Lille & Bellevue. He retired in
1952 from West Canadian Collieries in Bellevue.
daughters born in Canada; Maria (died at 18 months) and
Mary (married Frank Sickoff 1941, 2 children). Mrs.
Pagnucco died in 1953, John in 1964.
Pagnucco Families-Umberto, born 1891,
arrived in Canada in 1907. He worked on farms in
Saskatchewan, cement plant in Blairmore, in Spokane, pulp
& paper mill in Powell River, and in the mines when he
moved back to Blairmore in 1916. There he married Maria
Battel in 1921. They had 3 children; Elda (b.1922, married
Primo Filipuzzi, had 6 children), Angleo (b.1928, married
Mary Fry, 4 children) and Anita (married Peter Morris, 3
daughters). Umberto died in 1958. He had two
brothers in Canada as well, Graciozo and Angelo.
Graciozo came to Canada in 1907, and returned to Italy in 1913
to serve in WWI, and to marry Gracia Zucclulin in
1922. Graciozo returned to Canada in 1924, his wife
& baby came in 1925. They had 4 children in all; Dino
(b.1923, married Gemma Petrina, one son, d.1969),
June (b.1931, married Sig Kreusel, 3 sons).
Angelo arrived in Canada in 1909, and married Vincenza De
Stefano in 1916 in Bellevue. She had arrived in
Canada in 1915. Angelo was elected to council in
Blairmore, 1936. They had 2 children, Mario (b.1917,
married Ada Vendrasco, 3 children, d.1957) and Matilda
(b.1918, married Ken Wheeler of Sydney, Australia, 2
(Arthur) Pavan was born in 1881 in Arzene, Italy, and came to Canada in
1908 to join his older brother Luigi (Louis) who had come
to Michel, B.C. in 1906. Arthur had married Giuditta
(Judith) Maniago (b.1884), also from Arzene, in 1906, and
daughter Lea was born there in 1908. In 1910, two
younger brothers Giovanni (Nanni) & Germano joined
Luigi & Arthur. Luigi returned to Italy in 1910
and was killed in action during WWI. Nanni &
Germano worked at the cement plant in Blairmore; Arthur
for West Canadian Collieries in Bellevue. In 1912
Arthur sent for his wife and daughter who, because of
overcrowding, had to reschedule their Titanic
They arrived safely and in 1914 moved to
Bellevue, where Nanni & Germano (who now worked for
West Canadian Collieries) lived with them. Arthur
& Judith's second child, Madeline, was born in
Bellevue. Lea married Louis Ziraldo in 1935, moved
to Edmonton, and had 2 daughters. Madeline married
Francis Roach, from Calgary, and had 3 children. Arthur died in
Bellevue in 1947, Judith in Edmonton, 1970. Nanni married Yolanda Cossarini of Michel in 1923, and moved
to Detroit, Michigan, where they had 2 daughters. Germano moved
to Los Angeles, California in 1925, died a bachelor in
The fifth and youngest brother, Giacomo (Jack) arrived in
Bellevue in 1927, and also worked for West Canadian
Collieries. He married Rosina De Zorzi in 1929.
She had come from Italy in 1927. They had 2
children, Erasmo & Velia. Jack died in Bellevue,
1950. Memorable moments were New Year's Eve parties when David
Avoledo, a great friend of Arthur's, would usher in the
New Year with his pistol.
Peressini Families- 5 boys were born to
Andrea and Lodovica (nee Pistor) Peressini in Valvasone,
province of Udine, Italy. Andrea & his sons
worked the coal mines in the Pass as early as 1905.
Andrea returned to Italy, but the brothers settled in
Blairmore to work for the West Canadian Collieries.
Augusto, born 1878, came to Blairmore in
1905, returned to Italy to
serve in WWI and marry
Olivia Nocente. They had 5 children, Lodovica
"Vicki" (b.1913 in Valvasone, married William Jallep in 1936, had 2 daughters), Tony
(b.1914, d.1938), Delki (b.1916, married Mary Rhodes
1946, 4 sons), Romano (served in WWII, married Edna
McLeod in 1955, one daughter, Edmonton), and Americo
(served in WWII, resides in Vancouver). Augusto
died in 1955, Olivia in 1952.
Diodore (Doro), (1881-1662) came to
Blairmore in 1905. Served in WWI in Italy where
he married Marie Leschuitta. Daughter Lodovica
(b.1917, d.1933 in Italy), son Angelo (b.1920) came to
Blairmore 1938. He served in Royal Canadian Navy
in WWII, married Mary Napora in 1955, moved to
Romano Sassone, (1890-1967) came
to Canada in 1906, worked in Hosmer & Lille.
Returned in 1915 to serve in Italian Army, became POW
in Germany; 1920 married Maria Oliva Bortolussi
Arzene, province of Udine, to a family of
12 children, d.1959). Romano returned to Blairmore to
work for CPR and West Canadian Collieries. Maria
arrived in 1922 with daughter Rina Marie (b.1920 in
Arzene, married 1944 to John Krankowsky).
Beatrice was born in Powell River, B.C. in 1926
(married in 1946 to John Hammer, 2 sons), when Romano
worked there in the pulp & paper mill.
Returned to Blairmore where son Romano Jr. was born,
1934 (married in 1952 to Pearl Brooks, 5
children). Romano Sr. served on Blairmore Town
Council for 25 years, was member of Italian Society of
Giacomo (Jack), (1895-1941),
came to Blairmore 1909. Served in WWI in Italy where
he married Teresa Avoledo; returned to Blairmore 1921
with their son Eliseo (b.1920 in Valvasone).
Daughter Odessa (b.1922, Mrs. Berto Bernardo, Natal)
and son Albeo "Nini" (b.1924, served
overseas in Canadian Army WWII, married Chris
Bubniak in 1948, 3 daughters) were both born in
Blairmore. Jack died in a coal mine accident.
Erminio, born 1898, came to Blairmore in
1921 and there married Louiga Bortolussi in
Served in Italian Army in WWI. Had 5
children all born in Blairmore; Louis (b.1928, married
Peggy Myra in 1952, 3 children, Victoria), Timothy
(1935-1968), Wilfred (b.1937), Lillian (b.1942,
married Kenneth Radley in 1964, one son, Ottawa), and
Stanley (b.1944, married Barbara Mervo, one son,
Calgary). Louiga passed away in 1968.
John and Teresa Petrini-They
were both born in
Loria, Italy in 1885 & 1897 respectively. John
came to Trail, B.C. in 1911, and returned to Italy in 1914,
and came back to Canada again in 1923. Son Luigi
(Bellevue) and daughter Gemma (Calgary) were born in Italy
& with Mrs. Petrini in 1926 came to Bellevue, where 2
more children, Armenia (Detroit) & Mary (d.1974), were
born. John worked as blacksmith for West Canadian
Collieries & independently. He died in 1951, his
wife in 1972.
Emilio Picariello-Emilio was born November 27, 1879 in Capriglia, Avellino, Italy,
and emigrated to Canada c1900. He arrived first in
Toronto where he worked as an electrician. Here he
met and married Marianino (Marian), just over from Italy. They
operated a confectionery store and began raising a family
of 7 children. The family moved to Fernie, B.C. in 1911,
where Emilio worked in Mr. G. Maraniro's Macaroni
Factory. He had good business acumen, and was involved in
many enterprises in his lifetime. He also loved gambling.
Earned the nickname "E. Pick, the Bottle King"
or "Emperor Pic" by collecting empty
bottles. Emilio bought the Alberta Hotel in Blairmore in 1918,
where he moved his family and was a member of Town
Council. He became sole agent for Sick's Lethbridge
Brewery, and when total prohibition came on April 1, 1918,
started a thriving bootlegging business. An incident
in 1921 in which "Pic" was involved resulted in
the shooting death of an Alberta Provincial Police
Constable named Steve Lawson. After a lengthy trial,
Emilio Picariello and accomplice Florence Lassandra were
executed by hanging at Fort Saskatchewan Jail in
1923. Many people in the Pass spoke of Picariello's
"kindly nature and generous treatment toward the poor
people of Fernie...and Blairmore."
The Poscente Family-The Poscente families came from Antrodoco, Italy. Vincenzo Poscente
emigrated to Canada first, going to Trail, B.C. He was
twice married, first to Maria and second to Sofia.
Antonio Poscente was the child of his first marriage to
Maria. Vincenzo and Sofia returned to Canada with
Antonio and son Dante. The other children, Ernesto
(Ernie), Julio (Jules) and Elinor, were born in Trail.
Later (1910), his cousin, Fillipo Poscente, and wife Vittoria, emigrated to Calgary. In 1921 this family moved to Nordegg. The children of Fillipo and Vittoria were Pierena, Julia, and Geno. Geno went to work at Brazeau Collieries (Nordegg) in 1937. He married Kazimiera Grabek and they had one son, and three daughters. Julia married Guido Blasetti in 1941, and they had nine children.
Flaminio (Emil) and Giovanna Pozzi-
Emil, a mine blacksmith, arrived in Frank in 1906 from
northern Italy (d.1975), followed by bride to be in 1910
(d.1976). They settled in Bellevue 1918, and had 2
sons, Dante (Calgary) & Joe (b.1924, Cochrane).
Angelo and Carlotta (nee Bianchi) Pozzi-
Angelo was born 1876 in Milano, Italy. In 1903 he came to Crowsnest,
and worked for CPR, then to the mine in Frank after the slide,
and retired from Hillcrest-Mohawk mine at age 70. He died
in 1956. He brought his wife (also born in Milano) out in
1906. She was a nurse. They had lost their first child, a son,
in Italy. She died in 1943 leaving 4 children; Angelica
(b.1907, married Carl Gahn, widowed, remarried A. Reimier,
Kelowna), Frank (b.1908, married Edna Neilson, Lethbridge,
d.1978), Alma (b.1909, hairdresser, Frank), and Angela
"Ann" (b.1910, married George Foxcroft - airman
from England, settled in Toronto).
Enrico Joseph (E.J.) and Stella Matilda (nee
Vanoni) Pozzi-Enrico was born in Italy in
1878. He worked in coke oven
construction, and came to Frank in 1905, followed by bride to
be in 1906. They lived at rear of A.I. Blais' Store
before moving to Blairmore in 1914. Enrico operated
a construction business and lumber yard (employing
upwards of 200 men at one point) until his death in
1930. They had 4 children; Benvenuta (school teacher,
married Al Fabro, Kimberley, one son), Louis (family
construction business, married Lillian Knapman in
1939, joined RCAF, came out of retirement to assist with
construction of new Calgary Air Terminal in 1974), Anna
(b.1912 while family visiting in Italy, remained until
1920; married Cyrus Fabro, Blairmore) and Joe (b.1914 in
Blairmore, worked at Mohawk Mines, joined RCAF, Crowsnest
Pass School Board, married Jean Youngberg, one
daughter). Stella died in 1970.
Luigi and Enrichetta (nee Montonati)
Pozzi-Luigi arrived in Frank in 1912 from Menzago, province of
Varese, Italy, and was followed by bride to be in 1920.
boiler fireman at mines in Frank, Lille and Beaver Mine
Coal Operations. He then worked in construction for E.J.
Pozzi, before working for Hillcrest & Bellevue
Collieries. Enrichetta renowned for her cooking
& recipes. Had two children, son Veno &
& his family lived in Coleman and Lille c1900.
When he returned to Italy, his children stayed to live in
the Pass. Daughter Antoinette married George
Canatolini, and moved to Medicine Hat. Masimino, charter
member of the Italian Society in 1906, lost his life in
the Bellevue mine 1910. Jim, miner, died in 1947.
Albert, mined, and operated Bellevue Pool Hall. He died in
born in 1894 in Navelli, Italy, was a butcher in Lille, Fernie
and Coal Creek, B.C., where he met & married Helen
Caldwell. He managed Red & White Store in
Bellevue, and worked as a butcher in Pincher Creek. He died
in 1962. Had 4 sons;
John (John's Poolroom, Bellevue), Dan (vice-principal,
Bellevue; married Nora Spooner, 4 children), Joe Jr.
(school principal, Bellevue; married Maureen McLellan, one
son), and Hugh (engineer, Calgary; married Betty Plante, 2
Pietro (Pete) and Dozalina (nee
Fuscharini) Rinaldi-Pete came to the mines in Michel, B.C., in 1908,
followed by bride to be in 1910. They moved to Hillcrest
in 1912, where an injury to Pete's leg the day before the
Hillcrest disaster saved his life. They purchased a farm in
Burmis area 1918 and worked for CPR. Together they
children; Sylvia (b.1911, married Joe Manarin, Kelowna, 5
children), Lillian (b.1914, married Louis Huesdens,
Kimberley, 2 sons), Ann (b.1914, married Peter Bozzer,
Kimberley, 7 children), Mary (b.1915, married Ezra
Ironmonger, Trail, one daughter), Reno (b.1916, married
Adrienne Veraart Capron, Bellevue), Olympia (b.1918,
married Albert Gatto, Bellevue, 2 children), and Fred
(b.1919, married Amelia Filipuzzi who died in 1965,
Bellevue, 2 sons, remarried Bernetta Crow). In 1945,
Pete & Dozalina left the farm to Reno & Fred,
retired to Kelowna. Mrs. Rinaldi died in 1954, Mr.
Rinaldi in 1958.
Rizzo Family-Peter Rizzo left his family & Italy at the age of 16
to join his brother-in-law in the States. He found
himself working for Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in B.C.
and later in the mines at Coleman - where he
coincidentally met up with friends from Italy! Peter
became a member of the Italian Society, married Genevieve
Alampi (who joined the Ladies Italian Society "Società
Stella D'Italia"); had 2 children, Titina of Rocky
Mountain House, and Lewis Peter of Calgary. He
Coleman as a thriving community with many businesses, 2
theatres (Grand & Palace), and 4 halls (Opera House
built by the miners, Italian Hall, K.P. Hall and
Copyright © 2002 Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D. and The Heritage Community Foundation