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     Home > People > Oral History Projects > Italians Settle in Edmonton Project >
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    Giovanni Paron: Oral History Transcript 

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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

Mr. & Mrs. Sartor

Sam Scrivano

Silvio Tona

Paolo Veltri

 
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Ms. M: Carmela Marino
Mr. P: Giovanni Paron
Ms. B: Anna Bruni

Ms. B:

Did you live on a homestead, you were a farmer:

Mr. P:

Oh yeh. 

Ms. B:

Were there other farmers? Other Italian farmers?

Mr. P:

Oh lots of Italians. And they all were farming. Yeh, yeh.

Ms. B:

Oh, I see. And this was in Saskatchewan?

Mr. P:

Yeh, in Saskatchewan. Called Cutknife. That was all Italians. We was almost 40 families there and then I moved in town. I started blacksmithing in town. And, I start blacksmithing and I started fixing cars. Neat, oh. In Cutknife, I stay and work 16 months in Cutknife and...come to me, I was married then, he come to me and says, Giovanni, I like to organize to build a church here, an Italian church here. Sure, I say. I had a car then and we went around and we collected money and we collect some chickens and everything and we built a church. After new church is build in Cutknife, and I build this church here, I help.

Ms. M:

Santa Maria Goretti.

Mr. P:

Yeh, Santa Maria Goretti, I help build.

Ms. M:

When you left Michel, you didn't play in the band anymore. The band was disbanded.

Mr. P:

I didn't play no more. One time I ..., sure was funny, I went outside, I was...you know, I went outside and I take the instrument and I start play and the farmer I had he was a mile away and I make noise with that trumpet and all at once I see the yard full of cattle, they come running and watching what was the matter.

Ms. M:

The cattle came to the music.

Mr. P:

Oh gee, he start coming around and he say what you doing. I say, I don't do nothing.

Ms. M:

Playing the trumpet. Where did you learn to play?

Mr. P:

Oh, Michel.

Ms. M:

You learned in Michel.

Mr. P:

Oh yeh, I learn with professional, he very good. He tell me he was in the army.

Ms. M:

He was Italian.

Mr. P:

Oh, yeh.

Ms. M:

All the orchestra was Italian.

Mr. P:

Yeh, yeh.

Ms. M:

Oh, I see. So then, what year did you get married?

Mr. P:

I got married in 1921.

Ms. M:

O.K. And you saw, your wife came, ah

Mr. P:

I tell you, my sister in the old country, she help me, she send me the picture. Gee, I say, I think I take it.

Ms. M:

You liked the way she looked.

Mr. P:

So, we start writing and I send the ticket. I didn't send the ticket, I send the money to Italy and she come out and when she was in Montreal they find out that since there was no church in Cutknife and there was a church there, but she go in Blairmore, Alberta and I had to go out and meet her down there.

Ms. M:

Why?

Mr. P:

Well, I had to go because the priest was there to get married, you see. I got married in Blairmore then we come back to Saskatchewan.

Ms. M:

Did she come by herself?

Mr. P:

Yeh. Was her and another woman.

Ms. M:

Is your wife dead? Did your wife die?

Mr. P:

My wife dead in 1962.

Ms. M:

What was her name?

Mr. P:

Innes.

Ms. M:

Innes. O.K. So then, oh, right here is her picture. She doesn't look Italian. So you homesteaded in Saskatchewan for 25 years.

Mr. P:

Then , I sold the farm. I want to get my son in school in high school here. I say to my wife, I say Innes, we gonna move. We take the boy and go to high school. So we come out here. When I come here, I bought this machine shop, the manager knew me. He, says, anytime you got.... I say, I gonna come but I want to take the family and I want to stay there. He say, anytime you come, a job for you anytime. I work 12 years for ..., in machine shop. Blacksmithing, welding, everything.

Ms. M:

How did you know this man? How did you know this man who gave you this job? Who was he?

Mr. P:

Oh. I tell you how I know. I come one year before in Edmonton and I get the machine there, I get a patent for machine. I bring the machine in there and he knew what kind of man I was. So that's why. Mr. Butti knew me, that the first friend I have here, Mr. Butti.

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