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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

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Page 7 | 8

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

Mr. P:

I generally go in Safeway.

Ms. B:

Safeway.

Mr. P:

Yeh. You know, I sold my car just a month ago because I couldn't get no more licence. Too old. So, now my granddaughter take me in the store to buy groceries.

Ms. M:

Is your granddaughter married?

Mr. P:

Yeh.

Ms. M:

And, she lives...

Mr. P:

She got two kids, there.

Ms. B:

Oh, that's your granddaughter.

Ms. M:

O.K. What about, ah. Did you belong to any Italian clubs?. Did you belong to any clubs?

Mr. P:

No. I used to but now I can't, my leg is bad. I can't walk so I don't go. Stay home.

Ms. B:

Which club did you belong to before? When you were younger.

Mr. P:

Oh, I didn't go very much.

Ms. M:

Do you remember hearing about an organization called Victorio Emanuello Terso?

Mr. P:

I tell you, Edmonton, there was hardly no organization here at all. Now, start ...and Calabrese but those things there was not then, just now.

Ms. M:

Do you remember any Italian newspapers being sold in Edmonton or available in Edmonton.

Mr. P:

No, I get a paper from Toronto, an Italian paper, sometimes.

Ms. M:

What was it called? Do you remember the name?

Mr. P:

...

Ms. B:

There were no other newspapers, in Edmonton any Italian newspapers?

Mr. P:

No, no. Just now start but before never was no such thing.

Ms. M:

So, you said that when they started to build the Italian church, that you helped. You helped to build Santa Maria Goretti.

Mr. P:

Yeh.

Ms. M:

What kind of help did you do? Did you do some carpentry work?

Mr. P:

We have a contractor, but we help. That cross, I put that cross myself. I did that. Oh, I tell you when I went up there, it was dangerous. When I take it up there, the ... is three-quarter of an inch wider at the top than below and I had to take it down again and bring it in the shop and make it bigger the whole thing. Oh, that was an awful job. Father Rino and Father Giovanni they pray so that I don't fall down. The stepladder you know is pretty shaky. Oh, I was scared.

Ms. B:

You only had one son.

Mr. P:

Yeh. And, we got one daughter.

Ms. B:

You got one daughter, isn't that nice.

Ms. B:

What did you encourage your son to do? While he was growing up.

Mr. P:

Oh, I tell him to come in the machine shop. When the boss in the machine shop was working, he start with the boss and he allow him 25 cents and hour and when we were three days working there, Giovanni, he says, your son is worth more than that. Three years after, he was the boss.

Ms. B:

Smart.

Mr. P:

My son is right now, he build lots of societies.

Ms. B:

What are your hobbies now?

Mr. P:

In the house, that's all. Cook myself. Look after the garden and cook and wash. I do all myself. Everything is done by myself.

Ms. M:

Do you still visit friends?

Mr. P:

Oh yeh, sometimes they come and visit me.

Ms. M:

Do you watch T.V., your games, your football.

Mr. P:

Oh, yeh. I never miss that.

Ms. M:

No. That's good. Did you ever feel, during your time here in Edmonton, have you ever felt that somebody was discriminating against you? Or prejudice? Do you remember any occasion?

Mr. P:

No, no. I tell you, in 1930 here in Canada, it was pretty bad, very bad. It start changing in 1939, it start changing but in 1930 it was very bad.

Ms. B:

What was happening that was bad, what happened?

Mr. P:

Bad times. No crops and the price, it was nothing.

Ms. B:

Was there, do you think there was discrimination then? Was there more discrimination?

Mr. P:

No, no. We was good friends, better than today. More jealousy now.

Ms. M:

Do you think that Italians have done a lot for Edmonton?

Mr. P:

Not very much, not very much. Now, Butti, he the first one in Edmonton, his father come here from the coalmines and... But Butti, he the first Italian here but there never was, they got now a little bit of organization.

Ms. M:

So, you don't think that the Italians have done too much for Edmonton.

Mr. P:

No, not very much.

Ms. M:

But, Italians have done good for themselves?

Mr. P:

They do good for themselves, yeh.

Ms. M:

Do you think it's important for Italians to keep their culture?

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