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    Gus Lavorato:  Oral History Transcript Summary

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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

Louie Protti

Mr. & Mrs. Sartor

Sam Scrivano

Silvio Tona

Paolo Veltri

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

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Gus :

  • Gus was born in 1922. His younger brother Frank was born in 1925. 
  • He went to school at Queens Avenue and had friends of all different nationalities.
  • Gus doesn't remember any instances of discrimination among his friends.
  • Briefly moved to the U.S. in 1928 but came back in 1930 because life was too fast and the weather too hot. When he came back he attended school at McCauley School.
  • The family then moved into the Scrivano family's house.
  • Although there were Catholic schools at the time he didn't attend them for long. He had problems in Catholic school because he was left handed, and teachers would hit him when he wrote with his left hand. Gus still writes with his left hand.
  • He made it to grade 10 at Foothills high school. His favorite subjects were math and history. He also took Italian courses by correspondence. Victor Losa used to send him Italian books while he was up there.
  • Once he quit school he came back to the city of Edmonton and worked in the coal mines for 50 cents an hour, ten hours a day.
  • Gus remembers Christmas being an important celebration in his family. 
  • He does not remember any Italians being denied jobs because of their ethnic background. 
  • He worked in an Safeway bakery for awhile, earning $14.00 per week until he turned 18, then he joined the Air Force.
  • Most Italians Gus knew went to Sacred Heart Church.
  • He was gone for five years during the war. He learned to fix planes.
  • When he came back to Canada he went to an apprentice school for carpentry, and then worked for Northwest Industries in 1946-47.
  • Italian businesses at this time included stores and coffee shops.
  • Gus and his wife married in 1950. They have three children.
  • They try to maintain Italian traditions in the home through cooking, language, and some education.


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