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    Anthony "Tony" Falcone: Oral History Summary

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Carlo & Lina 

Rudy & Rita 

Mary Biollo Doyle

Tony Falcone

Bill Nigro

 Sabatino Roncucci

Spinelli Family
Alessandro &
Lina Urso

Fiore M. Vecchio


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  • A believer in "he/she who knows 2 languages knows 2 worlds"-children attended French Immersion Schools

  • Italian language in the curriculum: in 1971 got materials from the Government of Ontario and he and Tony Caria introduced Italian at the grade 7 level at Sacred Heart School; also used some of the Dante materials; in 1973, Tony Caria introduced it at Archbishop O'Leary; in 1974, Tony Petrone introduced it at St. Joseph's High School; in 1975 Carmelo Rago was to succeed him at Sacred heart; in 1976, Manuel DaCosta, who was working for the Secretary of State got them a $7,500 grant to create a workbook (Tony Caria as the administrator and Tony Falcone as the language teacher); 1982: proposal to the Edmonton Catholic School Board to move the program from "a system-based option to a provincially recognized core language option"; he and Tony Caria given 15 days off work by Ed Levasseur to work on the curriculum; then, piloted; in 1983, Edmonton Catholic sold it to Calgary Catholic; province-wide committee created by Alberta Education and a provincially-accepted program was created; original curriculum developed by them in 1994; in 1997 the Department of Education assigned the revision to Calgary teachers

  • Profile of students of Italian language: in 1973, the students were of Italian background, young immigrants; did wonderful activities with them (staged Macchiavelli's Mandragora, read Levi's Cristo Stopped at Eboli); by the time he took over at Archbishop O'Leary, students now were the children of first generation immigrants-didn't know the language; few pursued Italian at the university level; the language instruction was created for the second generation but, subsequently, it becomes accessible and of interest to all; by 1990s, his classes were: 30% non-Italian; 30% children of mixed Italian/other marriages; 30% of Italian background on both sides

  • What next? Importance of documenting the Italian community past; importance of history-"we are a throwaway society"; passing on of family artifacts (trunks, photos, etc.); need for family to appreciate its history

  • In 1964 was involved in changing the legislation that forbade the making of home-made wines; created a committee with Frank Spinelli and Lorenzo Bagnariol from Edmonton and Alberto Romano from Calgary; they obtained signatures on a petition; said the wine was not for sale but for their own use; succeeded in changing the legislation; by mid-1980s there was a boom in wine-making; 30-50,000 cases of grapes sold by Spinelli through the Italian Centre Shop

  • Politics: ran for political office as a Progressive Conservative; sees an agricultural metaphor for this, ploughing, seeding, etc. former Edmonton City Councillor Roberto Noce thanked him for exposing Italian name to the greater community and accepted into politics

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