A summary of the oral history transcript of Domenico
Chiarello in which he discusses coming to Canada and
Edmonton, employment, and Italian immigration and
- Domenico was 15
years old when he left Naples on the 1st of May, 1924.
The next 16 days were spent on the boat before arriving
in Halifax on May 17th.
- From Halifax he
spent 5 days and 6 nights on a train before arriving in
- Upon arriving
in Edmonton He and his mother met up with his father,
who had come over in 1912. His father was working in a
mine on the banks of the North Saskatchewan.
- Population at
that time was roughly 85 000. His family worked in the
coal and agriculture industry.
- He started work
in the mine when he was 15 and a half years old. At that
time he was the youngest person working the mine.
- After working
in the Callie mine, he went prospecting for coal north of
Edmonton with his father.
- They found a
good seam of coal near Legal and started their own mine.
They operated this mine for 24 years. During this time
they also ran a farm and sold their barley and wheat.
- After the
second world war (1948) they moved back into Edmonton
and started the first Italian grocery store in the city.
It was called the Venice Grocery on 97th Street and 106
Post War Italian
Immigration and Associations:
- When immigrants
arrived he tried to help them out by finding them jobs
in Yellowknife and Uranium City.
- This wave of
people had it easier compared to the people that came
- Domenico says
that there was less than a few hundred Italian families
in the city at this time. He loves the way the Italian
community has grown over the years.
- Associations in
the 1950's were not formed because there were not enough
- When asked if
he would come to Canada and start all over again if
given the chance, Domenico says that he would not do it
again because the work was too hard and the gain was
nothing. His pension amounts to $105.00 a month.
- In 1955 he
returned to Italy and found that everything was the same
in his home town of Zevelli. He has not returned to
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