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A summary of the oral history transcript of Silvio Tona
in which he discusses growing up in Italy and making the
move to Canada.
Life in Italy :
- Silvio was born in Villa di Tirano [province, Sondrio;
region, Lombardia] on the 27th of June, 1900.
- His mother had 4 children, and she died in 1903 when
Silvio was just 3 years old. He had 3 brothers
- He lived in a little farm house, and cultivated wild
grapes, wheat, and corn. They also had cattle, so they
made their own cheese and butter. His father worked the
farm all his life except for a 3 year stint in the army.
- Silvio went to school until he was 14 years old, and
then World War I started. He finished elementary school,
which is grade 5 in Italy.
- He served in the army from 23rd of March 1918, until
February of 1919 when he was discharged. Then he joined
the 'costume guards' for the next 3 years.
- As a child, when he wasn't in school, he would do
chores around the farm. Thursday and Sunday were days off
from school. He usually went to church on Sundays.
- Recreational activities he remembers are hunting and
- After his mother died an aunt took care of him until
his father remarried.
- During the war Silvio never saw action. When asked
about his feelings regarding the war, he claims he was too
young to understand these things. He does remember roads
littered with empty ammunition cartridges, and dead horses
still attached to wagons.
- Prominence in his community was represented by cars.
Only two people had cars at the time, one being Silvio's
godfather, who was a wine merchant, the other being a
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