by Mary Doyle
| Page 3
Mr. Biollo was one of the members who
organized and arranged for the McArthur Inn in Lac La Biche
to be purchased for a conversion to a hospital - St.
In 1925, Mr. Biollo was sentenced to two
years in an Athabasca election mix-up. He served eight
months in Prince Albert. During that time, he hired
his niece from Edmonton to run the store in Venice.
In 1927, O.J. Biollo bought a two-door Model
T Ford. Also in the summer of 1927, a parish hall was
built. Materials were donated by Mr. Biollo.
Labour was voluntarily supplied by members of the
parish. Mrs. Biollo, with six of the children, moved
to Edmonton to run the store at 96 Street and 98
Avenue. They lived in quarters above the store.
In October of this year, Valentina (Valley), the oldest
daughter, died at the age of 19. In December, a son,
Valentino, was born. The business did not
prosper. Mrs. Biollo and the children returned to
Venice in July 1928. All family business in Edmonton
came to an end.
Due to the below cost of farming, the
Depression hit many farmers. Many families had to seek
government assistance. A sum, consisting of $5 to $14,
was allocated to each applicant. Mr. Biollo
experienced financial difficulty in operating the store in
Venice during the Great Depression.
In 1929, Mr. Biollo became a road
foreman. A bridge across the narrows of Lake Missawawi
was started, but not completed until 1931. In 1930,
Mr. Biollo traded his Model T for a Chrysler Coach. In
1934, Mr. Biollo had a new store built close to the old one
In 1936, Mr. Biollo got the position of Road
Supervisor with the provincial government for an improvement
district area in Venice, Lac La Biche and the Plamondon
area. The job paid $4 per day, plus $3 per day expense
allowance. This job took him away from home much of
the time. He held this position for two years.
Mr. Biollo's motto in supervising road building was to
build in a straight line. Muskeg, sand or hills were
no deterrents. Many straight stretches of road in the
area still attest to this undertaking.
In October of 1940, Mr. Biollo was interned
because of his involvement in the Italian Society. He
was picked up by Corporal Fielding of the RCMP and given
about ten minutes to arrange his affairs. He was taken
to Camp Kananaskis in Seebe, Alberta. Later, he was
sent to Camp Petawawa in Ontario. In December, 1940,
the Canadian government changed the law for the RCMP to
follow. A trial was now necessary before
internship. Mr. Biollo was released from Camp Petawawa
and returned home in September of 1941.
At this time, Mr. Biollo had title to two
quarter sections and interest in a quarter section not as
yet patented. Two hundred and fifty acres were under
cultivation. Mr. Biollo, with three of his sons,
worked the land.
Marital problems became critical. Mrs.
Biollo remained in Venice and operated the store, but Mr.
Biollo left Venice in 1943 and went to Edmonton, where he secured
the position of night clerk at the Ritz Hotel. He had
a home built, where he lived with his daughter and several
sons. In 1953, Mr. Biollo went to Venice and reopened
the store. This was not successful, so he returned to
Edmonton for the last time in 1954. Mr. Biollo died on May 27, 1963 in St.
Joseph's Hospital, from acute pneumonia. It was his
80th birthday. He is remembered by his family as a
warm, loving and caring father. Mrs. Biollo died in
Edmonton on May 21, 1967. Mr. and Mrs. Biollo are
buried in the Venice Catholic Church Cemetery. [<<previous]
Listen to Oral History |
Read Summary of Transcript
| Read Short Biography
Reprinted from "Hylo-Venice
Harvest of Memories" by the Hylo-Venice History Book
Committee, with permission
from the editor.