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     Home > People > Oral History Projects > Italians Settle in Edmonton Project >
     Sam Scrivano > Oral History Transcript Summary

     Sam Scrivano:  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


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  • The first impression of Edmonton must have been terrible: Edmonton was a little town and in January, not really inviting. The sister Assunta did mention the cold, but for Sam it was difficult to imagine just how cold!
     
  • There were not many Italians in Edmonton, about 10 - 15 families. Another Italian grocery was run by Franco Romeo. Other stores that Sam recalls were Eaton's, Hudson Bay and Safeway.
     
  • Sam did not find work right away, so he was helping his sister in making cheese. For this reason he went to Calgary to work on a dairy farm for 4 months.
     
  • His brother in law was working at the CNR. At the first opportunity, he called Sam. Sam got the job and started working for the company for 42 years.
    His first work was laborer, then he become inspector on the trains, then assistant mechanic, and finally mechanic. His first salary was .39 cents.
     
  • In 1925 he went back to Italy to visit his family. Here he met a young woman, Maria, and they married. The couple had a simple ceremony with friends and relatives.
     
  • They came back in Edmonton, at first they lived with his sister. Later they rented a bigger house, and in 1954 they bought their first house with $3,400.00.
     
  • The family was growing; there were 2 girls (Iola and Elda) and 1 boy (Mario).
    They went to school at The Sacred Heart and St. Joseph at the time the schools were ran by nuns.
     
  • Their life was normal: the girls finished grade 12 and went to work for a doctor, Mario continued his study and eventually became a manager of a bank.
     
    Edmonton was transforming in a bigger city and the Italian community was growing.
     
  • The family did not suffer any discrimination, only during the war Sam experienced a few problems. His co-workers, the majority of Scottish heritage, made a petition to have him out of the CNR. They were accusing him of having sympathies for Mussolini. The boss did not accept the petition.
     
  • Sam never regretted coming to Canada: he had a future for his children.
    During the years he sponsored a sister in law, and a cousin.
     
  • Now retired (1983) Sam spent his time playing cards and looking after the garden. His wife and one daughter are dead.

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