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     Louie Protti:  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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Louie and his siblings::

  • Sam was about 14 years old when Giovanni died and he went to work. The other three children (Louie was 3yrs old, Victoria was 2yrs old, and John was a newborn) were taken to a boarding school in St. Albert run by the Grey Nuns. John was kept in a ward for babies at the Misericordia Hospital until he was old enough to be moved to the school with his siblings. 
  • Their education was paid by the Canadian Patriotic Fund because their father was in the army. Louie is sorry today that they did not keep the Italian names they had been christened with.
  • In 1927 Louie attended St. John's College on the south side of Edmonton, where he learned French and became bilingual. He graduated from the college in 1934, and started to think about entering the priesthood. He joined the Mission of the Oblates through St. Joseph's Parish, spending three years in Rome, where he attended the Angelico and Gregorian University. It was there that he finally learned to speak Italian.
  • When their Father died, Louie's older brother had to quit school and start work in order to support the family.
  • Church was facilitated by a Father Louis Culerier (known throughout the Coal Branch as Father Louis). 
  • Luigi Del Bosco's family was from the same area of Italy as Louie's family, and were close with his mother. After Luigi took the kids to the St. Albert boarding school, he visited them often. Louie's older brother Sam was working most of the time, so he was unable to visit as often as he would have liked.
  • Growing up in the boarding school was not ideal, but under the circumstances Louie says "it could have been worse." Louie explains that a routine day started with mass, going to classes, and working on the farm.
  • At the boarding school Louie was only allowed to see his sister on special occasions, and even then only with permission. Louie says that the nuns didn't take any time to foster the children's emotional needs. Louie felt like part of a herd of sheep or something.
  • Louie remembers going to school with the Sartor children. He remembers that the French children were given special treatment, and that Indian children were not allowed to eat and sleep in the same room. They did go to classes together though.
  • In later years Louie used to do errands for the nuns. He remembers going to the Post Office in St. Albert. An Italian consular agent, Mr. DeAngelis, used to check on Louie and his siblings regularly because there had been some property left in their names in Italy. Mr. Losa eventually took over that job.
  • Louie was about 13 years old when he left to go to St. John's College, where he was schooled in Latin and Greek. His younger brother and sister stayed in St. Albert. 

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