Gus was born in Edmonton in 1915. His parents came to Canada
in 1914. They lived in Edmonton until he was six months old,
then moved to Pocahontas, then moved to Brule and stayed there
until 1928. After that his dad took the family down to Edson
for nine months while he worked in the mines at Cadomin. After
nine months in Edson, the family moved up to Cadomin until the
mines closed. His wife Assunta was born in 1922, in a small
place near Valvazone. She went to school there with her five
sisters. Her father was already in Canada farming. In 1939
Assunta, her mother, and three of her sisters made the move to
Canada. Gus and Assunta got engaged (1942-43) while he was in
the army. They married in 1945. Assunta's sister, Emilia
Raffin, also made the journey to Canada, and is featured in the
interview. When she arrived in the Edmonton area she took work
in a hotel and rooming house in the mining town of Cadomin.
Emilia says she made more money in a week in Canada than she was
able to make in a month in Italy, and she got to be at home with
her family every night.
The interview was conducted by Carmela Marino and Anna Bruni
Italians Settle in Edmonton Project in 1983 resulting in the
commemorative booklet of the same name.
This was a 25th anniversary project of the Santa Maria
Goretti Parish. A Society was set up and a committee struck to
undertake the research. The President was Frank Sdao and the
research was led by Dr. Adriana Albi Davies.
Assunta Dotto: Oral History Excerpts
Gus Dotto describes the isolation between the towns of the
Coal Branch as compared to the ease of access between the
towns in the
Crowsnest Pass, where sister-in-law Emilia
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