Giovanni Paron was born on the 23rd of June, 1892 in Val da Sone, a town in Pordenone
province of the Friuli region of Italy. He came to Canada when he was 14 years old
to join his brothers who worked the coal mines in Michel, B.C., in the Crowsnest Pass area
of the Rockies, just west of the Alberta/B.C. border. One of his brothers came over
in 1903 and was a first-hand witness of the famous Frank slide.
Giovanni learned to play trumpet and traveled the countryside with an Italian music
band. When the other members of the band decided to go to the States, Giovanni moved
to Cutknife, Saskatchewan. From there he sent to his home town in Italy for a 'mail
order bride' - based on a picture his sister had sent. They got married in 1921 in
Blairmore, Alberta since Cutknife had no church, and spent 40 years together before his
wife, Innes, died. They had one son, who Giovanni personally delivered, and
one daughter. The first 25 years of their marriage were spent homesteading near
Cutknife, where other Italian families settled and where Giovanni helped build an Italian
He also helped build another church, Santa Maria Goretti in Edmonton,
Alberta. Because of an acquaintanceship with a Mr. Butti in
Edmonton, Giovanni and his family moved there, eventually owning and
Industrial Machine Shop.
The interview was conducted by Carmela Marino and Anna Bruni for the 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
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