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With the declaration of war by Italy on Canada, Mr. Butti mentions that he was investigated because he was President of the Italian Society in Edmonton. He had assumed that, because he was under 21 that he had become a Canadian citizen when his Father did in the early 1920s. The RCMP informed him that this was not so and he was told that he could not leave town. He pointed out that his work as an electrician required him to travel around the Province and, eventually, they turned a blind eye and let him get on with his business. He talks about individuals wearing black shirts and the Fascist rosette on their lapels in Edmonton.

In Venice, this was felt even more strongly. Mr. Bonifacio notes:

With Italy becoming allied with Germany the ghost of the Fascist in Venice is resurrected, and opens up a can of worms. Someone reported to the R.C.M.P. in Lac La Biche that the party had existed in Venice, and that led to an investigation by the police. Although the party had ceased to exist for many years, the police located records that Mr. Coli in Hylo still had and some of the names led to the arrest of O.J. Biollo first. He was taken to Calgary and sent to a concentration camp in Kananaskis. A short time later Rudolph Mr. Antonio Rebaudengo in the Kananaskis, Alberta, internment camp in 1941.  While a supporter of Mussolini and responsible for setting up Fascist societies, there is no evidence that he was a risk to Canadian security.  Photo courtesy of Glenbow NA-5124-22Michetti, Augusto Marini, Efisio Manca, and Joe Michetti were arrested and taken to Edmonton, and after a hearing the three were sent home only Rudolph was sent to Kananaskis to keep O.J. Biollo company. A short time later they were transferred to a camp in Petawawa Ontario. At this camp they were among German and Italian prisoners of war. Mr. Biollo suffered from severe bronchitis all his life so he was assigned to light duty in the compound, but Rudolph along with other prisoners were taken daily with trucks escorted by armed guards to the forest to cut down tress that were to be used as mine props.1

Gisella Biollo in her profile of Guiseppe and Filomena Michetti, Rudolph Michetti's parents, in the Hylo-Venice history book provides more details.  She writes:

November 25, 1925-Pietro Colbertaldo [from Edmonton], Antonio Rebaudengo and Gafolla from the Fascist headquarters in Calgary, came to Venice and the fascio de Venice was officially organized.  It was like a club where the members met once in a while as a get-together with never any harm done.  Although the organization was allowed in peace time, during the war it was considered a threat to the Allies.

October 10, 1940-O.J. Biollo, a member of the Fascist Party, was arrested by R.C.M.P. Corporal Fielding and sent to concentration camp without trial to Kananaskis, near Calgry, for a while and then to Petawawa, Ontario, where he stayed eleven months.

December 13, 1940-Rudolf Michetti, President of the Fascio of Venice, his father Joe Michetti, who was taken from a sick bed after an operation, Efisio Manca and A. Marini, who were also members, were arrested by Corporal Fielding and sent to Edmonton, where they had a trial.  By now, the government had changed the laws for the R.C.M.P. where they could not send a man to concentration camp without a trial.  All came back except Rudolf Michetti, who is sent to Kananaskis and then to Petawawa, Ontario, where he stayed ten months, leaving a pregnant wife and five children with no support, in poverty.

Footnote:  Gisella Biollo, Hylo-Venice:  Harvest of Memories (Hylo:  Rose Country Communications, 2000).

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