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
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
Michetti, 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
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.2
Footnote: Gisella Biollo, Hylo-Venice:
Harvest of Memories (Hylo: Rose Country