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    Joe Fabbri:  Oral History Transcript Summary

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Louis (Luigi)

Mike Biollo

Father Giovanni

Camillo Bridarolli

Mr. & Mrs. Henry

John Camarta

Domenico Chiarello

Joe Fabbri

Mario Grassi

Victor Losa

Filomena Michetti

Mrs. Mamie Meardi

Tony Nimis

Giorgio W. &
Norma Pocaterra

Mr. & Mrs. John

Romano Tedesco &
Mrs. Irma Giacobbo

Angelo Toppano

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Italian Community:

  • Joe says that at the time of his arrival in 1925, the Italian community in Lethbridge consisted of about 30 families.
  • They formed an Italian Society that had meetings and dances. These dances helped people connect with one another. The society would also help people out in times of need. For example, people paid $3.00 a month to be a member, and if they got sick and could not work, the society would give them a dollar a day. If that person was sick for too long, then they could turn to the Head Lodge, located in Fernie B.C., for more funds until they recovered and were able to work again.
  • Italians from other communities like Coleman would come to Lethbridge for dances as well.
  • Joe explains that this first club evolved into another because some of the younger people thought that the first club was made up of facists, and did not want to be associated with them. Joe and three of his friends formed a new lodge/club called The Italian Canadian Club in 1948.
  • The new club had 75 members at their first dance, and grew to about 150 members by their fourth or fifth dance. They also had picnics and festivals for the kids. Eventually the first club was dissolved and all those people joined the new one.

Representative of Vice Consul:

  • Joe talks about serving as a representative for the Vice Consul of Calgary for six years. He would go to the CPR station to meet new Italian immigrants and help them adjust to Canadian life.
  • Joe says that the immigrants that came after the 2nd World War faced fewer difficulties than he faced when he arrived.

Going Home:

  • Joe says that he is glad he came to Canada and that if he had to do it all over again, he would.
  • Joe took his son back to his hometown in 1950, after being away for 25 years. He describes some of the changes he observed while there.
  • He returned again in 1968 and talks about how the standard of living is much higher than it was in 1950.


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