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    Domenico Chiarello:  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

A summary of the oral history transcript of Domenico Chiarello in which he discusses coming to Canada and Edmonton, employment, and Italian immigration and associations.

The Journey: 

  • Domenico was 15 years old when he left Naples on the 1st of May, 1924. The next 16 days were spent on the boat before arriving in Halifax on May 17th.
  • From Halifax he spent 5 days and 6 nights on a train before arriving in Edmonton.
  • Upon arriving in Edmonton He and his mother met up with his father, who had come over in 1912. His father was working in a mine on the banks of the North Saskatchewan.


  • Population at that time was roughly 85 000. His family worked in the coal and agriculture industry.
  • He started work in the mine when he was 15 and a half years old. At that time he was the youngest person working the mine.
  • After working in the Callie mine, he went prospecting for coal north of Edmonton with his father.
  • They found a good seam of coal near Legal and started their own mine. They operated this mine for 24 years. During this time they also ran a farm and sold their barley and wheat.
  • After the second world war (1948) they moved back into Edmonton and started the first Italian grocery store in the city. It was called the Venice Grocery on 97th Street and 106 Avenue.

Post War Italian Immigration and Associations:

  • When immigrants arrived he tried to help them out by finding them jobs in Yellowknife and Uranium City.
  • This wave of people had it easier compared to the people that came earlier.
  • Domenico says that there was less than a few hundred Italian families in the city at this time. He loves the way the Italian community has grown over the years.
  • Associations in the 1950's were not formed because there were not enough people.
  • When asked if he would come to Canada and start all over again if given the chance, Domenico says that he would not do it again because the work was too hard and the gain was nothing. His pension amounts to $105.00 a month.
  • In 1955 he returned to Italy and found that everything was the same in his home town of Zevelli. He has not returned to Italy since.


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