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Crow's Nest Pass
Italian Pioneers

Nordegg
Italian Pioneers

Coal Branch
Italian Pioneers

Canmore
Italian Pioneers

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

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  • Giovinazzo Family-George Giovinazzo came to Canada first in 1906 and was joined by his wife Maria Annunziata.  They first went to Toronto, then Guelph and Port Arthur before going to Lethbridge in 1909.  He worked in Lethbridge until 1913 and, then, for 10 years in Cardiff.  When this mine closed in 1923, he moved to Luscar.  The five children (Salvatori, Vincenso, Dominic, Albert, Antonio, Victoria and Violonda) grew up in Luscar (one daughter Rosa Maria) was left in Italy.  He did not encourage his sons to work in the mines.  Dominic owned the Palm Cafe and Confectionery in Luscar with Mrs. Y. McVey. At this confectionary there was also a beauty parlour upstairs run by Rose Onyschuk and a billiard hall and barbershop n the basement managed by Fred O'Reilley. He was also the proprietor of the Luscar Meat Market. All the children were taught to play musical instruments by itinerant teachers. On the closure of the mine, they moved their house, garage and greenhouse to Edmonton where Mr. George Giovinazzo and his daughter Violonda lived.  See Lethbridge Region profile for other Giovinazzo family information.
     
  • Peter Laghi-He was one of three miners who escaped death on August 7th, 1942 when a torrent of water broke through panel pillars from an old mine working in Cadomin killing five miners. He testified in an inquiry.
     
  • Thomas Lornoda-He was the camp cook at Mercoal who on November 11th, 1931 froze his ear to the wall of his tent; uncertain whether this is an Italian name.
     
  • John Luccini-John was a pallbearer for the funeral of Dan Spinazzi and the two other miners killed in the methane gas explosion on the last working day in 1939.
     
  • Alex Marconi-Alex was killed at the Foothills mine when pinned under a fall of coal; he was a bachelor.
     
  • J. Mossotti-This individual was a member of the Executive of the 1917 Cross Club of Mountain Park (supporters of the Hon. O.C.W. Cross).
     
  • H. Natta-This individual was a member of the Executive of the 1917 Cross Club of Mountain Park (supporters of the Hon. O.C.W. Cross); uncertain whether this is an Italian name.
     
  • Max Ongaro-Max was a pallbearer for the funeral of Dan Spinazzi and the two other miners killed in the methane gas explosion on the last working day in 1939.
     
  • John Passamero-John was a pallbearer for the funeral of Dan Spinazzi and the two other miners killed in the methane gas explosion on the last working day in 1939.
     
  • Protti [first name unknown]-He played for the Luscar Indians Intermediate Hockey Team in 1940.
     
  • Louis Raffin-Louis was a pallbearer for the funeral of Dan Spinazzi and the two other miners killed in the methane gas explosion on the last working day in 1939.  Louis moved to the mines in the Crowsnest Pass, followed by his wife, Emilia, a few months later with their newborn daughter. They lived in the small town of Hillcrest.  Mrs. Raffin (sister of Mrs. Dotto)  contributes to the Dotto oral history in the Oral History Projects section of this website.
     
  • Peter Raimondo-Peter worked at the Yellowhead Mine and testified when Mine Manager Donald McKay was killed by a fall of coal on April 11th, 1917.
     
  • Otto Sando-Otto was one of three men burned as a result of a gas ignition at the mine in Mercoal; uncertain whether this is an Italian name.
     
  • Dan Spinazzi-Dan was one of three men killed on the last working day of 1939 when a methane gas explosion trapped miners in the Cadomin mine; six others were injured. He was a bachelor.
     
  • John Vadrasco-John was a pallbearer for the funeral of Dan Spinazzi and the two other miners killed in the methane gas explosion on the last working day in 1939.
     
  • Alex Valla-Alex appeared to work at Cadomin and is quoted as saying that "they [the miners] made 56 cents a ton and many men made up to $4,000 per year."

 

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