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by Mary Doyle

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Mr. Biollo was one of the members who organized and arranged for the McArthur Inn in Lac La Biche to be purchased for a conversion to a hospital - St. Catherine's Hospital.

In 1925, Mr. Biollo was sentenced to two years in an Athabasca election mix-up.  He served eight months in Prince Albert.  During that time, he hired his niece from Edmonton to run the store in Venice.

Biollo DescendantsIn 1927, O.J. Biollo bought a two-door Model T Ford.  Also in the summer of 1927, a parish hall was built.  Materials were donated by Mr. Biollo.  Labour was voluntarily supplied by members of the parish.  Mrs. Biollo, with six of the children, moved to Edmonton to run the store at 96 Street and 98 Avenue.  They lived in quarters above the store.  In October of this year, Valentina (Valley), the oldest daughter, died at the age of 19.  In December, a son, Valentino, was born.  The business did not prosper.  Mrs. Biollo and the children returned to Venice in July 1928.  All family business in Edmonton came to an end.

Due to the below cost of farming, the Depression hit many farmers.  Many families had to seek government assistance.  A sum, consisting of $5 to $14, was allocated to each applicant.  Mr. Biollo experienced financial difficulty in operating the store in Venice during the Great Depression.

In 1929, Mr. Biollo became a road foreman.  A bridge across the narrows of Lake Missawawi was started, but not completed until 1931.  In 1930, Mr. Biollo traded his Model T for a Chrysler Coach.  In 1934, Mr. Biollo had a new store built close to the old one in Venice. 

In 1936, Mr. Biollo got the position of Road Supervisor with the provincial government for an improvement district area in Venice, Lac La Biche and the Plamondon area.  The job paid $4 per day, plus $3 per day expense allowance.  This job took him away from home much of the time.  He held this position for two years.  Mr. Biollo's  motto in supervising road building was to build in a straight line.  Muskeg, sand or hills were no deterrents.  Many straight stretches of road in the area still attest to this undertaking.

In October of 1940, Mr. Biollo was interned because of his involvement in the Italian Society.  He was picked up by Corporal Fielding of the RCMP and given about ten minutes to arrange his affairs.  He was taken to Camp Kananaskis in Seebe, Alberta.  Later, he was sent to Camp Petawawa in Ontario.  In December, 1940, the Canadian government changed the law for the RCMP to follow.  A trial was now necessary before internship.  Mr. Biollo was released from Camp Petawawa and returned home in September of 1941.

At this time, Mr. Biollo had title to two quarter sections and interest in a quarter section not as yet patented. Two hundred and fifty acres were under cultivation.  Mr. Biollo, with three of his sons, worked the land.  

Biollo Family Descendants.  Photo courtesy of the Biollo-Doyle family.Marital problems became critical.  Mrs. Biollo remained in Venice and operated the store, but Mr. Biollo left Venice in 1943 and went to Edmonton, where he secured the position of night clerk at the Ritz Hotel.  He had a home built, where he lived with his daughter and several sons.  In 1953, Mr. Biollo went to Venice and reopened the store.  This was not successful, so he returned to Edmonton for the last time in 1954. Mr. Biollo died on May 27, 1963 in St. Joseph's Hospital, from acute pneumonia.  It was his 80th birthday.  He is remembered by his family as a warm, loving and caring father.  Mrs. Biollo died in Edmonton on May 21, 1967.  Mr. and Mrs. Biollo are buried in the Venice Catholic Church Cemetery. [<<previous]

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Reprinted from "Hylo-Venice Harvest of Memories" by the Hylo-Venice History Book Committee, with permission from the editor. 

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