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     Edmonton:  Italian Pioneers

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Early Years

 World War I and
Interwar Period

World War II
and After

  Cultural Life


 Population Statistics

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.

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  • Franca, and sons Ernest Rodolfo (Rudy), and Paul Cavaliere-Rudy Cavaliere pictured at the Father Giovanni Bonelli 80th birthday party, Santa Maria Goretti Centre, July, 2002.  Photo courtesy of Carlo AmodioShe came to Canada going to Kapuskasing, Ontario, in 1959 where they met up with her husband Ugo. She then moved to Edmonton to join her parents Paul and Teresa Veltri, in 1960. Franca worked as a seamstress at GWG, then at a drapery company. Carpentry was in the Cavaliere family background, and before Franca's son Rudy became a teacher he worked at Alberta Motor Boat Co. repairing and storing boats.

  • S. (Joe) Centazzo-S. Centazzo testified in Edmonton at the Coal Mining Industry Commission in 1919.  He said that he was an unemployed miner and was 23 years old and single.  He had come to Canada from London, England, and was a member of the One Big Union.  He indicated that he had worked in mines all over Alberta and most recently had worked at the Humberstone Mine.  According to Enrico Butti, Joe lived in the Ross Flats from 1913-20. He was a Bolshevik and had a chicken farm in Beverly. Joe used to preach Bolshevism, in broken English, atop a crate at the Old Market Square where the Edmonton Public Library now stands. It's said that at his funeral his coffin was draped with the Red Flag of the Revolution.
  • Domenico Chiarello-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.He and his mother then took a train to Edmonton to meet up with his father. Domenico found work in the coal mines in Edmonton River Valley and Legal, and eventually operated his own mine for 24 years before opening up the first Italian Grocery store in Edmonton in 1948. The Venice Confectionery was located on 97th Street and 106A Avenue. He married Nell Anselmo. She met Domenico on the farm. Her brother was friends with Domenico. They knew each other for 12 years before they got married. Nella came to Canada when she was 19 years old.
  • Giuseppe and Pietro Chiesa-These brothers settled in the Edmonton area. Giuseppe Chiesa cooked in Sault-Ste-Marie before 1920 and then was an assistant baker at the MacDonald Hotel in Edmonton.
  • Francesco Cichetti-Came to Edmonton from Piedmont.
  • Peppino and Giulia (nee Vannone) Ciochetti-Florenzo Comin pictured with Luigi Biamonte in front of their barbershop.  Photo courtesy of the Biamonte family and the Italians Settle in Edmonton Oral History Project and booklet of the same name.Both of these families were pioneers. 
  • Florenzo (Florindo) Comin-He operated the Venice Barber Shop on 97th Street with Luigi Biamonte.
  • Pietro Colbertaldo-He was a watchmaker on Jasper Avenue. Later he went to Italy for consular training, and became Consul in Winnipeg in 1937.  He was on of the nearly 700 Italians interned by the Canadian government when Mussolini declared war on Canada in 1940.
  • Pietro (Peter) D'Amico-He operated a grocery store that also served as a gathering place for miners.
  • Giuseppe D'Appolonia-He was a baker at the MacDonald Hotel.
  • Arduino D'Appolonia-He was a priest.
  • Del Bosco- Four Del Bosco brothers emigrated to Canada from San Quirini, Province of Pordennone. They were Luigi, Celeste, Joseph and Federico. In 1916 Luigi worked in the mines with the Sartors.
  • Domenico De Filippi-He managed his own apartment buildings.
  • Francesco and Ermelinda De Filippo-No information found regarding them.
  • Luigi DeLuca-He was from Abruzzo, and had a confectionery in front and a dance hall in the back at 116 St. and Jasper Avenue. During the War Luigi made lots of money because the Americans were here.
  • Luigi Dini-He operated the Hotel Roma on Jasper Avenue and 96th Street.

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Copyright © 2002 Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D. and The Heritage Community Foundation

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