Written by Lauren Prezio
By providing individuals such as Romana Prezio with a platform to share their unique stories of immigration to Canada, a moment of history can be acknowledged and shared with a wider audience.
Romana Prezio was interviewed on October 11th, 2021 where she was given the opportunity to speak about her journey as she reminisced through looking at old photographs from her personal archive. Following the completion of the interview, an academic poster project was created to present the significant details of Romana’s immigration experience. Additionally, a version of the academic poster can be found on ThingLink where readers have the option to hear the poster read aloud and view the sections with a closer look. All of these creations can be found below for direct viewing. Romana Prezio was born on May 30th, 1938 in Pietracamela, Abruzzo, Italy. However, she left this small town in March of 1950 to make her way to Ontario, Canada where she has permanently resided ever since.
On October 11th, 2021 Romana Prezio was interviewed by Lauren Prezio from her home in Collingwood, Ontario. Romana begins by explaining how she left Italy at the young age of 11 years old to be with her father that had been in Canada already for a few years. She boarded the ocean liner in Naples in March of 1950 and off she went with her mother, grandmother and three sisters until they finally arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia after a long and rocky trip. Once reconnecting with her father Adolfo, Romana and her family were complete once more. Over the course of the interview, we learn about her struggles being a new immigrant to Canada and the major differences she endured upon leaving Pietracamela. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the interview however is her answer to “where is home for you?” to which Romana immediately says Canada, although she will never forget her roots.
The interview transcript can be found by clicking the link below where readers can listen to all the details on video.
Link to the Interview, “The One We Call Romana”: https://youtu.be/4sAsyUYXgsU
This academic poster was created upon finishing the video for Romana’s interview. The poster describes aspects of Romana’s journey to Canada, in which readers first learn about her place of birth and how sharing her story will reach a greater audience and perhaps encourage others to share their immigration stories too. Note that all images on the poster are from the private collection of Romana Prezio and permission was given to share pieces of her archive. Then methods explains the type of interview, followed by the type and amount of questions asked in this semi-structural interview. These details of the interview can be found under the “Materials & Methods” heading. In the results section, some of Romana’s fondest memories are shared, which is quite the treat. Under “Conclusions & Recommendations” section there is a discussion surrounding future implications and the importance of sharing immigration stories. The references include areas for more reading on the topic of Italian-Canadian immigration, as well as a link to the interview video. Contact information can be found at the bottom right for those who wish to follow up with the author and interviewer. The poster is part of the Quiet Immigrant Project: Femmine Forti, curated by Laura Libralato, Columbus Centre, Toronto (April 24, 2022-June 26, 2022).
In addition, there is the option for readers to view the academic poster via ThingLink to clearly see the sections on the poster up close and with the option to hear the paragraphs read aloud.
Link to ThingLink version of the poster is forthcoming in 2022.
All photographs included have been approved for sharing from the private collection of Romana Prezio.
Prezio, Lauren. “Personal Interview of Romana Prezio: The One We Call Romana.” YouTube. 11 October 2021. https://youtu.be/4sAsyUYXgsU; access at Italian Communities in Canada: Heritage, Cultural and Ethnographic Studies as of December 2021, www.italianheritage.ca.
Prezio, Lauren. “The Story of an Italian Canadian Immigrant: The One We Call Romana.” In Italian Communities in Canada: Heritage, Cultural and Ethnographic Studies, suprv. Teresa Russo. University of Guelph: 26 October 2021, Guelph (academic poster, www.italianheritage.ca).
How to cite this page:
MLA STYLE: Author. “Title.” Title of container, Other contributors, Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors.
Prezio, Lauren. “The Story of an ITalian Canadian Immigrant: Romana Prezio.” In Italian Communities in Canada: Heritage, Cultural and Ethnographic Studies, suprv. Teresa Russo. University of Guelph: December 2, 2021, Guelph (add URL). Italian-Canadian Narratives Showcase (ICNS), Sandra Parmegiani and Kyra Bates.