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Interview With Aldo Bacci


May 25, 2011


Columbus Centre



Interview With Aldo Bacci

In his interview, Aldo Bacci talks about growing up in the Italian communities of Detroit and Toronto and his experiences as an Italian Canadian during World War II. Aldo’s father, Ruggero Bacci, served in the Italian military, and came to Canada at the age of 17. Ruggero was a member of the Fascist Party, and he remained in close contact with Italy while he was in North America. Ruggero was also a prominent member of many Italian organizations, including the Casa D’Italia. Aldo recalls riding home on the streetcar on June 10, 1940 and hearing about Italy’s war declaration. The same day his father, who was at work, was picked up by the police and eventually interned. Due to his father’s absence Aldo, who had just finished grade 9, had to quit school and start working. His father was released from camp on May 25, 1943 and the same day Aldo was conscripted into the Canadian military. In his interview Aldo also describes the types of discrimination that Italians faced during the war years.

Aldo Bacci passed away on December 24, 2015 in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He is survived by his large and loving family.

In this opening clip Aldo Bacci introduces himself and speaks about his father’s migration from Italy to the United States. He also talks about the time his father spent fighting in the Italian military.

In this clip Aldo Bacci briefly speaks about his parents and life in Detroit.

Aldo Bacci speaks about his mother’s family who immigrated to Montreal.

Aldo Bacci speaks about the Toronto neighbourhood he grew up in.

In this clip Aldo Bacci speaks about the school and church he attended in Toronto.

Aldo Bacci talks about the Florentine Lighting Company, where his father worked prior to World War II.

Aldo Bacci briefly talks about his father’s involvement with the Order Sons of Italy, as well as other social activities that him and his family participated in.

Aldo Bacci discusses the day he found out that Italy had declared war on the Allies and what this meant to him and his family.

Aldo Bacci speaks about being part of the ballilas and learning Italian prior to the war.

In this clip Aldo Bacci talks about being part of an Italian band with his brother. The band was lead by Francesco Busseri who was interned along with Aldo’s father during World War II.

Aldo Bacci recounts the events of June 10, 1940. His father was arrested while at work and taken to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto. At the same time, Aldo’s mother called home and advised Aldo to burn his father’s black shirts.

Aldo Bacci briefly explains what it meant to be a ballila.

Aldo Bacci mentions that his mother had a nervous breakdown after Ruggero Bacci was arrested and placed in an internment camp. He also mentions that he quit school to help support the family.

Aldo Bacci discusses the discrimination he and fellow Italian Canadians in Toronto faced during World War II. While his father Ruggero Bacci was interned he had to quit school to help support the family, however, he had a difficult time finding work due to his Italian name.

Aldo Bacci talks about communicating with his father Ruggero Bacci through letters while he was interned. He also recalls visiting his father at Camp Petawawa in the winter of 1942.

Aldo Bacci speaks about his father’s release from internment and his own service in the Canadian military.

Aldo Bacci discusses his father’s involvement with the fascisti and the Casa d’Italia in Toronto. He also mentions that his mother was designated as an enemy alien during World War II and was required to report monthly to the local authorities.