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Interview With Dom Romeo


December 08, 2010


Columbus Centre



Interview With Dom Romeo

Dom Romeo was born in Calabria on October 9, 1929. He arrived in Canada with his mother, Teresa, and sister, Maria, in 1935. His father was a tailor from Naples who first worked at WR Johnson and then at Eaton’s until his death in 1957. At five years of age Dom arrived by way of ship to New York and then by train to Toronto. As a young boy he went to Grace Street Public School and to Italian school in Toronto. Later Dom went to Central Tech High School and received an education in motor mechanics. Dom started work as a mechanic first for his brother-in-law at Rogers Rd. and Earls Crt., and then at West York Motors where he went into sales. He sold General Motors vehicles for over 60 years. Dom opened a car dealership with a partner in 1970 and after 1978 he worked alone. In his interview Dom recalls how sister went to Italy in 1937 on an Italian government-sponsored trip where she visited Venice, Florence, and Rome. During June 1940, Dom mentioned the arrests of Franceschini, Pasquale, and Fr. Ricardo and of the food preparation at the internment camp. He recounts that the police came to their house several times in 1943, though they did not arrest his father, who had to register monthly.

In this opening clip Dom Romeo introduces himself and speaks about his parents and sister. He also speaks about his father’s migration to Canada in 1921 and how the rest of the family eventually followed in 1935.

Dom Romeo shares his first impressions of Canada and describes the Toronto neighbourhood he grew up in.

Dom Romeo speaks about his schooling and describes the ethnic make-up of his school.

In this clip Dom Romeo describes the arrests of Italian Canadians from his neighbourhood on June 10, 1940. He also describes how these arrests affected the families and the community in general.

Dom Romeo shares stories he has heard about how the internees were fed in the internment camps.

Dom Romeo shares his opinions on the internment of Italian Canadians.

Dom Romeo shares his own family’s experience during WWII and describes how his father had to register with the local RCMP every month.

Dom Romeo recalls an Italian government sponsored trip his sister took to Italy in 1937.

Dom Romeo briefly speaks about when his father stopped reporting to the local RCMP.

Dom Romeo elaborates on how the Italian community reacted to the events of June 10, 1940.

Dom Romeo speaks about redress, as well as the internment of Japanese Canadians.