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Interview With Geno Scattolon


June 22, 2011


Columbus Centre



Interview With Geno Scattolon

Geno Victor Scattolon was born on September 4, 1928 in Dominion, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. His father, Romano Scattolon, a miner, was arrested on June 10, 1940, and was detained in Sydney Jail. He was then sent to Camp Petawawa in Ontario where he was interned for 27 months. Geno was just 12 years old at the time when his father was taken away. In this interview, Geno recalls how hard it was for his family (especially his mother) during his father’s absence. His oldest brother was forced to take up the reins of the household, while his uncle looked out for them. For the most part the Scattolons were not mistreated by their community, except for a couple of incidents which Geno recounts. The first was a confrontation between his uncle and a customer at the family’s small business and the second was a fight Geno had with another boy at the local pool hall. Geno also talks a little about his political views regarding the then Minister of Justice, Louis St. Laurent, and the Liberal Party.

In this opening clip Geno Scattolon introduces himself and briefly speaks about his family.

Geno Scattolon briefly speaks about the school he attended in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

In this clip Geno Scattolon shares memories from his childhood. He also speaks about the ethnic make-up of his neighbourhood and the organizations that he was a part of.

Geno Scattolon recalls that there was very little fascist activity in his neighbourhood growing up.

Geno Scattolon recalls the day his father was arrested by the RCMP and taken to Sydney Jail.

Geno Scattolon briefly speaks about his father’s internment in Petawawa and mentions that his father did not talk about the experience once he returned home.

Geno Scattolon talks about the men that his father knew in the internment camp. He also mentions that his father was not mistreated and spent a lot of time working in the woods.

Geno Scattolon describes how his family coped in his father’s absence.

In this clip Geno Scattolon elaborates on how his family coped while his father was away at the internment camp.

Geno Scattolon describes the support his mother received from extended family members and some community members.

Geno Scattolon talks about the items his father brought home with him from the internment camp.

Geno Scattolon describes his father’s return home.

Geno Scattolon talks about having to readjust to having his father in the house after his long absence. He also mentions that his father was not able to return to work in the mines and was hired to work in the steel plant.

Geno Scattolon mentions that his father became the president of the Italian Community Hall within a couple of years of his release from camp.

Geno Scattolon shares his feelings about how the Italians and Japanese were treated by the government during World War II.

Geno Scattolon recalls a fight he was involved in at a local pool hall during the war years.

In closing Geno Scattolon reflects on the internment period.