December 14, 2011
Interview With Karen Orlando & Paul Cozzi
This interview is with cousins Paul Cozzi (born September 11, 1942 in Canada) and Karen Orlando (born June 24, 1954 in Canada). Paul and Karen’s grandparents were Eliseo and Maria Orlando. The Orlandos moved to Canada in 1920, with their seven year old daughter, Lidia (Paul’s mom). Lidia’s two brothers were both born in Toronto ― Italo and Roy (Karen’s dad). Eliseo and Maria worked as tailors in a clothing shop in Toronto. When Italy declared war on Great Britain and France in 1940, Eliseo, Italo, and Roy, were all arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Italo and Roy were arrested at Melbourne Collegiate where they were students at the time. All three were held at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds before being taken to Petawawa. Roy is on record as being the youngest person held at Petawawa. He was 17 at the time of his arrest. The family has a number of pieces of wooden furniture that Eliseo carved during his time at Petawawa. Paul and Karen talk about the importance of learning about their roots. Both, at the time of the video, were in the process of receiving their Italian citizenships.
Paul Cozzi and Karen Orlando speak about their grandparents and parents and the Orlando family’s migration to Canada.
Paul Cozzi and Karen Orlando discuss the Toronto neighbourhood their grandparents settled in.
Karen Orlando and Paul Cozzi share that their grandparents worked as tailors when they settled in Toronto.
In this clip Karen Orlando speaks about her parents, describing how they met and eventually married.
In this clip Karen Orlando speaks about her father Roy Orlando and shares memories from her childhood.
Paul Cozzi speaks about his father and his migration to and settlement in Toronto. He goes on to speak about family life and shares his father’s experiences during WWII serving in the Canadian army.
Paul Cozzi continues to speak about his parents and family life after the war.
Paul Cozzi recounts the arrest of his grandfather and uncles during WWII based on the account provided to them by Toni Ciccarelli.
Paul Cozzi speaks about the desk his grandfather created in the camp and recalls how he found a deed in the desk many years later that shed light on how the family was treated by the government during the internment.
Karen Orlando discusses how she learned about the internment of her father, uncle and grandfather. She then goes on to speak about the objects her grandfather created while he was interned.
Karen Orlando and Paul Cozzi discuss the internment of Eliso, Italo and Roy Orlando.
Paul Cozzi speaks about his mother’s denial of her Italian birth during WWII.
Paul Cozzi and Karen Orlando speak about the lives of their interned family members after the war.