Default header image

Interview With Mildred Irene Steer


July 20, 2011


Columbus Centre



Interview With Mildred Irene Steer

Mildred Irene Steer talks about her childhood growing up in a working-class neighbourhood in Windsor, ON during World War II. Her father immigrated to Canada at the age of 16, and ultimately opened up a barbershop in Windsor. Mildred talks about how her father had a firm English-only policy within the barbershop, not allowing family members to speak Italian when they were there. At school, Mildred found that Germans and Italians were looked down on, and she was teased throughout grades 9 and 10, by both students and teachers. She left high school to go to business college, and worked at Hiram Walker, where she met her husband. She describes meeting with her future father-in-law for the first time, and hearing him use a derogatory slur at the dinner table, and knowing from that point on that he was prejudiced against Italians. After marriage, she left her job, and dedicated her attention to raising her five children. She remained active within the Catholic Church throughout her life, and participated in the Christian Family Movement.

Mildred Irene Steer introduces herself and speaks about her family and their life in Windsor, ON. She also explains how her father owned and operated a barbershop.

Mildred Irene Steer discusses her father’s migration to Canada and his life in Canada. She then goes on to discuss her father’s business.

Mildred Irene Steer speaks about the Windsor neighbourhood she grew up in.

Mildred Irene Steer speaks about her schooling and speaks about the discrimination she faced due to her Italian heritage.

Mildred Irene Steer shares how she learned about the outbreak of war and mentions that the father of one of her classmates was arrested.

Mildred Irene Steer recalls the Depression.

Mildred Irene Steer speaks about her husband and mentions that his father would often use derogatory names for Italians. She also speaks about her husband’s involvement in the Canadian military, as well as other young men from her high school.

Mildred Irene Steer discusses her involvement with the church and the local church organizations.