May 02, 2011
Interview 1 With Phyllis Morreale & Rita Morreale
In this interview, Phyllis Morreale and her daughter, Rita, describe living in the Barton and Sherman area of Hamilton during and after World War II. Phyllis’ father, Luigi Mascia, was interned at Camp Petawawa for 22 months. Phyllis was engaged to be married, and when Luigi was arrested, she had to postpone her wedding. In order to get Luigi out of the camp, Phyllis’ mother had to pay a large fee, which Rita and Phyllis describe as extortion. They talk about women with large families who were left with nothing after their husbands were interned, and describe the experiences of Italian Canadians who had to register with the government every day or every week. They also talk about the discrimination Italians faced during that era, when it was difficult to get a job or buy real estate in certain areas. After the war, Rita describes how members of the Italian community began to build up the construction industry in Hamilton. They both describe how Luigi and the other internees rarely talked about their experiences in the camp after the war, preferring to return to their lives as they were before. The Morreales also show a portrait of Luigi that was painted while he was interned.
In this opening clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale introduce themselves and speak about early life in the Barton and Sherman area of Hamilton.
In this clip Phyllis Morreale describes the arrest of her father, Luigi Mascia, on June 10, 1940. She also talks about going to see her father while he was detained in Toronto.
Phyllis Morreale mentions that she had to postpone her wedding due to her father’s internment. She also mentions that the family travelled to Ottawa where they paid a large sum of money to have her father released.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale describe how the local Italian Canadian families supported each other during the internment period.
Rita Morreale discusses how many of the men were interned due to their involvement in the various Italian clubs in Hamilton. She also mentions that there were Italian Canadian men who were fighting in the Canadian military even though their parents were enemy aliens.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale discuss how the families in Hamilton survived in the absence of the interned men.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale describe Luigi Mascia’s return home.
In this clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale mention that once the men returned home from the camps they did not speak about the internment and chose to move on with their lives instead. The women also speak about redress and compare the internment to the experience of the Japanese Canadians.
Rita Morreale discusses how the RCMP searched their home for anything to link her grandfather to the fascists but that they did not confiscate any property.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale discuss how many of the Italian Canadian men found success in the construction business in the years after the war.
In this clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about the inconsistent report protocol for those declared enemy aliens.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale display and speak about the portrait of their father that was created in Petawawa by fellow internee Vincenzo Poggi.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale briefly share what they know about life in the internment camp.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about Luigi Mascia’s early life, his life after his release from camp and his resilience.
In this clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale describe how Luigi Mascia maintained friendships with some of the interned men after their release.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about Luigi Mascia’s grocery business which he opened after his release from the internment camp.
Rita Morreale mentions how the men did not want to talk about their internment experience and did not keep any mementos from that period.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale discuss how they were not given any reason for Luigi Mascia’s arrest.
In this clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale mention that Luigi Mascia was a Canadian citizen at the time of his arrest.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale share their feelings on the internment period.
In this final clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale reflect on the Italian Canadian community in Hamilton in the years prior to the war.
August 09, 2011
Interview 2 With Phyllis Morreale & Rita Morreale
In a follow-up to their first interview, Phyllis Morreale, and her daughter, Rita Morreale, talk about their experiences living in Hamilton during World War II. Phyllis’ father, Luigi Mascia, was interned at Petawawa. Phyllis postponed her marriage for a year while her father was in the internment camp. When the police came for Luigi, the police barged into his home, took his papers, and arrested him. Phyllis describes the experience of getting her father out of the internment camp. After Luigi was interned, Phyllis and her mother were contacted by a man who said he could get Luigi out of the internment camp for a $5000 fee. They paid the fee and went with the man to Ottawa. He told them that Luigi would be home in a week’s time. The same process was repeated with Phyllis’ uncle, Sabatino (Sam) Bartolini, who was also interned. Rita and Phyllis discuss how the Canadian government’s policies affected other members of their community, including Italians who lost their jobs, and those who had to register every week while their children served in the Canadian forces. They also talk about their lives in Hamilton after the war.
In this opening clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale describe the Hamilton neighbourhood they grew up in.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale speak about Phyllis’ parents migration to Canada and their early life in Canada.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale describe the day that Luigi Mascia was arrested and talk about visiting him at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds in Toronto.
Phyllis Morreale describes what it was like to see her father detained in Toronto.
In this clip Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about paying money to have Luigi Mascia released from the internment camp.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about the families they knew from the Hamilton area who were affected by the internment.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale share their opinions on the internment of Italian Canadians by the Canadian government.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale talk about the local Italian Canadian men who were fighting in the Canadian military while their parents were declared enemy aliens and required to report monthly to the RCMP.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale speak about the use of informants by the RCMP in Hamilton.
Phyllis and Rita Morreale speaks about the local Italian church and the social clubs that the Italian Canadian community members frequented in the Hamilton area.