Portrait of Zaffiro family outdoors

Black and white photograph of Nicholas Zaffiro with his mother, Maria Maddalena, and three sisters, Lil, Antoinette and Frances standing outdoors in a garden. Nicholas is standing at the left in a light coloured shirt and shorts. His mother stands behind him wearing a hat and a dotted dress. His three sisters stand at the centre and right wearing light coloured dresses. Lush foliage can be seen behind the group. In the far left background a large house is visible.

On June 10, 1940 their father Francesco Zaffiro was arrested. Nicholas Zaffiro was 10 years old when his father was picked up at work by the Royal Mounted Police (RCMP) and the local police. Nicholas had arrived at his father's shop after 4:00 pm and was informed by other children that his father had been taken by the police “because he’s a spy." His father was taken to the city jail on Barton St. He was later transferred to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds in Toronto. Back at home, Zaffiro’s family suffered financially. They lived in a rented apartment and had no savings of note.

In his interview Nicholas notes: My oldest sister, she was traumatized by the situation. She doesn’t even want to talk about it today. She was 13 years old, she was in grade eight at the time, and she finished her elementary school and had to go to work to help the family. And I also worked after school for five dollars a week. But as my dad explained to me at one time, he says, “I have to leave you something in my will.” He says, “because when you worked, five dollars a week would [buy] bread [since bread] was five and ten cents a loaf.” He says, “five dollars a week went quite a way.”