Interview with Antoinette (Toni) Ciccarelli

Antoinette (Toni) Ciccarelli (née Bassano) was born in Guglionesi, Campobasso, Molise, Italy on September 23, 1915. She was 6 years old when she immigrated to Canada with her mother and sisters. Her father died after the family moved to a farm in Scarborough some years after their arrival. After her father’s death, her mother moved the family to downtown Toronto, where Toni worked in various grocery stores and did volunteer work at Casa d’Italia. On June 10, 1040, she was sorting mail at the Front Street Post Office when she was picked up by two Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, taken to a police station and fingerprinted. She was released and had to report to the police whenever she left town. She describes some internees, such as Mr. Orlando, and also describes other Italian Canadians from her neigbourhood who served in the Canadian military. Toni tells of meeting Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and asking him for her fingerprints when he gave his apology in Concord, Ontario. She relates details of her wedding and family and her move to Caboto Terrace after her husband, Pat (Pasquale) Ciccarelli died. She concludes with a description of her fund raising activities at the Columbus Centre.