Interview with Pasqualina Pat Adamo

Pasqualina Pat Adamo is the adoptive granddaughter of Italian immigrants and grocery store owners, Francesco and Filomena Guzzo. During World War II the Guzzos were declared enemy aliens and were required to report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in their hometown of Ottawa. In this follow-up interview, Pat tells the story of how the Guzzos, back in Italy, lived across the street from her father, Pasquale Adamo and his big family. Upon leaving for America, they offered the Adamos a proposition: to adopt Pasquale and take him to America with them where he could live a better life. The Guzzos were childless and always shared a special bond with the young Pasquale, so the Adamos willingly accepted. Pat explains how her father and adoptive grandfather established their grocery store business in what became the Little Italy in Ottawa. She also recalls the story of how her parents were set up and subsequently married. Although Pat did not meet her father – as he had passed away unexpectedly three months before her birth – she is able to speak of him and his various business endeavors. Pat speaks fondly of her adoptive grandparents saying she owes her “Italianism” to them, having been brought up by them – her grandmother especially. Pat feels that Ottawa did not suffer as much as Montreal and Toronto during the war years because it only had a small Italian community. She is also thankful that her grandparents were not interned.