Interview with Nicholas Zaffiro

Nicholas Zaffiro was 10 years old when his father, Francesco Zaffiro, was picked up at work by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Nicholas describes going to his father's shop after school, and being informed by other children in the area of what had happened. Francesco was initially held at Camp Petawawa and was later moved to Camp Fredericton. Although he had been tipped off that he would be arrested he refused to abandon his family. Nicholas' impression is that his father never blamed the government for their actions, but detested the inability to defend himself. Prior to Francesco’s internment, he was very active in the Italian community in Hamilton, holding the office of provincial vice president of the Order Sons of Italy, and acting as secretary of the Hamilton fascio. Nicholas notes that while his father was interned, he did not experience discrimination in his school or community, and that his neighbours were very supportive. Francesco was released after about two and a half years, but because of his prominent involvement in Italian organizations, he was one of the last to be released. Nicholas describes life going back to normal and his father re-establishing the Sons of Italy after his release.