Interview with Antoinette Olivieri

Antoinette Olivieri was born in Hamilton, Ontario. Her father-in-law, Donato Olivieri, owned a hotel on Sherman Avenue in Hamilton. Many of the Italian immigrant men lived in this hotel and worked hard to bring their wives over from Italy. Donato was one of the first Italian man in Hamilton to be interned during World War II. He was held at the Exhibition Grounds in Toronto before he was sent to Camp Petawawa and Camp Ripples, for a total of 33 months. Antoinette remembers the time of the mass arrests, when the telephone rang every day and her parents received updates on who had been arrested. A couple of Antoinette's husband’s family were also interned. At one point, Antoinette's mother-in-law was arrested for one day and put in a Hamilton jail. Antoinette's parents, Ralph and Louise Di Filippo, came to Canada when they were very young (her father was 9 months; her mother 3 years). They both lived in Montreal and then moved to Hamilton after they married. The Di Filippos were declared enemy aliens; they were fingerprinted, issued special papers stating they were Italian, and ordered to report monthly to the police.