Interview with Elio Salciccioli (Al Salci)

This is the second interview with Elio Salcicioli (Al Salci). Elio Salciccioli grew up in Hamilton, the son of Teofilo Salciccioli, an Italian who immigrated to Canada in 1907, and Antonina Salciccioli, who came to Canada in 1917. They had five sons. Teofilo and Antonina were not members of any of the Italian fascist organizations that were formed during Mussolini’s rise to power. However, Teofilo and three of his sons were musicians who played with the band at the Casa d’Italia, and were part of the Italian community in Hamilton. None of Elio’s family members were arrested as enemy aliens in 1940, but they knew people in their community who were interned, including Alfonso Borsolino, who was the leader of the band at Casa D’Italia. Elio’s father was under suspicion, but was cleared after a few weeks without being sent to an internment camp. Elio’s brother, Dolindo, worked at the internment camp at Petawawa and was responsible for guarding Italians there, some of whom he knew personally. In this interview, Elio mentions a degree of discrimination against Italians in Hamilton during his childhood. He also mentions that those who were interned tended to keep their experiences private after they were released. He also mentions Italian cultural activities that were promoted before the war, such as Saint day processions and Italian lessons, were no longer practiced after the war broke out. Elio Salciccioli passed away suddenly a few days after this interview was recorded.