Interview with Chester Capponi
Chester Capponi is the son of internee, Girolamo (George) Capponi, who was interned in Petawawa by the Canadian government for over two years during World War II. At the time of his father's arrest Chester was a teenager. He describes the day his father was arrested and imprisoned at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) grounds. After his father was transported to Petawawa some weeks later, the family’s main form of communication was through letters, which were screened and censored. He outlines his father’s attempt to persuade them, through his letters and during their visits, that he was fine. He notes how throughout this traumatic experience, the Canadian government never provided the family with information about the reasons for his father’s internment, or if and when he would be released. He recalls his father’s ill health after being released, and his subsequent death six years later. Despite their struggles, the family was able to attain income and survive through a rental property that they had. After graduating with a degree in pharmacy soon after his father’s passing, he describes his journey towards attaining his own pharmacy with the help of his mother, and his eventual success.