Interview with Fernada Colangelo

In her second interview, Fernada Colangelo talks more about her family. Her father, Francesco Paolo De Rubeis came to Canada in 1906, but returned home to marry Esterina Quaglia. Esterina and her 10 year old daughter, Irma, reunited with Francesco in Canada in 1920. Two years later, Fernada was born. The family first lived on Beach Rd., and then on Barnsdale Ave., and then finally on Minto Ave. in Hamilton. Fernada went to St. Anne's elementary school, then Cathedral High School and then continued on for a fifth year at Cathedral Commercial. After school she worked at International Harvest in the payroll office. Fernada's husband, Berlino Colangelo, came to Canada in 1930 at the age of 16, to join his father, Urbano Colangelo. The De Rubeis and the Colangelos were paesani. Berlino worked as a tailor at Coppley Noyes and Randall for 45 years. During World War II, Berlino was interned at Camp Petawawa for 22 months. The couple married in 1943 after Berlino’s release from the camp and they have six children. Fernada recalls that her husband found the Petawawa experience demoralizing. Italian Canadians in Hamilton were afraid that they would be the next to be interned if they spoke about it or tried to do anything. Fernada also speaks a bit about attending after-school classes at the Casa d'Italia and attending Sunday night variety shows there.