Interview with Paula Mascioli

Paula Mascioli is the granddaughter of Leopoldo (Leo) Mascioli and the great-niece of Antonio (Tony) Mascioli who were both interned on June 10, 1940. At the time of their internment both were successful businessmen and active community members in Timmins, Ontario. They were both interned at Petawawa and released on February 18, 1941, but Tony was re-arrested in September of 1941 and detained for an additional month. Like other families, the internment experience was rarely discussed in the Mascioli home. It was only after her father Daniel’s death that Paula discovered a box of letters and documents that her father had kept from that period. Through the letters she was able to learn even more about the traumatic experience that her family members went through. Some of what she learned revolved around her father, who at 27 had to take responsibility for the businesses, employees, as well as try to organize a defence for his father and uncle. These letters, which were heavily censored, offer a glimpse of camp life through the care packages received, the work details, the food, the exercise program, comedy acts discussed, in addition to recounting the severe boredom endured.