Interview with Sandra Corbo

Sandra Corbo was two years old and living in Toronto with her Scottish mother and Italian father, when two of her family members from Montreal were interned. Her uncle, Nicola Corbo, and grandfather, Achille Corbo, were interned at Camp Petawawa for 12 months and 23 months respectively. As a result, Sandra’s family was uprooted, with her parents having to move to Montreal to help the rest of the family. Sandra fondly recalls growing up in an Italian household, while she lived with her paternal grandmother for a short time. However, when her grandmother became sick and was hospitalized, Sandra’s world turned upside down. She was sent to an orphanage as her parents worked and could not afford to keep her. Since her grandfather, Achille, was one of the founders of the Sainte Giuseppe Orphanage, her parents believed that Sandra would be given extra care and attention. This was not the case as Sandra recalls the nightmares and fears that she endured as a child, stemming from her awful experience at the orphanage. In the interview, Sandra also touches on growing up in Montreal. She states that her uncle and grandfather were different men when they were released from camp. Likewise, she also comments how her family members – her aunt, her uncles, and her dad – were negatively affected by the internment of their father and brother. The internment experience proved to have negative, life-long effects on Sandra and shaped who she is today. She continues to do her part in educating the public and the younger generation about this event in Canadian history. She wishes that the Canadian government would send a certificate of exoneration – “of not guilty verdict” – to the families of those who were interned.