Interview with Rino Albanese

Rino Albanese was born on November 12, 1924 in Thunder Bay, Ontario (formerly Port Arthur). Rino is the son of enemy alien Giovanni Albanese, whom was born in Mammola, Italy and moved to Thunder Bay where he married and raised seven children with his wife. Rino speaks about his early childhood and family life. He adds that all the community members got along quite well and that his first encounter with discrimination was from Italian children at St. Joseph’s elementary school, where he and his twin brother were asked: "What are you?" From what Rino remembers, there was no fascist activity in the community in general, but he does concede that his father was a fascist but kept his opinions to himself so that he was never interned by the government. Rino says that he was upset by the fact that the local Italian language school in Thunder Bay was shut down by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) during the time he was taking classes there. At the age of 18 Rino Albanese enlisted in active voluntary service with the Canadian military along with his twin brother and some of his friends. They were trained at Petawawa and were sent overseas where they served with the Canadian forces in Holland, Germany, and England.