Interview with Elisa Visocchi, Josée Visocchi & Rosetta Visocchi (Pistilli)

The three Visocchi sisters (Elisa, Josée and Rosetta), all Canadian-born, speak about their experiences growing up in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montreal from the 1930s-1950s. They note the community events, their education, and the role of the Catholic Church in their early childhoods. Comprising a large family of seven children, the family was poor, but the women always remember having food on the table and the love of their parents. Their father, Giuseppe Visocchi, was one of the Italian Canadian men interned in June 1940. He was an Italian veteran from World War I, and the president of the Caserta Club. His daughters do not know of any involvement on the part of their father with fascism. As the only breadwinner for his large family, Giuseppe Visocchi’s internment of about two years was devastating to his wife and children. The women’s mother, Antoinetta, struggled at first with her husband’s absence. Her daughters recall her breakdown at his arrest, and her weakest moment. They note that she did manage to adjust and with the help of neighbours, the family survived until Giuseppe’s return.