Interview with Mildred Irene Steer

Mildred Irene Steer talks about her childhood growing up in a working-class neighbourhood in Windsor, ON during World War II. Her father immigrated to Canada at the age of 16, and ultimately opened up a barbershop in Windsor. Mildred talks about how her father had a firm English-only policy within the barbershop, not allowing family members to speak Italian when they were there. At school, Mildred found that Germans and Italians were looked down on, and she was teased throughout grades 9 and 10, by both students and teachers. She left high school to go to business college, and worked at Hiram Walker, where she met her husband. She describes meeting with her future father-in-law for the first time, and hearing him use a derogatory slur at the dinner table, and knowing from that point on that he was prejudiced against Italians. After marriage, she left her job, and dedicated her attention to raising her five children. She remained active within the Catholic Church throughout her life, and participated in the Christian Family Movement.