Interview with Lawrence Lamentia
Lawrence Anthony Lamentia was born in Toronto on January 5, 1925. His parents came to Canada in the early 1900s. His father, Domenic Lamentia, owned a store in the Pape and Danforth area, and then ran a fruit store around Parliament and Carlton. In 1937, Domenic moved his store to Bloor and Sherbourne, where it remained until 1970. Domenic’s wife, Michelina Lamentia died when Lawrence was young. Lawrence's brother, Joe, went to live with an aunt who raised him as her own. Lawrence and his other brother, Peter, lived with their father in the Pape and O'Connor area, along with an uncle.
During World War II, around late 1943/early 1944, Domenic and his brother received a letter from the Ottawa RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) ordering them to report to the police as enemy aliens. When the Lamentia brothers arrived at the local police station, the Chief of Police, a friend of theirs, ripped up the letter and told them to go home. However, Lawrence's father-in-law, Marco Missori, was interned at Camp Petawawa and was not released until 1945. In 1944, both Lawrence and Peter were called to serve in the Canadian Army; Lawrence was stationed in British Columbia, protecting the western shoreline against the Japanese. He talks briefly about the treatment and internment of Japanese Canadians. After the war, Lawrence returned home to work at this dad's store until it was sold, and then worked for Dominion grocery stores for 21 years. The interview ends with Lawrence describing a wedding photograph and talking about his war medals hung on the wall.