Interview with Marie A. Prospero (née Sguigna)

In her interview Marie A. Prospero (née Sguigna) shares the experiences of her Italian Canadian parents who lived in Toronto during World War II. Her father, Nazzareno Alfonso Sguigna, served in the Italian Army during World War I. He immigrated to Canada, leaving a wife and son behind. During World War II, Marie’s father was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and taken to the nearest jail. In an attempt to have her husband released, Marie’s mother took his WWI medals and argued with the RCMP to release her husband. He was released, but the medals were never returned to the family. Marie’s uncle, Luigi Squigna, came to Canada at age 16 and worked on the railways. Unlike her father, Marie's uncle was detained and then interned during WWII. Towards the end of the war, Marie's half-brother, Ezio Vincenzio Sguigna, was called up into the Canadian army. He went though six months of training, but was let go because of his Italian birth. Throughout the interview, Marie also describes the social events of Italian Canadians in Toronto, such as picnics held at Lambton Park.