Letter from R.M. Allan, to Assistant Director of Internment Operations, November 18, 1940
Letter from R.M. Allan, Warden, to the Assistant Director of Internment Operations, November 18, 1940. This typewritten letter on visits to female internees specifically references Italian-Canadian Maria Egilda Fontanella.
Four Italian Canadian women were interned during World War II. They, along with 17 German Canadian women, were held at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario. The prison was located on the north side of King St. West, across from the Kingston Penitentiary. The women were held in a separate wing known as the Internment Quarters. Family members could visit the prison, but meetings were limited to 15 minutes and supervised by a guard. If the visit was conducted in Italian, a translator was provided at the internee’s cost.
This letter addresses a perceived bureaucratic oversight regarding permission of Fontanella to receive visitors. As it seems the conversation was in Italian, the authorities also had to ensure the presence of an interpreter so that the conversation could be understood by officials.