Letter from Urbano Colangelo, to Price, Waterhouse & Co., September 13, 1940
This two-page letter is handwritten by Urbano Colangelo, and addressed to Price, Waterhouse & Co., on September 13, 1940. Urbano Colangelo writes to the CEP agents in this case, Price, Waterhouse & Co., to ask permission to send his son Berlino a guitar.
The Custodian of Enemy Property (CEP), a branch of the Canadian government, oversaw the administration of assets belonging to internees and other enemy aliens. This government office served a dual function. Acting as a trustee for the internee/enemy alien, the office and its agents also protected the interests of the creditors. The CEP would pay off an internee’s debts by selling his or her property or businesses. It also collected money owed to internees by others. Families of internees often did not have access to the husband's assets and bank accounts. As a result, families often had to negotiate with the CEP for stipends for daily subsistence or use of assets like an automobile. In some cases, where assets were lacking, the CEP divested itself of any interest and left the families to fend for themselves.
Berlino Colangelo was interned at Camp Petawawa. Several of the Italian Canadian internees were skilled musicians. At camp, they formed a band which entertained others by performing recitals. We also know that lyrics were composed by a few of the internees which specifically spoke about or referenced the internment experience. Instruments were provided by family members and by charitable organizations. Possibily Internment Operations also secured instruments for internees.