Wedding portrait, Brombal Family, Windsor, ON, 1920s - solo in inglese

Wedding portrait, Brombal Family, Windsor, ON, 1920s.

Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, it has always been an important occassion for a Catholic Italian-Canadian family. In recent years, it has also proved an occassion for extended celebrations, with family, friends, and colleagues all invited. A event ladden with symbolism and status, the wedding has also turned into somewhat of a small business venture. Guests often bring a "busta" -- literally the envelope. Originally these envelopes with cards and cash were meant to provide a small start-up fund to help young newlyweds begin their life together.

In this portrait, we see a wedding in the early 1920s. The groom, Nereo Brombal, had immigrated to Canada from Italy ca. 1914. He had met his German-born wife Johanna in Northern Ontario. The family would settle in Windsor and the Brombals had 2 children.

In 1940, Brombal was fired from the Windsor Police Department due to his Italian birth. His son Douglas remembers a few tense years during the war, given his mixed German/Italian family.

Brombal would never return to his position as a police officer. However, in December 1990, the Windsor Police Commission apologized to Brombal's family. They also created Camp Brombal, for underpriviliged kids, and run by volunteers from the police department, in Nereo Brombal's honour.