Wedding portrait, Giustini family, Timmins, ON - solo in inglese

Rolandino Romualdi and Lynda Francesca Giacinta Giustini's wedding portrait, Timmins, ON, 1946. The bride's parents Giuseppe Giustini and Angelina (Purificati) Giustini are standing at the right.

Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, it has always been an important occasion for a Catholic Italian-Canadian family. In recent years, it has also proved an occasion for extended celebrations, with family, friends, and colleagues all invited. A event laden 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.

Giuseppe (Joseph) Giustini immigrated to Canada in 1912 and found work in the silver mines of Cobalt, ON. It was here in Northern Ontario that he met Angelina Purificati, whom he married in 1912. In Timmins, the couple had four children: Gino, Edo, Gina and Johnny. Gino died as an infant. After working in the mines for a short time, Giustini became ill and the family moved back to Italy. Three other children were born in Italy -- Domenic, Lynda and Maria, who also died in infancy. At the time of his arrest, Giustini was a citizen (naturalized British subject) and he owned a grocery store. According to his family, many of his customers were members of the Italian community, notably Italian miners. Giustini helped the miners send money to their families in Italy. The family believes this was interpreted by the Canadian government as sending money back to Italy to support the fascists and led to his arrest and internment on June 10, 1940. He was released on May 8, 1941 and died in 1950, only a few years after his daughter's wedding. His daughter believed his death was in part influenced by the embarrassment and humiliation he suffered as a result of his internment.