THE ABOVE PHOTO WAS BORROWED OFF ONE OF THE 'FURLAN' BLOGS.( I FORGOT WHICH. ) IT SYMBOLIZES QUITE WELL THE THOUGHTS EXPRESSED IN 'THE CANADIAN FURLANS' ELOQUENT E-MAIL POSTED BELOW.
Ivano "Mio Caro Amico": I am so ever greatfull to you for allowing me to be a part of "La Nostra Costa".There are times I feel as if I actually grew up with all of you "Su per la Costa"!! And to make things even more realistic I have recently been in contact with my other caro amico Reno Cantarutti. As all of you may or may not know I knew Reno's aunt Luigina (Reno's Mother's Sister) and his uncle John, who was the founder of the Fogolar Furlan in Windsor Ontario. So we have a significant connection. And as I stated in your "Blagga" and will state it until my last breath; we cannot ever thank our parents enough for their visionary dreams to make a better life for themselves, leaving their land of birth and in many cases sacrificing beyond our worst nightmares. As I mentioned to Reno and I know most of you on the "Blagga" most of the Italian immigrants here in the Niagara Region are primarily from Southern Italy, Abbruzzi, Calabria, Napoli. These Italian immigrants most of whom came across the Atlantic after WWII from 1949 - 1960. Most of these people have never left their villages, let alone embark on a ship to cross the Atlantic. Many were taken advantage of, some taken advantage of by their own paesani that were already here for years. Some were paid $0.50 a day in 1950 to work as a farm hand, can you believe this ? As the years passed by many of these people landed jobs in the fast emerging industrial growth of the late 50's and 60's. Many Italian immigrants were able to land good paying manufacturing jobs primarily because of their unconditional work ethic. And I can state this since I saw this with my own eyes; many of these factory workers worked all the over time they could get many taking advantage of working double shifts. They never took holidays except for two weeks a year when the factories closed during the summer heat wave. And you think during the two week factory shut down these paesani would take a holiday? Not a chance they all went to work at seasonal jobs that were in abbundance, especially in the local farms. In the Niagara area we are blessed to have many fruit farms; strawberries, peaches, pears, cheeries and now recently on the lower escarpment bordering Lake Ontario grapes and the wine industry. So many of our Paesani worked non stop for years, many years. And they were frugal some never learning to drive, growing enormous gardens with fig trees that they would bury to protect during our sub zero winters. Now as I mentioned to Reno what do you think happened to the children of these hard working immigrants? Some emulated the work ethic of their parents and went on to become pillars of our community as lawyers, doctors, etc. And some well amounted nothing but spoiled take and never give back type of individuals. I can say most of my friends who's parents have immigrated from Italy have all thanked their parents first of all for giving them opportunities and most have gone on to contribute where their parents have left off.
Ciao e Mandi
Doriano "The Canadian Furlan"