Page 70 - A Talk with Dominic Nardocchio
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
(Your father, what did he do? Did he have a trade when he came here?) No, no, he was just a farmhand in Italy. Farming, that's all he knew. But when he came here, he went as a labourer in the steel plant. Well, at that time they were all heavy workers-- pick-and-shovel. They were all bulldozers. There were no bulldoz? ers like today. It was all ha..:i*,70-rk. Cement mixers, all by hand, and everything was built all by hand. Pick-and- shovel- -that was the steam shovel in those days. (So they built the steel plant.) Well, they--with others, too, you know, with other nationalities who were there, too. But they did their share. From Italy to Massa? chusetts and Massachu? setts to here. And some of those Italians that came, some of them, their fare was paid by the (steel) company. And they were promised that if they'd stay here one year--work at the steel plant here--and they wanted to go back, they would pay their fare back to Boston. And if they intended to remain here them citizenship papers zens. They didn't have to go to court like today. One man told me that his citizen? ship paper came by mail, and the mailman gave it to him on the street. "Here, Mike"--Mike Martinello--"here, Mike-- there's your paper!" Received his first paper right on the street. (And who all came from your family?) My? self, my mother, my brother John. (Was Dominic, his parents Carolina (Narducci) & Egidio Nardocchio, & his brother John. Photo courtesy Howard Nardocchio they would give make them citi- there already an Italian community here when you got here?) Oh, yeah, there was a large community. In 1916, there must have been close to 1500, the Italians here. And then of course, they all started to bring their families. The (First World) War kind of blocked people from going anywhere. The steel plant got busy, and they were working. People had come before the war, 1911 and 1912--they were coming all the time. And then during the war--well, that was war, and then they all got their steady job. By the time it was over it was 1918, you see. And there were quite a few of them had their wives, see, they got married and brought them from Italy. So there was quite a community in those days, the Italians. Then in 1911 they built their own church--St. Nicholas Church. And the first parish priest--the man who was here, and responsible for building that church --was'Fr. Viola. In the Pier district. That's where all the Italians were, be? cause they were handy the steel plant. You know, in those days, you see, they wer? en't talking about, "We're scared about pollution." You see all those stacks-- smokestacks, coke ovens--all along there. All those people, they couldn't build their houses close enough, so they'd be handy to the steel plant.'There was no transporta? tion. So they went ahead and they built their homes right close there. And of course, these smokestacks, they poured MacLeod-Lorway Insurance ':'lThe One call us now and discover why more Cape Breton residents '' sured through MacLeod-Lorway than any other Independent agency. 215 Charlotte St. P.O. Box 1354 Sydney, N.S. B1P6K3 We represent more than half of Canada's leading insurance companies. Call or visit one of our 12 licensed agents for pre-purchase counselling. MacLeod-Lorway offers personal and commercial lines including home owners and tenants packages and mobile home, travel, auto, builder's risk, commercial fire, crime, commercial liability, marine, bonding, business in? terruption and boiler and machinery. 24 hour phone - call collect 539-6666 • FAX: 539-4064 lYour Insurance Broker Understands
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