Page 71 - A Talk with Dominic Nardocchio
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
smoke all day long, 24 hours a day. Especially the coke ovens, and even the steel plant. And they put up with it; they didn't think anything of it. The only thing if there was a bad day, sometimes--they had to do all their washing by hand-- and if the wind was not favour? able, they hung their clothes in the kitchen. Every home had a kitchen full of clothesline. A lot of them had roomers and boarders. Some of the homes had 6 or 7, 8, 10 steelworkers as boarders. And they used to do their washing, too. There were three streets there. There was like Tupper Street, Laurier Street, Hankard Street. Then we have Lingan Road, and then there was Frede? rick Street beyond. But all along there there were other nationalities, too. There were a lot of the Hungarians. I don't know, there weren't too many Germans. Hungarians and Polish, Ukrainians. They lived up--the few Blacks. Not too many in 1916, '17, '18, that I can remember. But whoever was there, they all lived in a happy community. Among themselves there was no prejudice (or) anything. They lived together. If we lived next to the Black, or the Black next to us--they didn't care, see. Oh, no. There weren't too many Scotch there. The Scotch were further on Victoria Road. you know. And we took in--I don't know--up to about 2 or 3 thousand dollars a night. That was a lot of money in those days, be? cause it was playing all--it was 50, 10C-- see, there weren't big fees, eh. So to get up to that kind of money, they had quite a lot of amusements there. (They used to have a picnic every year?) Pretty much, yeah, for awhile then. (And then they stopped.) See, when the Depres? sion came, everything changed. This thing kind of went down. And most of the Ital? ians, they were all labourers, and most of them, they lost their jobs. And at that time, I think in 1933--'32 or '33--we had Bennett, I think, was the Prime Minister of Canada. I think at that time that they (What language would these people be speaking?) Well, mostly Italian at that time; they were all Ital? ians. (And did they speak English?) Very, very--well, some of them. None of them had any English school, you know. Those are all the original settlers of Italians. They all knew the language. They'd pick up the English here, you see. But mostly they spoke, it was Italian. (And yet all these people got along--the Italians, the Ukraini? ans.) Oh, yeah, there was no prob? lem. There was no, no, no, no--no distinction. They didn't know even the word, what it means--discrim? ination- -as far as that goes. Oh, no, no, they all got along good. When the Italians had their picnic there in 1928, '29--well, the large one was the celebration of the Lateran Treaty. And I know that Fr. MacLean was there, and there was still a large number of Italians. That picnic was largely patronized by all people. I remem? ber, I was made the cashier, counting the money in the niglit, WE ARE THE ' ''OF YOUR HOME TURNING A DREAM INTO REALITY With 2 locations to serve you Braemar Kitchens SYDNEY, N.S. BIP 584 Tel. 902-539-5044 NEW GLASGOW, N. S. B2H 5E7 Tel. 902-755-2455
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