The Immigration Story of Pasquale Martinis (Italian Immigrant)

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Pasquale Martinis, “My Lucky Day” July 18 1956

I landed at Pier 21. The documentation was in order. I boarded the train on route to Toronto. Little did I know this would be the place that I would never leave.

On January 3rd 1956, I applied to the Canadian government. My mother bought me a suit and pajamas. I had to make sure that I had $120 in a traveller’s cheque, and $30 in cash. On July 8th, I boarded the boat Roma in Genoa. My sister and I were ready to leave home just like my other two brothers who went to Australia. We left my parents and my four siblings that were still in Italy.

I arrived at Union station in Toronto on July 20th at midnight. It was very strange to be in a foreign country, with a foreign language that I didn’t understand. With time, I put all my effort into learning English. I learned to manage myself and got my first job in a Rex Nash factory.

I got married to my wife Bianca five years later. The way of living in this country, was nothing I could ever imagine. I am proud to call myself a Canadian.

I have a beautiful family, blessed with three children and seven grandchildren.

So, you know now, why I call it my lucky day. Thank you, Canada.