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Single Men and Women

Bruno Tomaini
May 1953 Crossing

I like many others, have neglected to express my sincere thanks for your welcome that you gave me with open arms. I do not expect you to remember me, a lonely 16 year old with black hair, skinny legs and brown eyes full of tears. Let me introduce you to myself.

My name is Bruno Tomaino. I was born October 23, 1936, in a very little town called Tomaini. The time spent in my native town was very happy time. My parents showered my sister and me [with] a lot of love and affection that has stayed with me forever. My father immigrated to Canada in 1952, and then in May 30, 1953. I took the journey that would change my life as the boat Conte Biancamano left Naples; my eyes were full of tears. As the coast line was disappearing I was thinking that I would never see all my friends, my relatives and my little Town.

My cabin was very nice. It was shared with three other men much older than me. The dining room was something that I could never imagine. The meals were delicious. It was a feast! Upon entering the Atlantic Ocean most of the people at my dining table all got sea sick. On the third day of the voyage, as I was going to dine, a sick lady approached me and asked if I could care for her nine year old daughter, to take care of her during the meals. Every day we would eat together and bring some food to her mother.

Finally on June 8th, we saw land and I think I was happier than Christopher Columbus when we landed. After retrieving our luggage, I helped Sestina and Maria (mother and daughter) with their street and we located a very small store and I bought a loaf of bread and corn beef. The reason I thought it was meat because of the head of bull on it. We returned to the Port and when we were about to open the can we discovered we lost the turnkey. There was no way we could open it. At this time there was a lady with some sort of uniform, who came and took the can and disappeared in the office. At this time I was very hungry and she returned the can, to find out that she had opened it for me! I will never forget her lovely smile. The bread and meat were piled high like and accordion.

Once the train left the Station, my eyes were glued outside for hours and hours. I saw trees, lakes and small houses with children playing outside waving to the train. After a couple of hours I had a beautiful sensation that my destination would soon be over. I remember the train slowing down. I looked outside and we were crossing the river. The train stopped and my eyes could not believe the sign at the station. It read Welland!

I helped Maria and her mother Sestina with their luggage. We parted to different parts of the City. For the remained of June, I went to school. In the beginning of July I got a job driving a dump truck in a Stone Quarry where my father worked. I was 17 years old but the owners of the Quarry trusted me and I drove on the Quarry only. Didn't take long and I started to play soccer with a City team. Through this I met a lot of people and in a short period of time I had a lot of friends. My schedule was work during the day, come home where my father and I would cook and eat, then I would go to night school to learn English.

 In 1955 I had the opportunity to change jobs and go to work in a steel plant “Atlas Specialty Steels.” In this plant I started to work as a billet grinder but I was very eager to learn the steel processing. As I was given the opportunity, I took courses and improved my position. I worked in Melting. Casting inspection but my fascination was in the art of rolling steel. Finally in 1977 I got what I wanted.

 Over the years I watched Maria growing up and becoming a nice young woman. In 1962 during a wedding reception Maria came up to me and introduced me to her girl friend who was Pasqua. I was spellbound and could not take my eyes off this beautiful lady. We danced and we talked. Then I told her I would marry her. She laughed and said that I was probably married with four children. The day after at church, we talked and I went to her house. We started to date and one year later, thanks to Maria for introducing us, we married. For our love that we were blessed with two children, Angela and Peter. Angela has three children Randan, Asher and Shaneah. Peter is still single.

I am proud of my family and my family has supported me in bad times and good time. I am very thankful to our great country for making me one of the thousands of adoptees. I have travelled to Wales, England, France, Argentina, South Korea and India but as sson as the plane lands at Toronto Airport, my heart beats faster. I know that, thank God, I am home.