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Rudy Alonzi

I was born in a small city of Sora (Province) Frosinone, Italy in 1940. I have one brother and two sisters.

My parents were the most honest, lovable and hardworking people ever. It was their love for us that our values for life were taught.

We were brought up as a very close lovable family.

My father was an ice cream man by trade and our city all knew him as Il Gelataio and they all adored him.

My mother on the other hand was a Jack of all Trades, but her main trade was running our grocery store, and my fondest memories was myself, at a very young age working by her side and learning how to run our store, at the same time also attending school. She was the Rock of my foundation. She taught me Love, Friendship, Honesty, Loyalty and even how to accept disappointments that life throws at us when we least expect it.

Everything I am, and have today, I owe it to her. There is not enough room in my heart to possibly tell you everything about this beautiful lady that gave me life – My Mamma!!

My oldest sister Pierina was born in 1939 and she was learning how to become a seamstress. My brother Joe was born in 1943 and he was learning carpentry. My youngest sister Enza was born in 1945 right after the second World War, still very young and just started school.

These were very difficult post war years and because of the hardships, it left us with no choice but to sell our small business and leave our beautiful homeland and roots for broader opportunities.

In 1955 my uncle John Castellucci sponsored us to come to Canada in search of new horizons.

We left Italy with our hearts in our throats; we left from Naples December 1956 on the “Homeric” ship.

Our saddest time was saying goodbye to my dear Grandmother (Pasqua), my dad’s mom who had lived with us for all our young lives (total of 19 years).

My dad told me that when she said her last farewell to him, she clung on and said “Son, I fell deep in my soul that I’ll never see you again.” She was right, because she passed away eight months later.

Not to forget my other dear grandma Concetta, she was our very salvation during those horrible terrifying war years. My mom told me that she remembers seeing her walking to reach our destination as we were hiding for our lives from bombs and the soldiers.

She would walk for miles and miles with big heavy baskets balanced on her head, containing food and the basic necessities of life for us to survive the nightmare. I have vague visions of this, but I’m sure my mother bore the worst of what war is all about.

We arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia as Landed Immigrants on December 18, 1956. It was bitter cold and snowing. We no sooner got off the ship and were directed immediately to the train that was to eventually take us to our destination (Toronto).

It looked like a cattle train (I truly believe it was). It was dirty and very, very uncomfortable. It was the most depressing ride of my life.

When we finally arrived at Union Station two days later it felt like two years later. I expected to see beautiful mansions like in the Hollywood movies; instead all the houses were in Rows and looked like matchboxes.

We were met by about six feet of snow. [It was a] sad impression.

But we had a lot of dreams and willpower to make this country our home and that we did.

My dad unfortunately couldn’t find anything but construction work for which he had no clue about. He never held a pick or a shovel but he had no choice…

My mom worked in a factory and me, I went to school for a bit and then got a job as my siblings basically did the same.

In the final analysis to this we adjusted very well, we worked very hard for this country.

We were honest, never abused the system, we gave everything and expected nothing in return except a living.

In 1960 I was lucky enough to meet the Love of my life, my wife Bruna Borgatti, who was born in Bologna, Italy and immigrated with her family in 1952 for the same reasons we had to.

We were married in 1964 and are both very happy and compatible with each other. In return we have two beautiful daughters, Paula and Claudia, and three adoring grandsons: Domenic, Joseph and Adam.

I also want to thank Canada, for giving me a few excellent job opportunities, one of which was a very reputable brewery that I was fortunate enough to work for the 29 years. As a result I have been able to retire at the age of 59 with a comfortable pension and benefits.

As a closing comment I want to say Thank-You Canada for making this Beautiful country my Home for me and my beautiful family.

And Thank You for making it all possible…