Becoming Canadian: Memories of an Italian Immigrant
To fulfill the two passions in his life- teaching and writing- John Potestio had two overcome barriers that began with his life as a young Italian immigrant to Canada. Potestio takes the reader through a journey of constant adjustments to a new society which ultimately leads to his full integration, though not quite assimilation. He begins with nostalgic account of growing up in a small Calabrian town during the trying war years. In his adolescence he finds himself trying to conform to the traditions of a society markedly different than the one he left behind. Education, socialization and Language were his greatest challenges. Potestio fills these pages with memories and anecdotes that shed light on his yearning to succeed as a new Canadian.
The author becomes fully conversant with both Italian and Canadian cultures and brings new insights into the interplay of these two traditions. The desire to serve his community leads him to take leading positions within numerous italian and mainstream organizations. In them, he experiences successes and disappointments both of which he revels with lucidity and impartiality. He concludes that these life experiences led him to the inescapable conclusion that he has become a Canadian with strong Italian traditions.
By: John Potestio
John Potestio was born in 1939 in Grimaldi, one of the most important sending towns of Italian emigration. His family settled in Thunder Bay in 1953, a community where he has lived for nearly seventy years. He is a retired teacher of both Secondary school and University. Potestio is the author of several book that deal with various aspects of settlement of Italian immigrants in our city. He is married to Alba and has two children Frank and Rose.
Published by: Thunder Bay Museum Historical Society