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Stories of our Emigrants

Padre Santo Pio


Televideo di Padre Santo Pio

 Italian Version

Our Emigrants

Did you know that........When our emigrants came up on the ships that would have brought to the Americas, kept in his pocket a ball of wool. They would throw the end of the string to the ground to those who greeted them and  saw them, often for the last time. That too short string broke when the ship went on, little by little, from the port.

Most Immigrants leaving Italy or Europe for North America at the end of the Nineteenth Century, arrived in Halifax, Montreal, San Francisco, or New York. From there they would join relatives in established communities or make their way to areas offering employment. Many Italians that had emigrated to other countries ended up in Canada, sometimes having travelled almost half-way around the globe.

In Canada, Quebec and Ontario were major destinations, some stayed, sending for their families, and making these provinces their permanent homes. Many single males (immigrants and sojourners) started out in these provinces finding labouring work with the railroads, mining and transport.

Click here to see photos of the Ships that brought our emigrants to various destinations

As one phase of the railroad (or mine closed down) was completed, they would contract for the next phase which would take them across the nation.

United by their ethnic, tribal, geographical, familial, political and religious connections, they communicated by mail or word of mouth to other Italian immigrants, passing along information about upcoming jobs and opportunities.
Italian Immigrants arrive in British Columbia, and the Kootenays.
At the end of the Nineteenth Century, British Columbia was undergoing a great period of industrial expansion. Victoria the Capital was developing as a city and major centre for Vancouver island. Vancouver incorporated as a city in 1886 reaping the benefits of being both a harbour and terminal for the CPR thus making the city a valuable economic and trade centre for the West. Both cities were ports of entry to immigrants looking for employment.

As the National Railways reached completion in British Columbia, many immigrants from all over the world found themselves being laid off along the way, thus populating many communities in the process of looking for work.

Can the suffering and joy of a million people be absorbed into walls? If you walk the floors of a seventy-five year old building can you sense the presence of those who came before you? The Pier 21 Society thinks you can, and has invested ten years of volunteer work and fundraising into saving the last standing immigration shed in the country so that all Canadians would have an opportunity to find out.

On March 8, 2003 we celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pier 21ís official opening. Sadly, the founder and first president of the Pier 21 Society passed away in the spring of 2002 but the dream of J.P.LeBlanc (PDF 65KB) has been realized. His dream had been for the creation of a museum that would honour both the place and the people that stopped there, some for just a few hours before boarding trains for destinations across the country, some on their way to or home from war and some, like J.P. LeBlanc, for their careers. That dream came true on July 1, 1999 (PDF 65KB) and it is kept alive everyday by the Society, staff, volunteers, donors and visitors.

Early 1900  - Click to enlarge Emigrants woman  - Click to enlarge Italian band - Click to enlarge
     
     
     

Not all Emigrants that came to North America found Heaven.  All those that disembarked at Ellis Island or Pier 21 in the period of the great migration witnessed incredible stories of anguish and overwhelming human dramas.

Click here to read more


But where are our emigrants?

Looking for Immigration Statistics Dossier Caritas First national conference of Italians abroad (Rome, 11-15 December 2000) - The Italians in the world who have retained citizenship almost four million (3,930,499 This is the data updated consular registers the month of October 2000). The Italian consulates, scattered all over the world, performing office records in the various countries on the basis of direct contacts with our emigrants. - In turn the AIRE, the Registry of Italians resident abroad managed by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with municipalities, showing the cancellation of registration conducted by the municipalities themselves: a bureaucratic more formal proceedings, that is not always performed by those who travel abroad: at the end of May 2000 were 2,756,000 registered trasferitisi Italian abroad, with an underestimation of more than one million units compared with the observed consulates. The AIRE, however, is rich in details about the regional origin of Italians abroad trasferitisi. Therefore, using these breakdowns, and projects on 4 million Italians abroad, you can have a more articulated. - The migration statistics are complex and data acquired from the countries of origin do not correspond exactly to those of host countries. Influence in this respect not only the detection systems but also the acquisition of citizenship, which have now arisen and that does not necessarily entail the loss of the Italian. - The flow of older you can imagine, in most cases, acquisition of citizenship on the ground and if anything there is the problem of estimating the number of oriundi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1995 spoke of 58.5 million oriundi, of which 38.8 million in Latin America, 16.1 million in North America, 2 million in Europe and 0.5 million in Oceania: in 2000, according an estimate of the Ministry, the number should take place between 60 and 70 million. - Most of the four million Italians in the world, who have retained citizenship, are at the expatriation of flows to us closer in time, flows continued to this day the physiological rhythm of about 40/50 thousand l ' years with the involvement of the prevailing South (30%) and Islanders (24%) but also those of the Center (16%) and North (30%), as the average derived from recent years'80 until 1996. The countries of settlement of Italians Abroad - The first four countries ranked by the number of Italians are living in Europe, Germany (688,000), Switzerland (582,000) and France (378,000) and, in America, Argentina (580,000). These four countries, with 2,224,000 attendance, receive more than half of Italian citizens in the world: among them Germany remains firmly on his head. E 'was mentioned that this list affects obviously the process of acquiring citizenship locally. - There is a second group, consisting of 7 countries, with values between 100 and 300 thousand presences, including the representation overseas is prevalent: 307,000 Brazil, Belgium 287.00, U.S. 215,000, Britain 153,000, Canada 132,000 , Venezuela 130,000 and 119,000 Australia - The third category (between 10,000 and 100,000 attendances) is composed of a group of 10 countries: Uruguay, South Africa, Chile, Spain, Holland (these first five exceed the 30,000 attendance) and, therefore, from Peru, Luxembourg, Austria, Monaco and Colombia. - There are nine countries belonging to the fourth group (between 2,500 and 10,000 Italians): Greece, Sweden, Croatia, San Marino, Israel, Ecuador, Egypt, Denmark and Mexico. - Followed by last all other countries in the world with a less than 2500 units. Marcinelle on August 8 1956: the smoke of the fire at the coal mine of Bois du Cazier EUROPA Marcinelle on August 8 1956: the smoke of the fire at the coal mine of Bois du Cazier - It is thus that the Italian presence in world concerns in predominantly Europe (2,207,638 presences, equivalent to 56.2%, of which 1,638,436 in the EU) and Latin America (1,161,197 attendance: 29.5%) and still measure significant, albeit smaller, North America (346,440 attendance: 8.8%) and Australia (119,000: 3.0%). - In summary, in 10 Italians around the world, approximately 6 are in Europe, 3 in Latin America and 1 in Anglo-Saxon countries overseas (U.S., Canada and Australia). In Asia and Africa are very small settlements of Italians: the most blatant exception is the South Africa with 38,000 Italians. - Back a useful comparison with countries of origin of immigrants settled in Canada over the past 30 years. Africa (3 presences in 10) and Asia (2 out of 10) are well represented, as are the countries of Eastern Europe (3 out of 10): instead there are a citizen of the European Union and Latin American every 10 immigrants. As we Italians, when we were a poor country, we have taken the path that led us in the more developed countries, just as they did to us over recent poorly developed countries. Latin America, which has long been an important outlet of migration has become in turn a pole of exodus due to a development process unsatisfactory result. Junction between regions of origin and destination countries - In order to identify regional preferences in migratory outlets need to refer to the total breakdown of Italians in the world: North 29.0%, 11.1% Central, South and 39.0% Islands 20.9%. - The presence of Italians in Europe is characterized by a stronger presence in south: * particularly high in Germany (79.6%, the first group than the Sicilian: 215,000 persons) and Belgium (67.3%, the first group still Sicilian: 91,000 persons); * smaller, but still a majority, France (51.6%, the Sicilian team first: 60,000), Britain (56.1%, the first group that Campania: 37,000) and Holland ( 53.6%, the first group that Sardinian: 7,000); * low in Spain (12.2%, the first group that Lombard: 6,000) and Luxembourg (47.8%, the first group that Pugliese: 7.000). - In Latin America are better represented regions of the North-Central Italy: Brazil (68.8%, the first group that veneto: 77,000), Chile (87.8%, the first group that Lombard: 4.000), Peru (87 2%, the first group that Ligurian: 5,000) and Uruguay (63.8%, the first group that Lombard: 8.000). In Argentina the regions of north-central Italy have roughly the same weight as those southern (but the first group is the Calabrian with 90,000 units); in Venezuela, however, outweigh the southern (70%) and the first group is to Campania (28,000). - Also in North America dominated southern regions: United States (74.8%, the Sicilian team first: 55,000) and Canada (69.5%, the first group that Calabrian: 24.000). - I also prevail in southern Australia (71.8%, the first group that Calabrian: 29,000), while in South Africa are the regions for the first North-Central Italy (the first group of Friulian: 5,000). - More than half of Italians in the world (59.9%) comes from the South, almost one third from North and just over 10% from the regions of the Center. - Currently residing abroad seven Italians than 100 people remained in Italy, however, with a weight varies depending on the areas. In regions of North and Central ratio is 4 emigrants per 100 inhabitants, while in the south there are more than 11 emigrants per 100 inhabitants. - In the northern area marked by a greater presence abroad is the North East: compared to 100 residents in the region are 13.5 residents abroad for the Friuli Venezia Giulia and 7 residents abroad and for the Veneto that for the Trentino Alto Adige. - In the center, the area marked dall'emigrazione least, is an exception to the Marche region of which 7% are located abroad. - In the south, compared to the average of 11 abroad every 100 residents, located above the Abruzzi, Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily with some 15 residents abroad. One case even more significant is the Molise region where more than one fifth of the population is abroad (27.3%). - Taking the comparison with the recent foreign immigration in Italy (one and a half million residents in early 2000), it should be noted that while 7% of the Italian population has been welcomed abroad (4 million people), is 2.6% of the impact of foreign residents on 57 million 680. SOURCE: Calculations Caritas Roma / Dossier on Immigration Statistical data AIRE and Consular Registry.

The above was translated by Google Translate.  Therefore, it may not be accurate.

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