Ivo Arduini (1883-1959) and Regina Bui (1884-1960) were both born and raised in Candelara, Marche, Italy and married on Nov. 11, 1905. They immigrated to Canada and resided in Kamloops, BC. Ivo and Regina had five children: Joseph, 1906, Peter who died as a toddler, Mary, 1912, Victor, 1915 and Elena (Nellie), 1916. Ivo was a shoemaker, who opened Arduini's Shoe Store in 1906. It operated for 100 years. When Ivo retired, his son, Victor, then grandson, Greg took over the running of the store.
James Ivens Campbell (1885-1927) was born in Barford, Warwickshire, England and Eva Watson (1892-1976) was born in Woolwich, Kent, England. Both had immigrated separately, to Kelowna, BC, and met in the Kelowna City Park. James had the contract to run the Kelowna-Westbank Ferry Service from 1911-1916. He had the ferry, the Aricia, built in the Kelowna Sawmill Yard, by the Jones brothers, in 1912. Eva was governess to the Grote Stirling family and immigrated with them in 1912. James and Eva were married in 1916 and bought a ten acre property on Benvoulin Road. James established a garage business, called The Benvoulin Garage. They had three children: James (Jim), 1917, Leonard, 1919, and Gwen, 1926. James died at the age of forty-two. Eva moved off the acreage and into Kelowna to raise her three children and work for the Simpson family.
Mary Arduini married Les V. Campbell (no relation to Jim). Les was manager at the Paramount Theatre in Kelowna, until they moved to Trail, BC, to manage the Famous Players Theatre. They eventually moved to Castlegar, BC, opened their own Theatre and started the Castlegar News.
Nellie Arduini and Jim Campbell met in Kelowna in 1937, when Nellie came to visit her sister, Mary, to help her with her newborn son. They married in Kamloops in 1940, but immediately made their home in Kelowna. Jim was an electrician and partner in Acme Radio Ltd. He eventually opened his own business, Campbell’s Radio & Appliance Repairs. After Jim sold the business, he worked for Okanagan Packers as the refrigeration operator. They had four children: Melvyn (Anne Setter), 1944, Victor (Anna Rozniak), 1947, Elena (Keith Garrison), 1951 and Philip (Brenda Wagner), 1953.
Nellie belonged to the Catholic Women’s League (was President twice), and the Sewing Circle. She did volunteer work with shut-ins and helped with translating letters for them. Jim and Nellie belonged to the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club and loved their dinners, dances and picnics. Their door was always open to family, friends and newcomers to Kelowna. The priests would always invite themselves to Nellie’s Sunday night Spaghetti dinners! Nellie had a love for life and she was always in skits, dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating, which sometimes got her into trouble, but, she was the life of the party! It has been said, that when you think of Nellie, a smile comes to your face.
Elena Campbell Garrison
Alfredo Giuseppe (Pep) Guidi was born on November 21, 1892 in the village of Filicaia, Camporgiano, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy to parents Fedele Guidi and Maria Pretendi. He served with Italy during World War I. On April 17, 1920, he married Angelina Suffredini. On May 28, 1927 he left Cherbourg, France and arrived in Quebec June 4. His destination was Kelowna, BC, where he would be farming with Giovachino Lanfranco.
Angelina, born in 1893, made her venture to America leaving Genoa, Italy November 15, 1929 and arriving in New York November 26. She was one of nine members, all travelling to Kelowna, from Camporgiano, Lucca. Angelina was accompanied by her daughters: Adriana and Maria. Also with her were Umile Coli Guidi (Ferruccio Pietro Guidi) and her children: Enrico, Renato, Lorenzo and Isabella. Completing the group were Luigia Lenzi Favali and sons: Francis and Michelino.
After spending several years in Kelowna he moved to Summerland, BC, where he was employed by the fruit industry. In 1934, Alfredo and Angelina moved to a dwelling on Giant’s Head Road where Pep worked for W R Boyd. He assisted with the construction of several Summerland landmarks. Alfredo also served as a member of the Summerland Canadian Legion for a number of year. He enjoyed classical music and spent many hours listening and appreciating operas.
Alfredo and Angelina raised two children: Audrey (Vince Genovese) and Mary (Bob Richards). Both Alfredo and Angelina are laid to rest at the Canyon View Cemetery, Summerland.
Oreste Luigi Francescutti (Gigi) was born on March 6, 1905 in Casarsa, Pordenone, Friuli, Italy. He was one of eight children of Davide Francescutti and Eliza Morasutti. Gigi arrived in Canada in 1927 to meet his brother, Roberto, who was working in a coal mine near Edmonton, Alberta. He moved on to Kelowna, BC, with friends, Dick Bertoia and Michele Davide (Dino) Dapavo. In Kelowna, he met Enrichetta (Katie) Lanfranco (born in Kelowna October 17, 1910) and married her on December 30, 1930.
Luigi was a brick layer by trade. Soon after their marriage, Katie and Luigi moved to Powell River, BC. Luigi worked in the pulp and paper mill repairing the brickwork in the ovens. By 1932, they were back to Kelowna, where daughter, Jean (Hurdle), was born in 1932 and son, Allan, in 1945.
Upon Gigi’s return to Kelowna, he teamed up with Jack Snider. Jack and Gigi found a cabin near Lumby and began cutting railway ties. Following this, Luigi began working in the masonry trade, in Kelowna, with Egidio Orsi. Gigi and Katie also operated a small farm on KLO Road and later, acquired land on Gordon Road. They raised hay and grew grapes and prunes. Katie worked each fall for various Kelowna packing houses. She was a very accomplished stitcher, creating many large art works, some taking up to a year to create.
In later years, Luigi and Katie undertook property management. They moved houses from various parts of Kelowna and established them on new foundations in the Gordon and KLO Road areas. During retirement, they began travelling, taking many bus tours. Luigi passed away in 1985 and Katie in 2004. They are laid to rest at Lakeview Memorial Gardens, Kelowna, BC.
Ernesto Bianco was born on January 28, 1887 in Montigrosso, Italy to Guiseppe and Guiseppina Bianco. Sabina Chiola was born on June 3, 1895 in San Stefano Belbo in the province of Cuneo, Italy, to Andrea and Luigia Chiola.
Ernesto came from a family that was well off. They owned a lot of land in Italy. Being one of the younger children, he did not inherit any land, so in 1919, he decided to leave and got a job on a ship. He went through the Panama Canal and headed up to Canada. He got a job working in the mines in Saunder’s Creek, Alberta.
Ernesto wanted a wife, so he went back to Italy in 1915. His marriage to Sabina was arranged. He brought her to Saunder’s Creek. Fred (Federico), Nina (Edzelina), Rudy (Renaldo), Paul (Palmo), Lon (Orlando), and Al (Alberto) were born in Alberta. Joyce and Ernie (Ernesto) were born in Kelowna, BC. While in Saunder’s Creek, the couple owned and ran a small B&B and bar. Sabina cooked while Ernesto worked in the mines, and ran the bar in the evenings. There were no schools in Saunder’s Creek, so all the children of the miners had to be sent to a boarding school, 100 miles away. The Cacchioni family was also here and heard that Kelowna was a place that was rich for farming and on a lake. They wanted their children with them, so the Biancos and Cacchionis all decided to move to Kelowna.
Ernesto bought a twenty-acre farm on Benvoulin Road. They grew grapes, onions, tomatoes, and asparagus and raised chickens, horses, cows and pigs. They had peach trees, pears, apples and cherries. Sabina made butter and sold it. Because it was the Great Depression, the older boys left to work and sent money back home.
Sabina was an exceptional woman with a heart of gold. She was very business savvy and sharp with numbers. She was very resourceful: sewed, baked, preserved, and worked till late at night working the farm and raising her children. Sabina always knew how to make money when times were hard.
Ernesto was not the easiest person to be married to. The early years of their marriage were good, but things became quite difficult when the Depression hit. He really enjoyed prospecting. He discovered oil, but it was too far down to get to. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and he enjoyed making his own wine.
Both Sabina and Ernesto had beautiful voices and were often asked to sing at various gatherings when they were young. They belong to the Italian Club, and the members all pitched in and built the clubhouse for gatherings and events.
Sabina died on April 16, 1946 at 51 years old. Ernesto died on February 22, 1970 at 83 years old. They were both interned at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Kelowna.
Riccardo (Dick) Bertoia was the first child of Guilio Bertoia, a marble worker, and Ida Della Schiava. He was born on November 29, 1906 in Arzene, Pordenone, Friuli (fifty miles northeast of Venice). Giulio made two trips to Canada. He worked at a brewery in Fernie, BC, from 1908-1910. His second trip was in 1914, to work on a farm in Bowmanville, Ontario. Guilio returned to Italy, as his wife would not move to Canada.
Dick arrived in Halifax on March 21, 1924. He made his way to Cranbrook, BC, and soon got a job as a handyman at a logging camp. Over the next few years, Dick did a variety of jobs in Cranbrook, Kimberley, Lumberton and Wasa, at a hospital kitchen, a logging camp, a sawmill and a railway camp. From 1927-1931, Dick worked on Sandy Gordon’s farm and in packing houses in Kelowna, made railway ties in Lumby, and loaded paper in Powell River. A move in 1933, made Dick a ‘Watkins Man’, selling products door to door in Nelson, BC.
Mary Casorso was born on February 20, 1909 in Kelowna, BC, the oldest child of Louis Casorso and Caterina Dapavo. Kelowna born Louis, was both a farmer and a rancher. Mary attended St Ann’s Convent in Victoria from the ages of twelve to sixteen. When she was sixteen, the housekeeper died, so Mary had to go home to cook for the ranch-hands and be like a mother to her two brothers. Mary met Dick in 1928, at a play in the Old Mission School. They were married in Kelowna on April 26, 1934. Dick worked at the Cominco lead refinery plant from 1935, until his retirement in 1971. They lived in both Trail, BC, and Rossland, BC, before building their Kelowna home in 1976.
Dick was very active in First Aid, from the old Air Raid Patrol Days (during World War II) to winning a team competition in 1960. He was also a volunteer ambulance driver from 1961 to 1978. Dick also helped with Meals on Wheels, the Knights of Columbus, the Eagles Lodge and the local Credit Union. In between raising a family and going fishing with Mary, he still found time to make wine, to play crib, to travel, to read and his favourite - to talk to people.
Mary and Dick had six children: Edna (Jim Carfrae), Helen (Jack Duck), Beverly (Allan Anderson) Donald (Sandy Osborne), Robert (Carole Marsh), and Jeannine (Wolf Behrenbruch). Mary died in 1984, and Dick in 1995. They are at rest in the Immaculate Conception Church Cemetery in Kelowna.
Jim Carfrae, Senior
Agostino was born on March 28, 1883 in San Martino D’Ocre, Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy to Gabriele Cacchioni and Vincenza Pace. He arrived in Trail in 1912 and became a Canadian citizen in 1914. Here, he met Marietta Lauriente. Marietta immigrated in 1905, at age seven. She was born on November 20, 1897 in Agnone, Campobasso, Molise, Italy to Tommaso Lauriente and Carmela Cacciavilani. Agostino and Marietta were married on July 17, 1916 at St Francis Church in Trail, BC.
Son, Roland David Gabriel (Carolina Molina), was born in 1917 while the family was living in Nanaimo, BC. At fourteen years of age and being the oldest, he helped support the family by going to work in the mines in Nordegg, Alberta. Son, Tomasso, Tom Albert, (Dorothy McLeod), was born in 1923 in Blairmore, Alberta. At age eighteen, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On his return to Canada, he became a dentist in Vancouver. Daughters, Lorraine Patricia (William Martinou) and Gloria (Armando Gri) were both born in Nordegg, Alberta.
Agostino was involved with mining in Trail, Nanaimo and Nordegg. He was very active at work, standing up for his fellow workers. He was blacklisted from the mining industry, at a time when labour organizing was intolerable by employers.
The family moved to Kelowna, BC in 1924. They acquired a small farm on Bernard Avenue, in the Bankhead area. Lorenzo R (Lawrence) was born in Kelowna in 1938. Sadly, he died tragically in 1949.
During the 1930s, groups of Kelowna volunteers, many of them Italian, gave their time to help establish an east side road from Kelowna to Naramata. In 1938, Agostino and friend, Vittorio Martinato, were on their way to do some blasting work, when a terrible vehicle accident took Vittorio’s life.
Agostino passed away on April 12, 1962 and Marietta on January 22, 1983. Both are interred in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Kelowna, BC.
Rolli and Robert Cacchioni
Angelo Guidi was born in Pontecosi, Tuscany, Italy, on August 20, 1881. Letizia Maria Pellini was born in Borsigliana, Lucca, Italy on August 4, 1883. They were married in Pontecosi in 1907. Both died in Kelowna, BC. Angelo died on October 30, 1953, at the age of 72. Letizia died on August 13,1964, at the age of 81.
Angelo, along with brother Amos, cousin Pietro Guidi, friend Samuele Turri, Cesare Bertucci and Carlo Cavanni, left Italy on February 3, 1912. They formed a group called the “Six Immigrants”. On February 17, 1912, they travelled by paddle wheeler, the Okanagan, down the Okanagan Lake to Kelowna, where they were met by friends and relatives, with whom they stayed until they were able to buy their own land and build their own homes. They did any kind of work that was available. They worked hard to save and eventually started to build their homes. They formed work bees to help each other build the homes.
They eventually learned enough English to be able to communicate and get better jobs. Angelo did landscape gardening, masonry, plastering, and building. He also worked many years in the packing house. Angelo built his house at 1123 St. Paul Street in Kelowna.
Like many others who came to Canada, Angelo left his family in Italy. He wanted to see what the new country could offer them. So Letizia, daughter, Clara, and son, Rodolph, remained in Italy. In early 1914, Angelo sent for Letizia. The children remained with their grandparents until she saw what things were like. A daughter, Lucia, was born in 1917. In the meantime war broke out and so the older children did not arrive in Canada until 1919.
Clara married her cousin, Ralph Guidi, in 1953. They had no children. They resided in Kelowna. Ralph worked for the city as an electrician and Clara worked for many years at the Willow Inn Hotel. Ralph died in May, 1971, and Clara died in March, 1974.
Rudolph attended Normal School in Victoria, BC, and entered the teaching profession. He was hired by the Oliver School Board in 1931. He married Mae Margaret Smithers in 1933. Two sons were born: Gordon Rudolph, 1934 and Peter Douglas, 1938.
Lucia attended Normal School and taught in Bridesville, BC and later in Oliver, BC. Lucia met George Schorn, while employed at the Rock Mountain school near Bridesville. They were married in 1944, at Immaculate Conception Church in Kelowna. They had two children, Michael George, 1945 and Letitia Ann, 1947.
Tish Schorn Ecker
Augusto Ongaro was born on September 4, 1877, in Arzene, Pordenone, Udine, Italy. He married Luigia Maria Pavan, who also was from Arzene. They had three children: Mary Teresa, born 1899, Giacomo, born Aug 24, 1901 and Modesta Pamela, born July 10, 1903. Augusto made his journey to America in 1911. The 1921 Canadian Census showed him, and twenty-two fellow Italian labourers, at the Black Mountain Irrigation Camp #2, in the Rutland, BC area. Included in these names are Sam Ongaro, age 46 (immigrated 1911), Maxim Ongaro, age 17 (immigrated 1920), and Giacomo Ongaro, age 20. It is believed that Augusto and Sam were brothers and Maxim (Massimo) is Sam’s son. Luigia never made the journey to America.
Giacomo immigrated to New York on December 25, 1919, with his final destination listed as his father, in Kelowna, BC. On January 2, 1923, Giacomo entered the United States by automobile at Sumas, Washington and petitioned for Naturalization. His 1942 enlistment papers listed Giacomo as working for Crane Mills Bakery, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. On December 27, 1944 Giacomo married Carmella M Capetta.
Teresa immigrated on August 30, 1923, with her final destination listed as her father, in Kelowna, BC. She married Camillo Giovanni Gaspardone, son of Kelowna Pioneers, Luigi Gaspardone (1903 arrival) and Maria Rosa Bevilacqua (1907 arrival). Camillo was a teamster and farmed in the Kelowna area. Both Camillo and Teresa passed away in 1977 and are interred in Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
Modesta married Guillermo Pagnucco. She passed away in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
Augusto, a retired farmer, crossed the border on March 27, 1945, at Blaine, Washington, on his way to live with his son, Giacomo (Jake), in North Hollywood, California. But, he did not remain long in California. Augusto passed away February 28, 1957, in Kelowna. He is buried in Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
Egisto was one of five children of Angelo Bigattini and Sofia Martellini. He was born on August 9, 1884 in Santa Fiora, Grosetto, Tuscany, Italy. In 1909, he left Italy, as there was no work. After eighteen days, he landed on Ellis Island and was quarantined. From Ellis Island, he travelled to Fernie, BC where he set up a bakery. He married eighteen year old, Rosa Lozza, in 1912. They had three children: Alma, Elya and Gino. Gino died at age twelve, after running a fever for only one day. Rosa passed away in 1921.
Egisto moved to Cranbrook, BC, where he married Erminia Vanoni. Egisto owned a hotel, and a bowling alley. He also operated a bus line that ran to Fernie. Egisto and Herminia had three children: Joseph, Reno, and Erminia. Joseph and Reno were soldiers in WWII. Joe was an entertainer and Reno a soldier. Reno died in 1944, at age 19, in Flanders Fields, Belgium. The City of Cranbrook named Bigattini Mountain in his honour. Erminia died during the birth of baby Erminia.
In 1941, Egisto married Florence Rodwinski. They had Alexander, Florence, Reno and Marino. In 1947 Egisto and Florence moved to Rutland (Kelowna, BC). They built a bakery with living quarters at the corner of Highway 33 and Kneller Road. The large white building is still there. Egisto had plans for a hotel and bar, but the neighbourhood vetoed that. He was a baker and store owner, who gave charge accounts to many struggling neighbours. He made wine, imported cheese and other items from Italy. He also played the accordion and wrote music. Kelowna’s Remi Picco, a child in Cranbrook, road his bicycle to Mr. Bigattini for lessons.
In 1960, Egisto opened a second bakery in Lumby, BC, where he became a large part of that community, entertaining in the evenings with his accordion. His wife, Florence, ran the bakery in Rutland. Egisto passed away in Kelowna, on April 29, 1963 after a short illness. He is interred at Lakeview Memorial Garden Cemetery, Kelowna, BC.
The Ceresi name was first seen in an article titled: “An Italian Immigrant looks back on life’s grand adventure” by Samuele Turri (Okanagan Historical Society #64 Report, 2000). Samuele and five friends (Angelo Guidi, Amos Guidi and Pietro Guidi, Carlo Cavani and Cesare Bertucci) arrived in Kelowna in 1912. In this article, Samuele states “At first I stayed with a dear friend, Nicola Ceresi….”.
Nicola was born on July 24, 1883 in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. A 1909, Le Havre, France, to New York manifest, listed Nicola, age 25, single, laborer, leaving his father Battista Rossi, in Massa Carrare (Tuscany). His destination was listed as Kelowna, Canada to meet a friend Ulissi Guidi. Two travelling mates, Enrico Alberti and Alfredo Biagioni, were also early Kelowna arrivals.
The 1911 census for Kelowna, showed that Nicholas Ceresi (26), Joseph Rossi (24) and Chance Guidi (25) were lodgers with Ambrogio Suffredini (39). Nicola’s occupation was listed as labourer and his employment as “building”. A 1913 manifest showed Palmizio Favali at Ellis Island, travelling to Kelowna, to meet cousin Nicola Ceresi in Kelowna, BC.
On November 3, 1913 there was a display ad in the Daily News from Nelson, BC, for the “New Grand Hotel… Best Place in Town, $1.00 A DAY UP.” It listed Nicola Ceresi , Joseph Rossi (Nicola’s uncle) and H Wassick of Crescent Valley and a C Fiorenza as owners of the hotel. Crescent Valley is halfway between Castelgar and Nelson, on highway #6, on the way to Slocan, BC.
On June 15, 1944, Nicola married Elizabeth (Betty) Theresa Latka, in Michel Natal, BC. Elizabeth was born on December 19, 1914, in Michel Natal, to Czechoslovakian parents: John Latka and Theresa Hlicke. The 1946 obituary for Alberto Ulissi Guidi indicated that Nicola was his brother in law. Alberto had married Nicola’s sister, Adela Maria Rossi.
The 1949 Voters List listed Nicholas (carpenter) and Elizabeth Betty Ceresi living in Natal, BC,. The 1974 voters listed them retired, in Sparwood, BC. Nicola and Elizabeth are interred at the Elk Valley Cemetery in Sparwood. Nicola passed in 1975 and Elizabeth, in 2002. They had no children.