FAntonio (Anthony) Sprovieri was born on September 25, 1871 in Spezzano Grande, Calabria. At age 17, he left Naples, Italy, landed at New York and made the trip to Canada by rail. Brother Francesco followed suit in 1903. Francesco married Marietta Parise and they remained in Fernie. Anthony worked as a fan-man at the local coal mine. In 1909 he married Letizia Grandinetti and together they had seven children: Rosina (Rose), Joseph (Joe), Robert (Bob), Florence, Albert, Sammy and Natalia (Dolly). Letizia died four years after Dolly’s birth. Unable to handle the children on his own, they were sent to a Vancouver orphanage. In 1925 Antonio married again, this time to Rosa Falbo Scarpino. Anthony passed away in Fernie on September 17, 1954.
Children, Rose (Genario DeGeorgio) and Florence (Joseph Chemotti) made it back to Fernie. Dolly (Bystrom) and Joe (Fina Lenardon) moved to Cranbrook. Bob and Sammy remained in Vancouver. Albert made the move to Kelowna in the forties, after attending barber school training in Vancouver. He opened Blackie’s Barbershop next to the ABC Market, which was located at the corner of Bernard and present day Gordon Drive. After moving to Kelowna, Albert was part of the Black Bombers, a local softball team, consisting of several Italian boys from the Glenmore area. Family names included: Rantucci, Ciancone, Vecchio and Fenton. Art Bregolisse recalls that towards the end of a game, if the Black Bombers were ahead, they would invite some of the local teenagers to play for them. In 1941, Albert married Cecilia Schmidt. They had two children: Tony (Theresa) and Denise (Ken Holman). Albert passed away in 2011 and Cecilia in 2020.