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Jennie Prosperine
In Conversation





This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.


Home > People > Jennie Prosperine > A Conversation with Jennie Prosperine
A Conversation with Jennie Prosperine
By Laura D’Amelio

Q: What can you tell me about your family?

My father, Domenic Nasso, arrived in Ottawa in 1903 from Calabria at the age of 17. My mother arrived in 1913. They met in Ottawa and were married in St. Anthony's Church in 1914. My mother was a devoted and caring mother, typical of many Italian mothers. She was kind and generous and was often asked to help in birthing in the community. Based on St. Anthony's archives, my father was a founder of St. Anthony's Church. My family and I are very proud of this accomplishment. My father also employed many people that I grew up with – a lot of young men in the 1930's. I remember who they are to this day. I saw the support and kindness towards the community in my own family.

Q: What does the word “community” mean to you?

It means a very tight-knit family oriented lifestyle and a life that revolved around the church and school. It means happiness and security surrounded by family and friends. Some of my happiest memories go back to the days and the times when I grew up in the Italian community. Families were large at that time, and that meant more friends with whom to make and share wonderful memories. Neighbours were very close and looked out for one another. It was a true village atmosphere. The bond continues today with the annual meeting of the Village Sportsman Club. The Ladies Aid echoes that same village atmosphere because of its membership.

Q: What important changes have you seen in the community?

Seeing the new immigrants established in our community, raising and educating their families and contributing to the growth of the community as well as the church. They arrived in this country to improve their lot in life and they succeeded. Their starter homes were older homes and small, but with their ability to work hard, save their money and stretch a dollar they managed to build or buy larger and more comfortable homes for their families to enjoy. Many of these Italian immigrants went on to become very successful contractors and businessmen. We as a community are very proud of this fact. We are also now seeing their children being educated and playing a very important role in our society as professionals, dentists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and much more.

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