A woman reports that she was forced to emigrate, because her father couldn’t provide her with a dowry.
G.Τ.: Because where we lived, we were very poor and I had another four siblings and
I was the fifth. And my father, after I came, they were definitely marrying the girls and they had to provide them with a dowry.
That’s how the system was at the time and my father didn’t have a dowry to provide me with and he decided to send me abroad.
And the only solution was that I could leave because my siblings were younger and they couldn’t emigrate on their own. And I
was the oldest and my father decided to send me to either Australia or Canada and he read somewhere that Canada is a decent
country and he took care to send me as -sorry- as a seamstress because at the time Canada was receiving seamstresses, you know,
of sewing. I had learned a little and afterwards, after I started attending English for about a month in order to be able to
communicate here for when I’d come, then Canada closed its doors to seamstresses. It wasn’t receiving seamstresses anymore,
and he thought to send me as a maid because at the time they had said they were accepting maids. And he took care and he found
some lawyer at Levidi in Tripoli to obtain a paper, that he had me as a maid and so the papers were made and within seven months I emigrated.
RES.: So, did this lawyer live here in Canada, no?
G.Τ.: No, no, in Greece, back then that’s how it was done. Those who wanted to leave for abroad
filled papers and it was that is, because, because what did they do? How could they come to Canada? Who can receive them?
In what way would they come to Canada and back then Canada was asking for maids, it had a demand for maids.
RES.: And in Greece sorry, did you go to a school for maids?
G.Τ.: No, I didn’t go at all, this paper which that lawyer signed was a fake (Laughs).
RES.: Now I get it, and here in Canada did you have any acquaintances?
G.Τ.: No, I had nobody. Through the Committee, there was a Committee which arranged the papers.
We were going through doctors in order not to have diseases, in order to, I had to go to Athens to go through a doctor, through a
committee and they were asking us questions. And at the time there was also the political aspect, because Greece after 1940 when
the Germans were here, and after ’45 we also had a civil war. Of course, I was young but they were asking everything, we must have
a clean, I don’t know how to say it, a clean political, as they say to be politically clean.