A woman explains the reasons, for which her father emigrated to Canada.
P.P.: This I won’t tell you but I’ll tell you that when
we came to Canada in 1957, I was, I was just starting to be a teenager, how
should I say it?
RES.: Therefore, you didn’t come on your own?
P.P.: We here in Regina we came directly to Regina but
my father came in 1954 because we had relatives here and in Saskatoon, And dad
went to Saskatoon, and after a couple of years he arranged that he wanted to
bring the family over as well. We then had mum 5 children. I was the oldest,
then I had Constantine my brother, Euthymios, Eleutheria and Maria. Maria was,
she was born after dad left, in 55 let’s say. She was pregnant mum. And for
this reason, he was bringing us over all together, which was very important,
because we didn’t come alone. We were I think the only family here in Regina
who came as a family. The others had all come seventeen eighteen nineteen
years old, they had to, they were on their own. And I remember many times in
Christmas – this they told me afterwards the Greeks over here – when they were
coming to sing the carols, he says “When we were coming to your house and
seeing all the family together next to the fireplace, next to the fire, we
were as well”. We reminded them of their own relatives, he says. “We were
lonely”, he says. You understand? They were on their own the poor things. And
this is why ourselves I think we moved on a bit differently, because we had,
we had our dad and mum to, to support us, to helps us, yes, to push us a
little to go to school, and we didn’t have the need to get a job right away.
RES.: Yes, of course, the...
P.P.: We were very lucky that we came all together and
we were always together.
RES.: May I ask some questions for the parents first,
concisely. Your father sounds like he had a good job in, in Greece.
RES.: How did he take the decision to come over to
P.P.: He had the war. As soon as mum and dad got
married, the Second World War began. Immediately dad went to war. Afterwards,
when he returned, you know, Greece was also poor after the war, they started
with the guerillas. The men had to hide, the women were afraid of losing them
and he looked down there and said “The village had been burned down by the
guerillas, and what are my kids going to do down here?”. Dad’s family was all
in Athens, but to go to Athens with 5 children… And right there in Athens what
was there? More of the same. They had disturbances there in Athens as well and
poverty, and, let’s say, during the Occupation my grandpa, my dad’s dad my
grandma sent to Kastri, to Saint Nicholas. She tells him “Better to be down
there, because what the others are eating you should be eating as well. But we
down here in Athens we don’t have to get, we don’t have money to buy and we
can’t get any things”. So, it was better in the village than it was in Athens
for some. And then dad arranged with 5 kids “Better that I go as well”. Eh,
they had heard that to Canada and Australia the people were going, they were
making money and for this reason he was thinking as well “I should go
somewhere as well to see if I can make a little money and return” but as soon
as he came over here, he understood money isn’t so easy to make. He started
washing dishes for my cousin in Saskatoon, where he had a restaurant, and he
subsequently became a cook, but he couldn’t make as much money as to return
rich to Greece, so, and his children were now growing up to go to school, and
that’s why he arranged to bring us over here. Mum didn’t want to come that
much, because she was as well, she didn’t know what we’d find in front of us