a bright sunny April day following Easter weekend, with crocuses
peaking up around the city, Anello Castrucci and his youngest
daughter, Brigida, arrived at Il Postino office to talk about
Anello's life, and what an interesting conversation it turned
out to be. Introductions made, we sat around the oval table
and chatted about how Anello Castrucci became the extraordinary
man he is today.
in Carpineto, Rome, on November 18, 1929, Anello was one of
five children born to Serafina and Raffaele Castrucci. The
Castrucci family prospered in Italy, and their lives were
served in the Italian Army for 15 months in 1951, where his
superior leadership skills were recognized by all who had
the privilege to serve with him.
Castrucci, the oldest brother, was the first to leave for
Canada, followed two years later by the rest of the family.
worked in a factory in Sault Saint Marie; ventured to Sudbury;
and from Sudbury he came to Ottawa, where he now resides.
the winter of 1959, Anello decided it was time to return to
Italy, and after a five-year absence, this became a reality.
Early one morning after his arrival in his home town, he walked
to a nearby market, and this is where his life changed forever.
He remembers the very first time he laid eyes on Loreta, and
knew that he could never look at another woman again. The
two started dating. Both knew instantly that they were made
for each other.
a whirlwind 28-day courtship, Anello married Loreta at the
age of 29. He then went to the Canadian Embassy in Rome to
acquire a passport for his young wife. He produced evidence
to Canadian government officials proving he was a Canadian
Citizen; he owned a home, and that he was financially secure.
The embassy fast-tracked the application and within two months
they were on their way to Canada. The bride was only 19 years
old when she waved goodbye to her mother and her two sisters
who remained in Italy. Anello laughed as he stated that he
used to be the handsome one in the family until he married
Loreta. When they arrived in Ottawa they felt daunted, yet
excited to start their lives together even though their parents
resided in Italy;
his younger days, Anello carried a gunny sack over his shoulder
wherever he went. In one section he carried snacks, and in
the other section he carried his precious books. He was a
voracious reader, and feels his books aided him in becoming
a more self-sufficient man; further developing his leadership
abilities as he became a respected member of the Italian Canadian
joined the Order of Italian Canadians, first established in
Montreal in the fall of 1926. The Order is a financial services
organization where, as a customer, you are a member. Members
may be eligible for the Order Member Benefits such as competitive
scholarships. The Order offers authorized Classes of Insurance
including Life; Accident, and Sickness.
1938 the Order was nationally incorporated at the beginning
of WWII. From 1950 to 1966, the second major wave of Italians
immigrated to Canada. From 1960 to 1976, Anello and Anselmo
Bortolotti rebuilt the Ottawa Order, growing its membership
"The Italo Canadian Order not only offers fraternal insurance,
but is also extended to other cultural, sports, and educational
activities, and invites all Italians to take part in this
family." Anselmo Bortolotti
this time the young couple started their family. Giuseppe
was the first of their children to arrive on Jan. 28, 1960;
and is Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Laurysen Kitchens,
President Ottawa-Carleton Homebuilders Association, and President
of the Ferrari Club, Ottawa Branch. Giuseppe has 3 children.
Wilma Bianco, May 5, 1964; is an Executive Assistant at Bell
Canada, continues to be extremely involved with the Order
of Italian Canadians, and is the current President of the
Local Lodge in Ottawa; Wilma has one son. Brigida was born
May 2, 1973, and owns Tiny Hoppers, consisting of four children's
centres in Ottawa including Orleans, Kanata and two in Riverside.
Brigida hosted fashion shows for the Italo Youth Group for
15 years, and was also a Youth Group representative.
autobiographical writer, Anello wrote "I miei lontani
pascoli" published in Montreal: Riviera 1984. This is
the narrative-like story of Anello's life. In addition to
"I miei lontani pascoli", Anello wrote: Il Libri;
VOCI CHE Tornano, La storia GABRIELLA, and would still like
to write another book. The essence of Anello's life is found
in his writings.
continues to be active on the Board of Directors for The Order
of Italian Canadians, is their Orator, and donates his time
to Italian community associations. Anello and Loreta have
four grandchildren, with more to come!
our conversation at an end, we stood up, shook hands, and
said our goodbyes as Anello left us with these parting words
"Italian immigrants have made many sacrifices along the
way. We can certainly all agree that it was worth every one."
Ruth Perley Fortin