E-Storia

A shared history

E-Storia is the story of Italian Immigrant families that have settled in Montreal since the late 1800's.

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Carlo Verelli

Images may not be reproduced without the permission of Casa d'Italia CCPI

"Quando uno ha la salute e la voglia di lavorare, il Canada è il paese adatto."

"When you have good health, and the drive to work, Canada is an ideal place."

Running with his mother in the fields as cannon shots were being fired by German soldiers remains an indelible memory for Carlo Verelli. Born in 1938 in Pofi, Frosinone, Carlo remembers his mother urging him "Andiamo a metterci nella buca," as they hurried across the fields to the pits where they would be protected from the shots. It was 1944, and Carlo's father had by then returned home by foot across thousands of km from the Russian front. As the end of the War approached, a new day began.

Following completion of mandatory schooling in Pofi, tending to the crops and animals on the family farm, and watching his father and brother immigrate for work to Venezuela, nineteen-year old Carlo set in motion a new life project: his migration to Canada., On July 26, 1958, as he carefully observed the docking of the S. S. Saturnia at Halifax harbour, he knew Canada would be his new home.

"Dopo la Guerra, ognuno cercava di emigrare per farsi una vita."
"After the War, everyone wanted to emigrate to begin a new life."

His fidanzata (fiancée) Vincenza was eagerly waiting for him in Montreal. Before leaving for Canada in 1956, Vincenza had already agreed to marry Carlo. Within one month of Carlo's arrival, Vincenza and Carlo were married at the Church Sainte-Élizabeth-du-Portugal in Montreal's St. Henri neighbourhood. At first they settled on Walnut Street, from there, they moved to Ville Émard with their extended families, together with Carlo's parents who soon joined the family in Montreal in 1961.

The couple started out by working in different sectors of Montreal's economy: Carlo was earning $26.00 per week working in the toy industry, and Vincenza earned $35.00 per week in the bakery industry. It didn't take them long to realize that their lives in Montreal would bring significant financial satisfaction. Over the years, Carlo entered the hairbrush industry, and became co-owner of the company, Continental Brush. From there, he worked on developing plastic parts for the construction industry for his company, C.V. International Plastics Inc., which today he leads with his son, Angelo.

Located in Chateauguay, C.V. International Plastics Inc. serves the local, national and international construction industry, and holds Canadian and U.S. Patents for products that improve the packaging process. Carlo's unquenchable need to innovate has also led him to develop a new system for bending machines for the company's Steel Chair product line.

Guido Nincheri's Stained-Glass "Windows to Heaven" and the Casa d'Italia

When Carlo Verelli learned about the building renovations taking place at the Casa d'Italia, he casually mentioned the stained glass windows that he owned of Italian-Canadian artist, Guido Nincheri to the Casa's President, Angela Minicucci. They had originally been purchased years ago for his planned country home, but by then, plans had dissolved, and Carlo was very pleased to donate them to the Casa. Nincheri's "Windows to Heaven" have since been restored to their original location.