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Kimberley Families

The Sacilotto Family

as told by son Lino

Olivo Sacilotto was a young man from northern Italy who was lured to the opportunities offered in the great expanse of Canada. Born in 1894, the youngest of fifteen children, he sailed from Genoa in 1920 and came directly to Blairmore, where an older brother lived. For a short time he worked for Mr. Possi, then in 1921 he came to Wycliffe and worked in the sawmill for the Otis Staples lumber company.

In 1923 he was working in the Mine for the Company, but the Concentrator was being built and needed construction workers so he was transferred. He worked along with nine other fellow countrymen. Albert Pighin was one of them. Oli and Dominic Dolorenzi built the beautiful rock walls around the flower borders at the Concentrator. Several of them batched in a log cabin near Black Bear bridge, believed to have been occupied by the prospectors who worked the Black Bear mine.

In 1925 Oli went back to Italy to be married, he returned in 1926 and went to work in Trail on the Warfield construction. His wife did not join him until 1930.

A son, Lino, was born while they lived in Trail and a second son, Deli, was born when they returned to Kimberley. Both boys received their elementary schooling in Kimberley.

Lino began working for the Company in 1950 on the clean-up crew, and in the Machine Shop at the Concentrator. For awhile he worked on the high line with Jimmy Portman, (this was the ore haulage system between the Mine and the Mill). Jim Lindsay and Jim Davis were the Electrical crew on this job. In 1953, Lino transferred to the Roasting Plant at the Fertilizer. He took a millwright course at night school for four years.

Lino is a union man, he has been shop steward, a trustee, recording secretary, Vice-President and President of Local 651, Steelworkers of America. He has been President for the past nine years.

He was one of the original directors on the board of the Special Care Home and continues to be on the board. He has acted on the executive of the City Planning Committee, and he is on the executive of the East Kootenay Labour Council,

Lino married Marjorie Greenland and they have three children: Valerie, Paul, and Laura. Valerie works for the school board while Paul and Laura are still attending High School.

Deli began working for the Company at the Concentrator during summer vacations. He won the P.T.A. Fine Arts Scholarship in High School, and attended four years at Calgary Tech. He also won their scholarship that took him to York University in Toronto. He then went on to study in New York for a year. He studied newspaper publishing and worked on a newspaper in Edmonton for a time. He received a Canada Council Grant which enabled him to study abroad and he spent a year in Orbino, Italy, where he took up lithography. He brought a two hundred year old lithographic machine back with him.

Deli has been an instructor in Calgary Tech, where he first studied, and is now an associate professor at York University in Toronto. He has his own lithography business in New York. He and another professor have written a book on Art that is being used in universities today. Deli married an American girl, and they have one daughter.

In the summer of 1955, Mr. Olivo Sacilotto took his family back to Italy on a visit to show them where he came from and to see the few remaining relatives.

Mrs. Olivo Sacilotto passed away in 1963 and, in 1965, Oli married a widow, Mrs. Manarin. She passed away in 1978.

Lino's recollections of his boyhood in Kimberley are the swimming and fishing in Mark Creek. He remembers the natural playground that once was the Eimer farm, now Lower Blarchmont. Several of his friends had horses, and he would help look after them in return for the opportunity to ride one. He remembers summer Scout Camp at Lake Windermere with the Rev. Resker and Ed McVickers in charge. Oli, now 84, recently moved into the "Pines" Special Care Home.

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