Tales from a Bygone Era - Alfio Crema
Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Michael Wilcox - Lead Interpreter, Programming
For the second person profiled in our mini-series, we have a young Alfio Crema. When people drive by Britannia, they often recognize the large Mill building, and the historical town below. But few are aware that there was actually another town, Mount Sheer, located 4.5 km inland and higher up the mountain. This is where Alfio was born in 1936. He only lived in the town for a few years, yet he can recall very fond memories that his mother had of this town.
His father brought his mother here, after marrying her in Italy. This was her first taste of America. Alfio’s mother had fond memories of Britannia, and often spoke of the kindness of the people here. They helped her learn English, taught her the ‘modern’ way of doing things, and helped her adapt to a new world. She would often tell Alfio that the people here treated her very well.
The start of Alfio’s life was quite eventful. Alfio decided to come into this world at an inopportune time. His mother was living at the Mount Sheer Townsite, the one without the full hospital. Travel between the towns involved a ride on the Incline Skip, which carried passengers up and down at a 30 degree angle. Not the conditions for a woman in labour to endure. Fortunately, Alfio was born in the infirmary, with few complications, and later transported down to the hospital at the Beach
When Alfio was just an infant; his mother was out in the garden. Needing both hands, she laid Alfio down. Working away at her harvest, she heard some grunting that clearly wasn't her own. As it turns out, there was a bear that was keen on getting his lunch from the garden as well. In a dash of heroism, his mother sprinted over, snatched up Alfio right from the clutches of that old bear’s jaws, and gallantly carried him to safety. Alfio admits the courageous behaviour "might" have been exaggerated over the years, but the joyful memories remain.
It is these exaggerations that give an old company town its colour and spirit. With countless stories pouring in everyday from past residents, it's a comfort to know that memories of the bright cheerful town of old, still remain.
Read other stories about life at Britannia:
Trackbacks ( 0 ) | Permalink
Track Back Link: http://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11866&PostID=510688&A=Trackback
Track Backs: Post has no trackbacks.