Germano, Carmela & Steve #16 *

Honoured by D.A. Germano and Joseph Germano.

Our mother, Carmela Zimbalatti, was living in North Bay long before she set foot in the Canadian Pacific Railway Station one icy, subzero January day in 1950. Her father, Santo had emigrated with other family members in 1907 so for the most part of her growing years she knew her future abode would be North Bay.  Santo and his son, Giuseppe, expected to embrace both her and her mother but shortly before departing our grandmother fell ill and passed away.

She crossed the Atlantic aboard the Andrea Doria along with many other compatriots in pursuit of a new beginning in a new land.  She was joined by her betrothed, Stefano better known as Steve Germano, a few months later.  Carmela took care of her little family and acquainted herself with the customs of her new country.  She had other Zimbalatti relatives, owners of Zimbalattti’s Store on Front Street who helped her along the way.  Carmela and Steve were joined in marriage in 1951 at St. Rita’s Church on Douglas Street.

Steve braved the elements of this winter so different to what he was accustomed to and shovelled snow with his bare hands for 25 cents an hour.  Carmela gave birth to Joe, the first New Year’s baby in 1952.  She was very grateful for the many gifts they received from the merchants on Main Street for it helped them a great deal at the time.  In 1953 their daughter, Tonie, was born.  The house on 770 Front Street had been blessed. Steve decided to go to trade school in Windsor to become a bricklayer.  He bought a red truck and started a business in construction.  He remained in this field for many years and later on took care of his apartment building up to the latter years of his life.  Carmela loved to cook and had crowds at her table at least once a week.  She was a jovial soul who enjoyed people and company.

Carmela left us in 1990 while on a trip to Arizona and Steve died in North Bay in 2005.  Steve and Carmela left a small Calabrian town in Italy to make North Bay their home.  They were very proud and thankful for the opportunity and life that North Bay afforded them.