Giovanni Baptista Muzzatti immigrated
to Canada at the age of 15. Giovanni was a descendant of Italian
Nobility from Pescincanna, in the Prodenone province. His original family estate
with its 300 year old frescos is now being preserved by the Italian
Government. Giovanni returned to Italy to marry Faelia Martinuzzi,
in 1923. Faelia was one of the six children of Luigi and Regina
(Roncandin) Martinuzzi. Luigi was a talented carpenter who built
boxcars for the new railroad at Fort William, today known
as Thunder Bay, Ontario.
In 1927, Giovanni and Faelia immigrated to Canada, settling
in Windsor, Ontario. They had two daughters and one son.
Their spirit and energy helped build part of the Italian heritage
that exists in Windsor today. Faelia and
a handful of Italian women persisted until they collected enough
build the first church for Italians in the Windsor community.
These women became the first group called The Christian Mothers’ Society.
Today, it is known as the Catholic Women’s League.
The men of this community built the church. Over the years, the
League continued to hold hundreds of banquets and church bazaars
to raise funds for the church and the community.
Faelia was an accomplished seamstress who made all the altar
clothes, priest’s vestments, altar boy garments and draperies
for the church and the hall. She did this for many decades. Just
about every bride, and their bridesmaids, married in St. Angela Merici
church at that time wore dresses sewn by
Faelia. Faelia died on July 9, 2000, at the age of 101.
Giovanni worked at the Ford Motor Company in Windsor from the
very first day it was opened until the day he retired. He was
well loved for his efforts in maintaining the Italian heritage
within the Windsor community. He died in January 1960.