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Friday, July 12, 2024

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 funds to 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 Women’s 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.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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