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Memorable Manitobans: Frank Albi (1896-1988)

Businessman, community activist.

Born at Grimaldi, Consenza, Italy in 1896, he first immigrated to Colorado as a child before moving to Winnipeg in 1912. In 1922, he was a founding member of the Holy Rosary Church, established to serve the growing Italian community in the city. An excellent tenor, he was a founding member of the church choir and entertained in the Winnipeg theatrical and vaudeville circuit. His first business was a confectionary on Sherbrook Street, across from the Misericordia Hospital. He later operated the Merchants Hotel in Portage la Prairie and the Home Cafe on Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg.

In 1932, he established the Columbus Lunch at the corner of Graham and Smith, which became a meeting place for journalists of the Winnipeg Tribune and employees of the Eaton’s complex. He also operated the food services for the Manitoba Medical Service and worked as a chef for the Fort Garry Hotel and with the Salvation Army. Active in the community, he worked with the federal government to assist in the immigration of thousands of Italian families. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Roma Society.

He died at Winnipeg on 27 June 1988.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, Tuesday, 28 June 1988, page 26.

This page was prepared by Kris Keen.

Page revised: 5 October 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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