A Passionate Pen
Glenbow Archives

Letter from George to Norma
Glenbow Archives, Pocaterra fonds
(M 6340, file 9)
larger view

George Pocaterra was a rancher and explorer from Vicenza, Italy. Enchanted with childhood tales of the Canadian West, this son of a wealthy industrialist, came to Canada in 1903 and established the Buffalo Head Ranch in the foothills of Alberta. While on a trip to Italy in 1934, he met Canadian Norma Piper, who was studying opera. The daughter of a dentist, Norma had gone to Italy to further her operatic career. George took an instant interest in Norma's career and became her manager. The respect and admiration the two had for each other soon turned to love and within a few months they were engaged.
The Pocaterras on their wedding day,
Milan, Italy, June 18, 1936.
Glenbow Archives (NA-695-70)
larger view

In March 1935, George departed for an extended tour of England and Canada to raise money for Norma's career. During the separation, the duo wrote each other faithfully and George's yearning for Norma is clearly evident in his letters. The courtship and business relationship is chronicled in the letters, which are at times so passionate, they are virtually guaranteed to make the reader blush! George and Norma married on June 18, 1936 in Milan, Italy and later settled in Calgary, Alberta.