Moncton man hanging up his clippers after 65 years as a barber
MONCTON, N.B. -- A Moncton man is hanging up his clippers after 65 years working as a barber.
Donato Di Donato, 80, has been cutting hair since he was just fifteen years old, in his hometown of Bisenti, in central Italy.
“I go to school and in the afternoon I take a barber course,” recalls Donato.
Donato spent years as a barber in Switzerland, where he practiced his French and then migrated to Moncton in 1965, where he later learned to speak English.
“My first shop I opened in Moncton at the university and at night time I go to Moncton High to learn the language,” says Donato.
Over the years, Donato has built a loyal clientele, some of whom have been with him for over 50 years.
“At a very young age, the year was 1967, there was a new, really cool barber shop that opened, where the Capitol Theatre is today actually… the Capitol Barber Shop,” recalls Greg Turner, one of Donato’s clients.
“Donato was one of the barbers there and it was a cool hip place to go. So as a kid, I wanted to be cool and hip, so I started going to Donato.”
Donato is now taking his last appointments at Beausejour Barber Shop, which he opened in 1972.
“I'm going to miss it downtown. I have nice customers downtown. They support me for 48 years," he says.
To honour his decades of dedication in Moncton, Donato was presented with a certificate of achievement from the House of Commons.
“Our certificate is really to thank him for his contribution to our community and really an outstanding career as a barber,” says Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, a MP for the constituency Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.
“I also have three siblings that are barbers in my family, so everyone knows Donato. My brother and my sister actually worked for him early on in their career as well.”
Donato says he's excited for his next chapter and plays to travel and spend time with family.