Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 40 > Page 36 - At St. Ann's Day Mission, 1923

Page 36 - At St. Ann's Day Mission, 1923

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1 (962 reads)
 

the largest niimber to its credit at the close of the Mission was to be accounted as "holding the belt," to use Mrs. Morris' expression. She, her mother, and her sis? ter-in-law all played, representing Whyco? comagh (Weh'gugumah u'dan). Now and again we would hear shouting by women from some wigwam--gwymu (loon) that meant, a play , scoring high. For the rest, the Island life was quite largely religious. Two daily services in the chapel, morning and late afternoon, with three Ave Marias said by every one at 6 A.M., at noon, and at 6 P.M. when the bell tolled. Always, before eating and af? ter, every one, including the smallest children, said a prayer and crossed him? self. Before lying down for the night, Mrs. Morris knelt in prayer. The opening Sunday service was held by the parish priest from St. Peter's, the follow? ing Thursday the "missionary priest" was expected, but much to the people's disap? pointment, his coming was postponed to Sat? urday. Now...they would have to stay until Wednesday. "The people will starve," grum? bled Morris. They were, in fact, spending continuously with no in-take. There was a so-called cooperative store, but prices showed no effect of cooperation, with or? anges at 10 cents apiece and ice cream cones at the usual price. A supply of bread and tea the Morrises had brought with them. For drinking water we paid 10 cents a bucket. For water for dish-washing, alongside "road-up," shallow holes were dug through the moss to catch the rain. The salt water was rather cold, nobody ei? ther bathed in it or went swimming. There was a little eel spearing, but no fishing, and no fish lines had been brought. Be? sides the expenditures at the store and at a booth where soft drinks were sold, there were several church charges. There was "charity" to be "thrown" to the image of St. Ann, thrown with the right hand, for if with the left, it was "lost to God," a reminder made by the Grand Chief in one of his exhortations; collections were taken up from pew to pew, and one evening from every woman 25 cents was collected by Ben Christmas, the Sydney chief, who went from wigwam to wigwam, this for refurbishing the image (of St. Ann) with ribbons and ar? tificial flowers. To the men's dinners, contributions are also made from every wig? wam, either in bread or in money. "Every year we leave the Island without money or grub and our clothes are spoiled," re? marked Mrs. Morris, adding in her cheerful way, "still we come again." Procession Day An excursion steamer from Sydney anchors off the Island, bringing about 100 White visitors, the majority Catholics. They are seated on the right side of the centre aisle, and each pays 25 cents for a seat, besides which there is a collection. These visitors are welcome as a source of reve? nue (there is a charge of from 25 to 50 cents for bringing them off the steamer in row boats); likewise as a source of pres? tige for the celebration. After the relig? ious service they crowd into the wigwam of the Grand Chief to shake hands, and with? out giving offense they look into or enter any other wigwam at pleasure. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE NOVA SCOTIA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CELEBRATES THIS SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is happy to join with the Micmac people in celebrating the 375th anniversary of the conversion of Chi' Membertou to the Christian faith. The Commission, through its numerous pro? grams can advise and assist native groups. The Ethnic Services Division provides infor? mation and assistance on multiculturalism, multicultural education, ethnic studies, native studies, ethnic group research, and education and culture in general. The Compliance Division investigates and conciliates complaints of alleged discrimina? tion under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. The Public Education Division researches and conducts public education programs in human rights. The Affirmative Action Division initiates pro? grams in government and organizations designed to correct the existing imbalance in employment and housing. For further information write, call or visit us at: HEAD OFFICE Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission RO. Box 2221 3rd Floor, Lord Nelson Arcade Halifax, N.S. B3J 3C4 424-4111 Ethnic Services Division 424-4295/8000 Public Education Division 424-4111/7690 Compliance Division 424-4111/4 Affirmative Action Division 424-7690/91 REGIONAL OFFICES Main Street RO. Box 1029 Digby, N.S. BOV 1A0 245-4791 Provincial Building Prince Street Sydney, N.S. BIP 5L1 539-5204 Eaton Building 185 Provost Street P.O. Box 728 New Glasgow, N.S. B2H 2P8 752-3086 Human Rights Commission
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