Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 2 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Page 2 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (1027 reads)

there'd be big frolics. In the evening they'd have a quilting party or something. Everybody enjoyed themselves. Okay. The mine came in here, well, in 1928 it started, and worked till 1930, That was a funny thing. In 1930, election was on the 28th of July. I came up from the mine and voted at 3 o'clock, after shift. See, that was when Bennett got it. Eleven o'clock that night--there wasn't a wheel turning. Just shut her down like that. Tar? iffs, you know. The Conservatives always went in for heavy tariffs. They were get? ting their reagents from Belgium and places like that. And for 5 years, 3 months, and 14 days, I think--if I remem? ber right--when a hole came on your pants, you put a patch on it, and when that patch wore out, you put another one on it. And on the 14th of October, 1935, the Liberals got back in. Next day, I went back to work, getting the mine ready to go again. (It wasn't just that you lost your job-- that mine stopped.) Oh, everybody lost their job. And see, they had neglected their farms, the farms had gone kaput. They had-gone to work in the mine. And they never got back to fixing up their farms any more. (Didn't they keep up their farms when they went to the mines?) Well, a farm is an all- year operation, if you're looking after your farm right. See, in the wintertime they cut timber for the mine--booms and pit props. Pit props were for Glace Bay. That was part of your farming. Then the pulp came in--they cut so much pulp. And at that time, you got 50 cords of pulp. and you cut it and took it alongside of the road, you got your money, (You're not saying that going to the woods took people away from their farming. You see the pit props and the pulping as a part of your farming.) Oh'yeah, in the wintertime.... There's an air vent there that Savard and I drilled, it came up at 70 degrees. The last we were getting, I think, it was $20 a foot. We paid for our own dynamite caps and fuel. The last round we put in, there was 19 feet came out of it. Overburden and everything. We got paid $20 a foot for it. He was on one shift and I was on the oth- er--we were working two shifts. (It was to put an air hole down?) No, we came up. (You were working up from below?) Yeah. They wouldn't allow you, I don't think, to do that today. See, what we did was, when we got our round in--we put two holes in this side and two holes in that side--then we had to go down on a rope, after we lit the fuse. I don't think they'd allow you to do that today. After you went up so far, you put a hole in the wall so you could leave your machinery there. And you had ladders. But you had to take the ladders down and then go up on the rope to light your fuse. We took the ladders down-- they'd be all smashed. Then we'd put them up again. But then when you blasted your round, you put two steel into those holes--you did that on both sides--and you put plank across them, and that's what you worked on. (And you were working your way up from...?) The 100-foot level. We lived across the lake here, that's where my old home is. And I used to blast at 12 o'clock. I used to go down to the Cape Breton at 200 Histo rical Essa i/s IN Honour of tiie Ma ti (i i' Biceu ten u i
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download