Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 3 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Page 3 - Dan Alex MacLeod: a Working Life

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (990 reads)
 

British Metals Corporation Ltd., Stirling, 1940 mine when the shift came off at 5 o'clock. I went down. I set up my machine--you only had so much air, you know. I set up my ma? chines . And by the time the other fellows got to work at 7 o'clock and set up their machines, I had my round in. Then at 12 o'clock I blasted, when they came up to eat. And over across the lake, my mother could tell the shots--there's a slip going across here somewhere. And she could tell the amount of shots I put in the round, she could hear them, you know, like "tick," "tick," "tick," under the house. See, this was only, like, a prospecting and getting the mine ready, if there was enough ore body there to set up a mill. There was no mill here then. This was in '28 and '27, (This is the first major min? ing that they did here?) Yeah. (What equipped you to do work like that? What made you think you could mine?) Well, when I was bom, I thought I could do any? thing. I tried everything. I never hit a thing that I couldn't do. No doubt in my mind. You make up your mind to do some? thing, you can do it. (But you had no training as a hard rock miner?) No, no. Once I started drifting--making a tunnel through--! made bonus every time, every two weeks I made bonus. (When you say "I"-- did you do this alone?) Oh no, you've got a helper. When you're drifting, you pay for your helper and two workers, and you pay for your dynamite, and you pay for your fuse, and you pay for your caps. I be? lieve it was $7.50 we were getting, a foot. And okay, you're getting $7.50 a foot. But when you go over the footage you're sup? posed to make, you're getting a bonus. See, and if you make so much, you're paying your helper 50o and your workers 50c, bo? nus. But if you make still better, you're paying them a dollar a day bonus. Over and above their wages. So I generally paid them a dollar. (But you were a good miner?) Oh, I don't know if I was good, but I got along, any? way. (There's no training for that on the farm.) No. Well, I think a lot of it is gall. You know, lots of people, well, "I'm afraid to try it," or something. I was nev- FEATURING THE WHEN TRAVELLING IN THE SYDNEY AREA. BE SURE TO STAY AT HOME 539-3700 DOUNTOUN Theatre Project WANDLYN INN FINE DINING AND WARM HOSPITALITY 100 KING'S ROAD, SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA 1-800-561-0000 (902) 539-3700 (3)
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