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Page 12 - Watchman Against the World A Book Talk

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1972/10/31 (2730 reads)

some good farming country amyway • and they got caught in the ice, the drift ice. They had to go into St. Ann's. Nobody living there so he figured that would be a good place to take his bunch. They built houses. They came back in the spring and brought their families. But they didn't do too good there. Norman MacLeod was a minister, you know, he preached to the crowd. And he was a lawyer and he was a judge • he was every? thing that they had there. Schoolteacher, too. He wasn't a minister at all, he was not ordained. And he built a church up there where the Gaelic College is at. And all the Scotch people from Smokey right up around Boulardarie, Baddeck, everywhere • they came down tb his services Sundays. Hundreds of them. 1500 sometime. And it'd take them about two days to make the trip i>y horse and wagon to get back home again. Arid he didn't have only the church; he'd ipreach in the outdoors. If it rained he'd *iStill preach, he wouldn't quit. He used to deal out sentences. When he preached in the church, if he had learned something bad about somebody, he didn't just hint at it, he named them right out. And he didn't want style, he didn't want people going to church all dressed up. Ihey were poor, they had clothes but they made their own knit stuff • his wife, some? body sent her a bonnet from Scotland and he wouldn't allow her to wear it in church. She used to wear it so far and put it away once she got there. He drove some right out of the church for some things they did. There was a case where a pedler stayed to a place one night. And afterwards some mo? ney was lost. They blamed a young fellow there at St. Ann's. For punishment he got his ear cut off. And they found out long afterwards that they cut off the wrong fellow's ear. There was one year everything went bad. They pretty near starved to death there in St. Ann's. Potatoes didn't grow, nothing else grew. So he said it was a message from God to get out of it. And his son went into a ship • her model's up in the Gaelic College • the "Margaret" • he went to Aus? tralia. And he got word back to his father some way that that was the country, that was the place to go for farming. Not many people there. So the old man got some more ships. There were six ships left St. Ann's, and they all went to Australia. Something didn't suit him in Australia so he went to New Zealand, and that's where they settled • most of them. He was over 70 v*ien he did that. His son died the first year with smallpox. And nothing stopped him. He settled down. And New Zealand was a great shipping country and most all of them be? came captains and seamen, you know? Oh, it's a great story about him, the things he'd do. He was a tough, tough man. Eoin These photographs are from the Victoria County Archives and Museum, Baddeck. They are among the large quantity of materials (artifacts, literary materials and taped interviews) collected and catalogued by young men and women of the Youth Opportu? nities Grant, "Search for Yesterday." The photographs were donated by Mr. Neil Mac- I can't tell you about him like the book. I liked it because it was real. It was the real thing. He really did those things. WATCHMAN AGAINST THE WORLD, The Story of Norman MacLeod and his People, by Flora McPherson. The Ryerson Press, J j 1962. It should be available at the 1] local library, and can be ordered thruji • any bookseller on the island. f- Cape Breton's Magazine/12
Cape Breton's Magazine
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