Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 32 > Page 10 - With Alex John Boudreau, Cheticamp Island

Page 10 - With Alex John Boudreau, Cheticamp Island

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (303 reads)

ever seen in my life, and a wonderful ora? tor, and a dedicated man. So he said, we've got to do something, we've got to go out to the people, the people need us, and we're here like a bunch of so-and-sos. But at the time, old Bishop Morrison was chan? cellor of the university. And when he couldn't get his colleagues at the univer? sity to move, he went to the bishop. The bishop got so goldam tired of him that he dismissed him from the university and sent him as parish priest in Canso, which was one of the poorest parishes. Jimmy Tomp? kins went to Canso. That's where the Anti? gonish Movement started, with Dr. Jimmy Tompkins in Canso with the fishermen. And there were stories going along at the time, how Jimmy Tompkins in the confessional, af? ter the confession was over, he used to say, "Do you belong to a study club?" Fel? low says, "No, Father." "Are you a member of your credit union?" "No, Father." "You a member of your fishermen's cooperative?" "No, Father." "Well, go home and die!" That's where it all started. And then in 1927, the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation--all Canada was celebrating. Fr. Tompkins got a group of fishermen from Canso to sign a telegram which he sent to the prime minister in Ottawa: We the fish? ermen of Canso in Nova Scotia see no rea? son why we should celebrate the Diamond Ju? bilee of Confederation--we're literally starving--what are you going to do about it? Sent the telegram, signed by about 250 fishermen. And that took to the papers, oh boy. A year after, 1928, Ottawa came a- cross and gave a grant to St. F. X. Univer? sity to organize an Extension Service, to organize the education among fishermen and to organize the fishermen. That's what Dr. Jimmy Tompkins wanted. And St. F. X. ap? pointed a co-parishioner of Dr. Jimmy Tomp? kins, Dr. Moses Coady--he was related to old Dr. Jimmy Tompkins in some way. They were both from Margaree, just before you get to Inverness, Broad Cove Marsh. So that they worked, you know, very closely one with another. That's how the Antigon? ish Movement was started. But they didn't invent anything. They just took their lit? erature from Germany and the Scandinavian countries and the experience of Europe in cooperatives, in credit unions, the experi? ence of Quebec. Because' Desjardins, who was a doctor in Levis, had also made his trip to Europe, and was very much im? pressed by the credit unions of Germany, And when he came back, he founded the first credit union in Levis, and that was the centre for all the credit union move? ment in the province of Quebec, which is now worth billions of dollars. And Antigon? ish took that experience, and then they started producing their own stuff. Rewrit? ing, you know, rewriting and fitting it for particularly eastern Nova Scotia. I'm not saying that they didn't do a wonderful job. But they didn't invent anything. (What was your relationship to the Antigon? ish Movement?) I had a feeling, and I still have though to a much lesser degree, that the people of Cheticamp and the imme? diate area felt more at home and would bet? ter understand in their own language than anything you could tell them in English. Au Coin des Dames Ladies' Wear, Fabrics and Notions Jewelry and Cosmetics CHETICAMP, N. S. 224-3228 Scott's Hardware 464 Prince St., Sydney (564-6401) Service Centre on Cape Breton Island tor Sunbeam & Canadian General Electric Small Appliances - We Service - Irons Vacuum Cleaners Toasters Frypans Locksmithing a Specialty Hairdryers Blenders ncjLdlEiLnJB- "LUW PRICES AND FRIENDLY SERVICE" over-the-counter and prescription drugs magazines - films - beauty aids school supplies - tobacco - gift needs CHETICAMP 224-2841 CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA SYDNEY RIVER Stores To Serve You ''' reatUring'TTOflK?? ''' crossroads of Cape Breton' Sobeys & Shopper's Drug Mart "'9'?''= * '"' ' ParUno
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