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Page 43 - Horses in the Coal Mines

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (309 reads)

when the driver would come out the next day, his horse would be tired and couldn't stand up to the work. Because they really worked hard. So that's why some of the good drivers looked for the horses that were cranky and that would give you a lit? tle bump. His horse would always be fresh. I worked from, say, 1922 til the Veterin? ary Hospital closed. It closed in the ear? ly '60s. I took over when Dr. Maclsaac re? tired due to ill health in 1948. Of course, there weren't as many horses then. At that time when he left, there was a head stable? man in #20--Jack Bennett--he took the buy? ing part. And I did the treatment and sel? ling them out, and looked after the rec? ords of them. And my hands were full e- nough with that. And then Jack Bennett got sick and couldn't work, so I had the buy? ing and the selling, the whole thing for a short time. (So in the end you were the veterinarian?) Well, I spent my life with it, you know, you might say, the better of my working days, but I was still only an assistant. But I carried on in the latter stages. (You had no doctor with you in the last years?) No, no. You know, when you spend time like that with two vets, you learn quite a bit in that line. It was very interesting work, I enjoyed every day of it, (And you told me it was a good healthy job,) Yeah. When you go into a stable, did you ever notice, especially where there's horses in the morning and you open the door, you get the ammonia from the manure, it hits you right in the face. I knew a watchman wouldn't come into the stable, the ammonia, that the manure used to choke him off. But I heard several people say there's no healthier place you could work. And there's a man over there, not very far from here, he's 94, and he worked all his life as stableman in a mine, and he's walk? ing around, he's up in the country now in his bungalow. And he can walk to town. I know I had fairly good health through all the years I was with them, I think I got immune to diseases over there. Bert Gouthro with the last horse to work in a coal mine in North America (1981), "This horse never hauled coal. They were just using her for hauling timber. They were maintaining an old air course. It's so crooked and up and down that the only thing they could use there was a horse. Now they're go? ing to discontinue that air course,-SO they've no more use for a horse." Thanks to Robert Wilkie, Press of N.S. College of Art & Design, for permission to use Shedden photo from MINING PHOTO? GRAPHS & OTHER PICTURES; and to Tom Miller, Curator, for older photos from the Miners' Museum Collection. Think NSAC For a Future in Agriculture The Nova Scotia Agricultural College is dedicated to helping young men and women' prepare for a wide range of important occupations associated with food production' including related industries and management of our living environment. We offer university courses: • A complete Bachelor of Science in Agriculture • B.Sc.(Agr.) with op? tions in Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Plant Science and Plant Protection. • Bachelor of Engineering In Agri? cultural Engineering • B.E.(Agr.) first three years. • Pre-Veterinary Medicine Nova Scotia "''' AT' Department of '[W)r' Agriculture .'''n' and Marketing Hon Roger S Bacon. Minister We offer technical courses: • Agricultural Business Technician • Agricultural Mechanization Technician • Animal Science Technician • Farm Equipment Technician • Plant Science Technician • Agricultural Technology • Biology Laboratory Technology • Chemistry Laboratory Technology • Farming Technology • Ornamental Horticulture Technology For more information contact Tlie REGISTRAR, N.S. Agricultural College, Truro, N.S. B2N SES (43)
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