Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 33 > Page 57 - With Wilfred Poirier, Lobster Buyer

Page 57 - With Wilfred Poirier, Lobster Buyer

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/6/1 (177 reads)

to 7 cents a pound. Of course, they weren't against me. Whoever was buying didn't like me, that was a sure thing--but they never hurt me. (But they would have to pay a higher price after you started.) That's right. But there was nobody against me. They were in business (they were mer? chants) , and the more the fishermen made, the better it was for them. Some of them were against me in the beginning, then I put them to buy for our company when I was away somewhere else. (The local merchants?) Yeah. I'd give them so much money, and they'd have to give me a record of it when they bought. I shipped them out. (But it couldn't have been easy at first.) It was kind of hard to meet the people. Certain fishermen sometimes, if they were cranky or drinking, you know, I had a lit? tle trouble at first. But there were no fights. I wasn't afraid of one of them, anyway, none of them. (Sometimes the fishermen shipping on con? signment did not trust what happened to their lobsters when they got to Boston.) Oh, that I know. When you ship on consign? ment, those lobsters arrive there in Bos? ton, and they've got cullers to separate the lobsters, to select the small and the large. Then they are weighed out. And what? ever weight you had, you got the price on that date--if it was 24c or 30c a pound, or 50C--you got that. And if you had any weak ones, you got a little less. And the dead ones, the inspector''d throw them over? board. Sometimes a fisherman might ship a crate of lobster, but he wouldn't take care of them, and half of them would ar? rive weak or dead. He'd be the loser. But some of the fishermen would never lose one. (But a lot of them thought the culling was not....) Was not legal, you mean, that it wasn't fair. But some of those fishermen had their own brothers working at the plant up there. We had them from Canso, and we had somebody from eastern L'Ardoise there. They were culling their brothers' lobsters, in Boston, And on the other hand, the inspector there--there's always 2 or 3 inspectors--how many little lobsters they took out of the crate and they fired in Boston Harbour--below the measure. (And then when the returns would come back?) The fishermen'd say they got robbed--short weight. The average was about 140 pounds to a crate. And sometimes they'd be 10 pounds or 8 pounds short, you know. (And I'm sure they thought you were getting that.) Oh yes,'I wouldn't doubt that. But I was only getting paid my salary and com? mission. I had a lot of fishermen trusted me. And I'm sure, when I did business, may the Lord kill me now, I never took a cent off them. Instead, I helped them. If a fellow broke a crate or lost them, I'd find a way in the fall to help him. I'd come back with $1000 or $800, the company'd give me. Who wasn't satisfied, you know, I'd give them $50 or $100. Rather than lose them, we'd pay them a little money. I'd always grant them so much. Because sometimes, some of them didn't deserve it, but they'd tell me, "I was short." Didn't always tell the truth, you know. I knew the fellow that was complaining. I'd pass him $200 or $300. And I'd get him back the next year. I'd say, "Now next year, if you don't take care of your lobster, don't ship them through me--ship them somewhere else." They wouldn't get sore at me. I'd tell them the right way. I .Take aValue home today- .... ' CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA -- SYDNEY RIVER -'.A 0'' I Now We Are 3 Mayflower mall -- grand lake road M'nnlrn I iNV'vv vvw#-Aiv'' pQj'.j. HAWKESBURY SHOPPING CENTRE -- PORT HAWKESBURY WJUUllU I ALL OPEN 'TILL 10 PM DAILY '.'.'oT'!5ilTJ.TPc'F,! J (57)
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