Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 40 > Page 10 - With Lottie Morrison from Gabarus

Page 10 - With Lottie Morrison from Gabarus

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1 (363 reads)

(You never chose to marry.) Never had time. (When you were young and in Gabarus, did you think you'd ever marry and stay there?) No, no, I never thought of it. (Did you ev? er think you'd make your life in Gabarus?) Well, when my father and mother lived, of course, I always--it was home. It was the only home. I still think of Gabarus as home. (If there were about a thousand people when you first remember Gabarus, how big is the community today?) I suppose 200, maybe. (And that's not all year round.) No. In the wintertime, I told you 40 houses closed. But Gabarus is a pretty little vil? lage. Lovely harbour--never froze over. And you know, when they started to talk a- bout--in Gerry Regan's day--to get a new steel plant, they were going to build it in Gabarus, down at the Gull Cove. Well, when I heard about that I said that's the craziest thing I ever heard tell in my life, the graveyard of the Atlantic. When I was a child, the ships going across--we used to call it the Old Country--there were hidden shoals and rocks, and the wrecks that would be down there. And I said, if they were goring to build, why didn't~they go to the harbour? Wasn't any harbour down at the Gull Cove. There was water, but there wasn't any harbour. So, one day a man called me and said, "I'd like to come and talk to you about Gaba? rus . " So he came. To this very room. And he started to tell me about Gabarus and the great advantages they were going to have out there. Building a new steel plant. And he talked for about an hour, and I listened to him. So when he got all through, I said to him, "Well, I've lis? tened to you for the last hour, and I've found out that you know nothing about Gaba? rus." Of course, he looked at me. I said, "In the first place, why didn't you people ask some of the fishermen about that area? Did you ever consult any of the fishermen?" Oh, no. They had engineers, and all those high-pressure people. And I said, "You couldn't have chosen a worse spot in the whole island of Cape Breton." I said, "If you were going to build, which I know very well you're never--it's never going to happen--a steel plant in Gabarus-- why didn't you come to where the harbour is?" "Oh," he said, "it's too shallow," He was an Englishman. And I said, "Shallow? Ninety fathom." I said, "There was never a ship built that couldn't float in 90 fa? thom of water." "Oh, but," he said, "the harbour was too narrow." "Narrow?" I said. "Only 4 miles wide," I said, "It would be a very poor navigator who couldn't turn his ship in 4 miles, I would say." I guess he thought to himself, "She knows more a- bout Gabarus than I do." It was the silli? est notion. And you know, they spent mil? lions of dollars out there. People in Syd? ney went out there and bought property, thought Gabarus was going to boom, you know. 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