Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 40 > Page 13 - Dr. Austin MacDonald: How We Got the Hospital Down North

Page 13 - Dr. Austin MacDonald: How We Got the Hospital Down North

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1 (333 reads)

Dr. Austin MacDonald: How We Got the Hospital Down North (Your first hospital, the cottage hospital, was the old Buchanan home in Neil's Har? bour. I suppose, when the new hospital was built, that's why it was named Buchanan Memorial.) See, the community owed the Bu? chanan family quite a bit, for the use of that pretty valuable property for 11 years. Besides, Mrs. Buchanan and Gladdie Buchan? an were expert workers on the various com? mittees that supported the hospital. So it was agreed that it was the right thing to do, to name the new hospital after them. See, they were a family that was in the fishing business for, oh, 50, 60 years, in Neil's Harbour--they really developed the village of Neil's Harbour, the Buchanan family. During the 1930s everybody got so horribly poor--they couldn't sell their fish. But Buchanans kept buying it and pay? ing them what little they could, as long as they could, until they went broke, and they lost their business. But the people didn't starve. They didn't go undressed, and they didn't go hungry. And MacLeods did the same thing at New Haven. They were the other fish business people there, (And did they go under?) Yes, they did. Well, they simply gave their business away to the people that had worked for them. See, they went to Newfoundland, when they established their businesses--there were no people (at New Haven) to fish. You can't run a fish plant if you don't have fish. And they went down along the south coast, and they persuaded families from there to come to Cape Breton, to Neil's The Buchanan Memorial Hospital. Neil's Harbour Harbour, where the Buchanans established, and to New Haven, which at that time was called Hungry Cove, 'because it was a cove among the rocks. MacLeods owned the land at New Haven, or at Hungry Cove, to low wa? ter mark. Nobody could put a fish flake on it, or anything like that. It was MacLeod land. So MacLeod brought the people over. They took down their houses in Newfoundland, took them apart, loaded them on schooners, brought them to Cape Breton, set them up on the land that MacLeods gave them,* and they set up a feudal system there, which was interesting and very valuable for its day. This system said, every fisherman that was there did his business with Mac- (13)
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