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> Issue 8 > Page 11 - Tius Tutty, Codfish and Handpick Mining

Page 11 - Tius Tutty, Codfish and Handpick Mining

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/6/1 (1178 reads)

And I had this hand smashed. I was working at the coal face alone that day; my buddy wasn't out so I was alone • so the manager came in, said the face wasn't very good, pretty shaky. I said the overman told me the place was all right. He said. Your o- pinion's as good as the overman's. He said. How many boxes you got? and I said. Two. He said. There's a pair of men going to sweep the colliery • I'll give you a shift with your two boxes, go up and sweep. You can bugger around after that. Pretty good fellow. So anyhow, you laid the road out • and I had this hand on the rail like that, the gauge • you know what a gauge is on a railroad, an arm goes across like that. And "C'r' I was pushing the rail out on this side and down come a timber loose in the way. I said to one of the fellows. This timber's loose, come knock it out. He knocked the timber out. And the roof just looked as good as that. And I had my hand on the rail. And down come this little pot • they call it a pot • it's thick in the middle and thin on the edge • right through my hand. That's how I got that. But I was very fortunate in a way. Cause I had that skull fracture. A fall of coal. I don't know yet how I got the skull fracture. We were trying to get a crosscut for a measuring for the o- pening, you know? There were two pair of us in this pillar. So I said. You fellows go and have a bite to eat, have a lunch, and I'll make the box. And I was loading away and walked around the box to the other side, and a big piece of the roof come down. That's all I remember. And when they took me to the surface the doctor claimed that I couldn't live to get to the hospital. I was bleeding that much. St. Joseph was just built a short time. Old Dr. MacKean was there at the time. And the nurses was trying to get my clothes off • a nurse told me this after • he said. Take your time, you'll soon be able to get the clothes off easily. Never thought I'd recover. They had a horse ambulance at the time, no car. And I lost quite a lot of blood. And there was a fellow used to be a kind of a watchman around the colliery there • Angus MacAulay • and he went up in the ambulance with this man. And every time he'd see me he'd say. My God I can't believe it's you, I got over it, I was pretty near 6 months in the hospital. The doctor told my wife. Well if he does work it will be a very very light job. Well I went back to the coal face again. Yes, sir, that's as true as I'm sitting in this chair. And the manager said to me. Look I don't think I should let you go. I said. Look, Mr. MacDonald, I got to make a living and there's no other place to go, I said, I'm not a coward. If I die down there well I'll die down there. And then shortly after, before I was pensioned off, I got my knee ripped open, I was on ventilation work that time • putting up what's called a brattish, to carry the air to the face where the men are working, I went to pull this piece of coal down and a fellow got to picking and pulled this same piece of coal • down on my knee • boy right to the bone. And I guess no more than about 6 months after that, didn't I get my an? kle broken? Still, I'm going to try to make the hundred, I took care of myself when I was young. I worked hard. But I never abused myself through drink or anything. I took a little you know. Always be home and get in bed. But, yes, a lot of accidents. Maybe I should have kept fishing. I don't know now how I'm living. I really don't. Our thanks to Raymond and Solomon Goldman who put us in touch with Tius Tutty. and to Harold Tutty, his son, who helped with the interview. And thanks to Gordon MaC' Gregor for his help in locating photos and information in the collection of the "' Miners Museum, Quarry Point, Glace Bay, u3??ui?? • ?-y 'sh'ahx''..
Cape Breton's Magazine
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