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> Issue 44 > Page 41 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Page 41 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (343 reads)

saw some of the old names on the Pier, like our old name, Neville, we worked the Pier. Then there's the Rudderhams, there's still Rudderhams on the Pier. There's Tim? mons es-- that ' s one of the old families-- there's still Timmonses on the Pier. And there's Murphys, still Murphys on the Pier It was passed down, like. (It wasn't the kind of job that a father would say, "I did this kind of work. I want you to do something better.") Oh, no. I guess they heard it so much home, It'd be interesting, perhaps, when their father was coming home--they had no wash houses then, you know. Father'd come home, per? haps black and dirty, and be outside in the washtub trying to get washed. And he'd be likely talking to his wife about what boat was in today. Then your kids grew lis? tening to that, what's going on in the Pier. And then, all your friends were a shipper or trimmer--likely they'd come to the house. You grew up with it, you know. It's just built in. Because when I was small, I used to hear. My father'd perhaps have a 45 card game at that time. And you'd see 8 of them around. And that's the only talk you'd hear. About shipping, or what boat was in, and this and that. You started getting so interested in it, you had to get there yourself. You felt you had to go there. (What about other names we usually connect with Whitney Pier--Ukrainians, and Polish and Slovak? Did any of those work at the Pier?) They weren't allowed. (How is that now?) I don't know. Three years ago I hired on two coloured fellows--first time in its history. Never a coloured fellow on the Pier. (And the ethnic groups?) No jobs at the Pier for them. You had to be Scotch or Irish, and you had to be a Protestant or a Catholic. And you take on a Protes? tant, you take on a Catholic. (Keep it bal? anced like that.) That's the way it was. (So the Piers for many years were pretty well a closed shop.) Closed shop. If your father didn't work there, you didn't get a job there. (And your own case--your father had a job as....) He was foreman. His job was in charge of the shippers and the trimmers. A foreman would be like a supervisor. You'd be loading perhaps 4 boats at one time-- not one, 4. They'd make sure there were so many trimmers going to this boat, so many to this boat, and so many shippers, that's the way. And what coal there • At that time they took different kind of coal. You know, there'd be slack coal, nut coal, pea coal, bunker coal, screen coal. So that was their job, to make sure that the (right) coal got to the proper ships. And he'd be working with the yardmaster from the S & L Railroad, making sure that everything was there. Coal going to Newfoundland at that time was all domestic coal. What you call--just for your furnace. And Newfoundland, what they'd always call knobs--big coal--that's what you call screened. Mostly from 12 col? liery. And some wanted nut coal. So they'd have perhaps automatic stokers in another place. Pea coal, that would work for that. And then the slack coal, that was going in? to likely big furnaces, blowing in. Like Canada Cement Company was a big outfit in Montreal. They used to take pretty near close to a million ton of coal a year. They were a big customer, you know. They changed over to oil, and that customer went. You know, you could see them going Brown's Refrigeration & Major Appliances Service Ltd. Welcomes the Athletes of the Winter Games 109 Main Street, Sydney Mines SYDNEY 562-1235 SYDNEY MINES 736-6370 Passport Photographs While You Wait Official Home of "Your Pace or Mine? l''Khhass Studta Ltd. ONE HOUR FILM PROCESSING' 5" X 7" Enlargements or Reprints in Only 20 Minutes! Weddings * Commercial & Industrial ' Family Groups * Graduation ABBASS STUDIO LTD. 170 Townsend St., Sydney * 564-8234 or 564-6491 OVER 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CAPE BRETON Mary Bixnvrfs FHed Chicken. Kings Road Sydney River Welton Street Sydney King Street Nortii Sydney Maify Brown has the best 1' in towiL
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