Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 45 > Page 58 - From George MacEachern's Autobiography

Page 58 - From George MacEachern's Autobiography

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1 (225 reads)

know if they were picked out by some of the unem? ployed. It's possible, it could be. It's not possi? ble that all the clothes could be in the condition of the bundle that M. A. MacKenzie took up to the City Hall. I remember when he got the chance to speak, he put on an Oscar-winning speech that night. He held up a pair of drawers, one leg in it, rolled them up in his hands with great disgust and flung them on the floor; a pair of sneakers--it was midwinter • no soles in them, held them up to the light so everybody could see--flung them on the floor, all the time keeping up a steady bar? rage against the Mayor, the Red Cross, the City Council and everybody. Fitzgerald was mayor at the time and I'm sure you could have lit a match on him just by getting two inches from his face. M. A. really did himself well that night. The crowd was in ecstasy over this. That'll show the so and so's M. A. could do this. I don't know if it had much to do with the class struggle but there's still another fellow I'll nev? er get out of my mind. This fellow came to the house one night from the jail. He had been in the G??ORG?? MacEACHERN: An Autobiography "You'll get along", said Sir Newton Moore. "I'm not going anywhere", replied George MacEachern. George MacEachern was born in Sydney in 1904. Today he is still active in the community. He has five children, 13 grand? children and six great-grandchildren. George's autobiography gives a rich description of his own life in the industrial com? munity, and his insights into the rise of the modern labour movement in Canada will interest readers near and far. The book was compiled from interviews by David Frank and Don MacGillivray, who have also provided an historical introduction. "an excellent description of working-class youth in Cape Breton in the teens and twen? ties, filled with marvellous detail. . . an important insight into the organization of the steelworkers' union and the coming of the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act" Q.S. Kealey, Editor, Labour/Le Travail 58) '9.95 SOFT COVER Available now from University College of Cape Breton Press, P.O. Box 5300, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Phone: 539-5300 North Sydney one. He arrived and he belonged to Ot? tawa, he told me, and he said that his name was Bob Skeets. I don't know whether it was or not. It didn't matter very much. He volunteered it. We didn't ask names. He arrived in North Sydney look? ing for a job and they let him sleep in the unem? ployed hall. When the demonstration took place, of all things they gave him a sign saying, "Louis Clark can't run this town." Louis Clark was the Chief of Police and certainly no friend of labour and so Bob Skeets, although he wasn't charged with hitting anybody, he was charged with simple vagran? cy, and he was put in jail. When he got out he came down and he said that the people up there told him to come and see me. I wasn't far from the jail. We asked him to have a bit of supper. He said he had supper before he left. I took him down to some old friends, the Roger boys, who lived in one of the Gallivan shacks. I left Bob all the mon? ey that I had loose, which was one dollar. He put up an argument against it. Time went along, a few days, and one day we were looking out the door in the evening and who comes down the road but Bob Skeets. The shoes were shining and he had a little better clothes on. They certainly weren't new clothes. They were a change you could see and a hat. We invited him in and asked him to have a bite of supper and he said no he had to hurry home. He had a parcel with him. He had to hurry home be? cause the fellows he was staying with would be waiting in order to have their supper. He had a couple of loaves of bread that he bought at the bakery for three cents a loaf because they were stale. He had some needles and pins and some soap and a little bit of cash in his pocket. What he did with the dollar--one dollar, that's all that it was--he went down to a wholesale shop and asked them if they'd open a case of soap and he'd take it and sell it a little at a time. He got a dol? lar's worth of soap and he went and sold that and came back and got some more. By and by it branched out and he had needles and pins and thread. Only a week had gone by and he was walking way out in the country to sell this stuff. Just a couple of cents on each thing. What a fine man he was and what a hell of a waste of humanity that goddamn Depres? sion was! Protect Your Lawn & Shrubs ' - Prevents Overhead Drips that Cause Ice Build-Up O on Steps, Walks & Patios -- Removes Excessive Water Build-Up around Foundation Walls ~ Continuous Aluminium Eavestroughing Formed on Site Any Length ~ Available in Either White, Brown or Cream .??''*"''562-0421
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