Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 34 - The 1929 Earthquake: Two Memories

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (728 reads)

used in the rendering of cod livers for their oil, as well as 100 tubs of trawl gear, minus hooks, stored under her cabin floor. After Captain Trenholm had complet? ed repairs on the Marian Bellg Wolfe, he took on a cargo of salt cod, packed in boxes and drums, at Halifax and proceeded to Barbados where he sold the schooner. In a later letter of April 8, 1987, Mr. Rafuse wrote to Alan Ruffman regarding the photograph of the schooner: Now to add a further bit of controversy re your picture of the Marian Belle Wolfe and the floating house. As far as Capt. Ro? bertson can ascertain, the Marian Belle Wolfe was owned by the Smith Company in Lunenburg until sold to Wm. Trenholm, and therefore would never have laid over in NFLD for the winter. However, he does sug? gest that the schooner in the picture could easily be the Golden Glow owned by Warehams, who operated in that area, and most recently in Come-by-Chance. Lunenburg schooners, when sold to NFLD, were never repurchased by Lunenburg interests. Their bones remained in NFLD. NFLD-built schoon? ers were sturdy and were distinguished by a heavy stem.... In Alan Ruffman 's letter to Cape Breton's . Magazine. June 30, 1988, he wrote that af? ter "a great deal of careful research on the postcard scene...(that) it was a photo? graph of a house tied up to the stern of the Marian Belle Wolfe in Little Burin Har? bour on the morning of November 19, 1929...." In other words, while Mr. Ruffman apparently agrees with Capt. Robertson that the schooner in the picture is not the Ro? nald George. Mr. Ruffman disagrees about which vessel the house was tied to for safekeeping after it had been rescued from the open sea by its owner and his son. Charles Rafuse first wrote to Alan Ruffman on December 28,1986: When I noticed your request for informa? tion re the Nov. 18, 1929 earthquake, in the Oct/Nov issue of the Seniors' Advo? cate, I mentioned it to my friend Captain Raymond Peter "Robbie" Robertson, who stated that he was in the 'quake area at the time. His recounting of the incident so impressed me that I decided to get it down on paper, and pass it along to you. The fact that he was on the Eastern Coast of Cape Breton at that time may help to fill in your void of information for that area. Captain "Robbie," who is in his eighty- seventh year, has a most remarkable recall of people and events, and it uc' '-'en my pleasure to have recorded many of his ex? periences which occurred during his seven? ty years at sea, practically all over the World, such as his Off-Shore Rum Running participation, Newfoundland Sealing, etc. ... I am also a Senior Citizen at age sev? enty-three. Kindest regards. Capt. Robbie Robertson and Charles Rafuse Our thanks to Alan Ruffman, Geomarine Associates Ltd., who sent us Mr. Rafuse's tran? scription of Capt. Robertson's story. Billy James MacNamara was interviewed by CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE. (See also "Billy James MacNamara of Evanston" in Issue 49.) Vernon Oickle took the photograph of Capt. Robertson and Mr. Rafuse. Mr. Ruffman found the post card photo in the Public Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's (S.H. Parsons and Sons postcard no. 351), and the newspaper inset, which appears in "Felt Effects of the Monday, November 18, 1929, 'Grand Banks' Earthquake and Its Aftershocks, Originating in the Laurentian Slope Seismic Zone, As Experienced in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Islam and Bermuda" by Alan Ruffman, Jean Petersen and Heather Boylan. Mr. Ruffman notes that Capt. Robertson's recollection of at least two pulses of the tsu? nami (or tidal wave) is one of the first confirmations that more than one pulse affected Cape Breton. He would welcome other recollections of the force of the earthquake itself, or of the tsunami which resulted. Write him through CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, or at Geoma? rine Associates Ltd., P. 0. Box 41, Stn. M, Halifax, N. S. B3J 2L4 (902-422-6482). Real Estate & Insurance "If you're thinking of selling your home, give us a call." 34 Serving Industrial Cape Breton and North Victoria R. Hickey & Co. p. O. Box 96, North Sydney B2A 3M1 Gerald Brennan, Mgr. Residence: 794-4564 "And remember: No sale, no charge." 794-3119
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