Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 52 > Page 57 - Max Basque, Whycocomagh Part 2

Page 57 - Max Basque, Whycocomagh Part 2

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (178 reads)

(What was your work?) Fireman. Fireman all the time. On oilburners, I got to be a fireman water-tender. The first oilburner I was on was the John W. MacKav. the big cable ship. And then 40 years ago this month I got on the Cyrus Field. (You were in the merchant service, then.) Yes, yeah (Max brought out his medals. You got the 1939-45 Star. And the Atlantic Star. And the Italy Star. And the War Medal, 1939-45 ) And we also made a couple of trips to Hong Kong and China. I had authorization card for them, but I never did get an Asiatic-- Pacific Star. And I sent for it the other day, 'cause I'm supposed to have it. See, I lost the first bunch I had. (This is the Merchant Marine. I heard that you had trouble getting into the Navy.) Yes. After I got off of the John W. MacKay. 1941. So I ended up in New York State, 1941. And I tried to get in the Navy over there. And they said, "No, you're an alien." And I put up an argument. I said, "I'm an Indi? an. I'm not an alien." And there was one of the Six Nations--one of the Iroquois-- they were putting up a kick, that they were a neutral country. That they never made an agreement with the United States. And that they were never conquered, and all that sort of bull, you know. I stayed there till after Pearl Harbour. But even before that, they had nothing to do with war. That they weren't going to send anybody over. And this American re? cruiting officer in upstate New York-- "No," they said, "you Indians said that you don't have to go to war. And," he said, "you're an alien," and all that. So, I couldn't get in. So I was working for the Gilbert Knitting Company, firing. And where I was boarding, at Central Hotel, Little Falls' New York. I was there Pearl Harbour Day. -The fore? man, he was the head of the local board. United States--Tony Ferrari. Him and I were well acquainted. He was an ex-boxer. And I like boxing--great boxing fan. And he had been in the Navy. Fireman, water- tender. And I told him I was a seaman, too, I had good discharge papers. They called me up for the Army. And I passed the exams for the American Army. I put up Medical Hall EST. 1906 • COMPUTERIZED PRESCRIPTION SERVICE • FILMS • SUNTAN LOTIONS • FIRST AID SUPPLIES 66 Commercial St. . 1 Commercial St." DOMINION GLACE BAY 849-0200 I 849-6552 (if busy) 849-1030 a kick with Tony Ferrari. "All this write- up," I said, "about not putting square pegs into round holes in this war. You go to something that you are best suited for." And he agreed with me. I said, "I'd like to go back to Canada. Get in the Ca? nadian Navy over there." So he gave me a little write-up: letting me go to Canada for the specific purpose of joining the Canadian Navy, on account of experienced seaman. I got it right from the head push of the local board. One of the papers I should have kept. PHARMASAVE Here are four quillwork boxes by Max Basque's mother, Bridget Anne Sack. She learned the art of quillwork-on-bark from her mother, Anne Cope Sack, who had learned It from her mother- In-law, Mary Noel. Ruth Whitehead (in Micmac Quillwork) writes of Bridget Anne that she "suffered terribly from arthritis, and by 1935 was no tonger able to do quillwork. She died In 1938. Her daughter Nancy, whom she taught, continued to quill boxes for sale in Halifax up to 1939, '...because it was the depression and there was no other source of income.' "Bridget Anne and her husband Simon Basque had lived in Cape Breton Island for a year after their marriage, eventually I moving to Shubenacadie. There they lived with and cared for her grandmother Mary Noel, and Chief John Noel, until their deaths.... This extended family seems to have been the driving force behind the tremendous output of high-quality quillwork which came out of Shubenaca? die. Even by 1955, when quill- working was at a standstill over most of Nova Scotia, Nova Sco? tia Museum records note that 'Mrs. Susan Sack (Bridget Anne Sack's sister-in-law) still makes [quillwork boxes to order.'" ''iJ'i''''!T''fid'd'
Cape Breton's Magazine
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