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> Issue 52 > Page 59 - Max Basque, Whycocomagh Part 2

Page 59 - Max Basque, Whycocomagh Part 2

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (150 reads)

And in Montreal, I went to this recruiting office. And there were two or three guys ahead of me. But the recruiting officer recognized me. "Basque!" I said right there, "I'm in." I went ahead of these other lads. He said, "Here's your papers. They won't make no exception in your case. They won't take Indians in the Navy." He gave me my discharge papers back. Me and Bruce Cameron ended up on a Norwe? gian ship.... 1944 I remember I got on a ship in Hali? fax. ... Eight gunners came aboard in Hali? fax. There were 12 guns on board, but they brought 8 gunners from the Navy. Well, I had been out in the sun as much as I could during that summer. So I--real natural colour. So these gunners came aboard; I saw one that looked very much like an In? dian, and sure enough he glanced over. Put my hand up like that. I had a chance to talk to him. He was a Cree. He was a gun- layer- -gun- layer is like a sergeant--he was in charge of these gunners. I said, "Holy cow! How come you're in the Navy and they wouldn't take me!" He said, "When?" I said, "January, and March, 1942." "Well," he said, "you should have tried July of that same year. That's when I got in." He had been (in) two years. He said, "They changed the rules, June, 1942...." (Ruth Whitehead: Why didn't you get mar? ried?) She wrote me. And I got the suit. I only paid around 10 or 11 dollars for it. And I went to Enfield to get my birth cer? tificate. And I got off the train in Shube? nacadie. At the post office there was a letter. She said, "I am going with (someone else). I love him and I don't care who knows about it or not." So I never wrote or anything. And, finally, they got married. And years later I was on the Cambridge and I happened to be in Sydney. And the first thing, she came over to my sister's. And she was telling me, "I was just trying to make you jealous!..." But anyway, I didn't go. And then, I was going to get married when I was on the cable ship, John W. MacKay. I had a girl friend in England. 1940. I said, "If I ever get back to Canada, I'll get a job on a tugboat or cable ship." I said, "I'll get you to come over." And I used to write letters to her. And, I'd write. Well, at that time there was no air mail. Took months.... And I'd mark Number 1 letter. Number 2 letter. Number 3 let? ter. Every week or two I'd write. And the last letter I got from her, she wrote around the 28th of December, 1940. And I kept writing. I got off this John W. MacK? ay in March, 1941. And it was a long while before I went back to England. She got killed on the first big air raid in Hull. I was shipmates with her father, Ben Wadden. And there were three of them home: Mrs. Wadden, and Mary my girl friend, and Elizabeth--she was about 13. And the first big air raid in Hull, they cleaned up the works. Never--that was the end of that. And then I just knocked around, after the war. The war was not over till New Year's Eve, 1946. I was coming from Scotland. Well, I was here V-E Day. I got on the next ship, and went to London--got a load for London. But there was a strike there al? ready. The war with Japan was still on, but they were already on strike--the dock. Dockworkers took off. So we ended up in Scotland. And we left, we went north of Scotland, heading for Montreal. And we were just coming into Quebec--Quebec City--saw them firing guns up on the Citadel, there near Frontenac. And radio operator-- Catering I Services for Any Function I Large or I Yellow Cello Cafe ,? Bakery Pizza / 295-2303 / / p-iiii' Outdoor J Terrace I jFacing the! < Wharf in > [baddeck] #""' farmers I'V Cooperative IIhP Dairy Limited A Complete Line of Dairy & Juice Products ?? Milk ?? Spreads ?? Ice Cream ?? Juices ?? Yogourt ?? Long Life ?? Cheese Products Farmers Co-operative Dairy Litnited Sydport. Sydney 562-2434 Owned by Nova Scotian Farmers The newly renovated Inverness Lodge HOTEL & MOTEL ?? Licensed Family Dining ?? Coloured Cable TV • 26 Units • Full Baths r Overlooking the Sunset View of the Ocean ' - Supervised Beach - We are located In the Heart of t Inverness Town (902)258-2193 OPEN YEAR ROUND Your Hostess: Heather Stright
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