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> Issue 68 > Page 29 - With Pioneer Johnny Murdock at the Pioneer Cemetery, West Mabou

Page 29 - With Pioneer Johnny Murdock at the Pioneer Cemetery, West Mabou

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/6/1 (305 reads)

about 70 years ago. The rest was pretty well flat. But we took a reading, marked what was on them and he put it down in a book. And then we cleaned the whole thing off. We bulldozed the whole thing, leveled it off. We cut the trees. Would have been exactly filled in across (with trees) if we hadn't of touched it.... The women and everybody came down here a couple of Sun? days. Everything into a truck and we dumped everything over--the trees, there were stumps about that big. After that, (ten years later) I started a second time. It was left for ten years with nothing be? ing done. And the stumps rotted.... And the priest in Mabou--Fr. Currie in In? verness- -I asked him permission, if I could go through the parish to collect, to do something with the Pioneer Cemetery. "Sure, sure." he said. Then he said. "If you get a dollar, I'll cover it. The parish will give you dollar-for-dollar, anything that you'll collect." Well, great. "Put that in writing," I said. "Sure." pulls out a pen? cil, writes it--I've still got it at home. So I started, start collecting at our end. And went to some of the older people, and some said: "This is the first collection that ever made any sense, around here." When people are thinking that way. you're going to get a lot of money. So I wasn't through around West Mabou I had $800. And the priest got a wind of it. you know, how generous the people were, to get this done. And he called me. "You know the deal we had about...." Donald's laughing. "I think the parish is going to be broke if we go on like that." And I just laughed and never let on I was hearing him, and. "Yeah, it's going good, going great"--never let on anything about the deal. Well, I went around, down the Coal Mines, Mabou Ridge, down Black River--covered the whole area from house to house. Altogether I got $7000. But some of that was--got gravel at half price from the Van Zut- phens. Then they gave me the machine to mix the stuff, free. Another fellow says, "If you find one Irishman in that cemetery you--you got a mixer power free." There was a Ryan over there! And after I finished, bulldozing, clearing it off--I turned $3000 back to the parish. They didn't have to give me a cent. When the priest was leaving Ma? bou I said, I can't leave him like that. He was going to Newfound? land . I went over to him, shook hands. "See you some? time. And forget about the agreement, we're not tying you up to that. At all." Because then I was over $5000. So, okay, he laughed. The new priest said. "Well, how about a thousand." "Okay, I'll take a thousand, instead of dollar-for-dollar." New priest came in: "Okay, we'll double that. We'll give you two thousand." After we finished this, the bulldozing, clearing and everything--we had three thousand left. Sent it back to them.... So it didn't come out of the parish at all. END Donald Johnny Murdock and his wife Alma went on to raise a family of eleven children in West Mabou. Their children have gone on to raise thirty grandchildren to date, and there is one great-grandchild on the way. Donald is retired, but he continues to keep busy out in his workshop, wood? working and wine-making, while Alma keeps busy at her knitting and baking. Our thanks to Leonard MacLel? lan of Judique, who collected most of this article, gathered pho? tographs, and introduced us to his maternal grandfather, Donald Johnny Murdock MacDonald. Leonard MacLellan Featuring... REAL QUALITY ICE CREAM! Variety of HOT FOODS Prepared on the Spot Clams • Haddock Fillets French Fries • Egg Rolls • Hamburgers • Pizza Burgers • • TASTY TREAT • OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK: 10 A.M. TO MIDNIGHT 3 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: Grand Lake Road • Keltic Drive • Sydney River 29
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