Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 68 > Page 41 - A Visit with Clara Buffet, Glace Bay

Page 41 - A Visit with Clara Buffet, Glace Bay

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/6/1 (248 reads)

A Visit with Clara Buffett, Glace Bay INTRODUCTION: Clara Buffett was a nurse, until marriage forced her to retire. She went on to be a teacher of nurses. She also taught Red Cross Home Nursing classes, sponsored by Cit? izens Service League at Town House. An avid gardener, she has served her community for many years • including chairing the Hospital Board and serving prominently on the Board of Direc? tors of the Savoy Theatre. With her neighbour Shirley Chernin, we visited Clara. We sat together by a large window looking out on a lovely back yard closing toward winter. And Clara spoke: When we bought this property, this was all open field, because they'd decided to make a potato patch out of it. There's no soil. We have about three feet of soil, and on top of that is shale, and on top of the shale, rock, which works itself up. You'll always get a good crop of stones and what? not. It doesn't matter how long you have it under cultivation, you still have that.... So we decided that--always so much wind--we would start to plant trees. So we started at the end of our property there.... So some of them came. Everybody laughed at us. "No tree will grow on South Street. Too much wind. Too much salt spray." And I said, "Jeepers, we'll try." So it came. (When you say "we,"...?) My husband, my? self. (Can I ask what year you moved here?) We were married in '37. And the house had burned, partially burned. I guess the Bank--they wanted to get rid of it. And so it was just sitting here. And this was Depression years--'37 was pretty down. So we were very optimistic! Even got married. Nobody was even getting married in those years! He was a dentist. And he came from the Pier. And hated the surroundings of the Pier. And he said, "I am go? ing to have a garden. I want a place where I can have a garden." (And before you were Mrs. Buffett, your name was...?) I'm a MacKinnon. (And where were you born?) Right here in Glace Bay. Cottage Lane. My father was a baker, and he had his own business. My mother was a schoolteacher. And she came to Glace Bay when it was called Little Glace Bay.... So Glace Bay was just really starting, you see. My moth? er- -they were married in '97, I guess--'97 or '98. But she had been teaching in Bridgeport. And Bridgeport was the big place, because that was the first mine-- that was Number 1. And she taught there.... (So she taught at Bridgeport when it was....) At its peak. At its peak, yes. She came from Little Bras d'Or. And they were married in Little Bras d'Or. Her mother came from the Valley--the Annapolis Valley--one of the United Empire Loyal? ists. And I was always brought up to think that this was something very special. (Has anything happened to change that?) Glace Bay General Hospital graduates, 1932. Right front, Clara MacKinnon (Buffett).
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download