Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 80 - George Leonard & the Fish Business

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/8/1 (162 reads)

into the plant, look around. (Any warnings from them?) No warnings about nothing. Of course, they had no rules and regulations; they were making them up as they went, af? ter the war. These guys were usually-- fisheries officers were army officers. Chaps that had been overseas and whatnot, and came back. Department of Fisheries was just getting going and expanding, so it's like everything else: I think their rules and regulations grew as time went on. In fact, you could never operate the same fish plants that were here, today. You'd never. Because we had wooden floors, right throughout, in most of the areas. Some cases they were cement. But there was an awful lot of wood. That's an absolute no- no (today). And we used galvanized equip? ment. You're not allowed to have galva? nized. Then it went to aluminum--now you're not allowed to have aluminum. They have stainless steel. And the cost of this stuff just goes--it's unbelievable. Noth? ing to do with the Department of Fisher? ies . But we had no mechanical equipment to speak of. A lot of it was all bull labour: lifting fish onto the cutting tables, and dumping great big 2- and 3-hundred-pound boxes. A man on each end, lifting it up and dumping it and so on. Hard work. (And of course, these fisheries officers, they didn't have the background. As you LThe IrishJ Cultural Symposium Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia 11 -13 August 1995 As part of the commemorative events planned for Louisbourg in 1995, the Fortress of Louisbourg and the University College of Cape Breton will sponsor an Irish Cultural Symposium on 11-13 August, 1995. Recent research at Louisbourg has discovered 400 Irish that were in Cape Breton during the first half of the 18th centu? ry, confirming a much larger Irish presence in the early settlement of Canada than previously thought. The Irish Cultural Symposium will be one of the largest Irish cultu? ral festivals ever held in Nova Scotia. Some 40 papers will be deliv? ered in 14 sessions on Irish culture in Ireland, the United States and Canada. There will be numerous sessions on the Irish in Cape Bre? ton. To accompany the formal talks during the day, there will be cul? tural festivities during the evenings. On Friday evening the Irish Be? nevolent Society of Cape Breton will sponsor an Irish Concert featuring Cape Breton Irish talent. On Saturday evening the Old Town Irish Reunion Committee will host a Concert and Dance featuring the popular group Brakin' Tradition. On Sunday evening a Closing Banquet will be held at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Registration for the Symposium is $30.00 (includes 2 lunches). Closing banquet on Sunday is an additional $30.00. Make cheques payable to the Irish Cultural Symposium. For further information contact: Ken Donovan, Fortress of Louisbourg N.H.S., Box 160, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada BOA 1 MO • PH (902) 733-2280 • FAX (902) 733-2362 say, they were....) They had no rules and regulations, really. It was just a differ? ent world. A different world altogether. Now it's gone the other way. More rules and regulations you can shake a stick at. (But no fish.) No fish. No fish. (I remem? ber when I first came to Cape Breton, 25 years ago, it was mackerel traps--Mike MacDougall and others....) Yeah, that's the same thing they got the haddock in-- exactly the same trap. And the haddock is gone, and the shad are gone, and the pol? lock are gone. The mackerel, I think, are maybe still there. But nobody wants them, to any extent. (I don't know if there's any traps like that in use.) No, the traps are gone, too. Basically. But you could get one of them and put it back. But (then) what would you do with the mackerel? There's no cold storage capacity to handle it, to freeze them. You see, we used to freeze a hundred thousand pounds overnight, of mackerel--we could freeze it. Our plant. Nickersons the same way, or more. But that's (gone)--no way--you wouldn't know what to do with the damn things. There used to be a lot of them salted and sent to the West Indies. Black people used to eat the darn things. Now, the cost of labour, of splitting those mackerel and salting them and so on --just ridiculous. You just couldn't han? dle them any more. So that's gone. Mackerel were smoked, too. Not to a great extent, but.... Times have changed, eh? We used to have a herring trap over here in the harbour (Sydney Harbour). When I was 17 years old, I used to--4 o'clock in the Suppliers of Commercial Recreational Fencing p. O. Box 98, King St., North Sydney, N. S. B2A 3M1 794-4773 HAVE OUR AUGER TRUCK DIG YOUR HOLES." J??i -Ho'iuiax) a ;'?? yva: 480 King's Road • Sydney • Nova Scotia • (902) 539-6750 Sydney's Sports and Leisure Hotel FEATURING: Indoor Pool * Sauna * Whirlpool Games * Exercise Room WELCOME SPORTS GROUPS Special Rate $58.00 • Single or Double Occupancy ? OFFICIAL HOME OF THE CAPE BRETON OILERS 80
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