Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 70 > Page 63 - Joe Nugent, Inspector of Mines, Ret'd

Page 63 - Joe Nugent, Inspector of Mines, Ret'd

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1 (580 reads)

Joe Nugent, Inspector of Mines, Ret'd. from a Conversation in New Waterford with His Grandson, Donald Nugent This article is another example of Family His- tory--one of those rare moments when we get to hear the memories that members of a family typically share only with one another. Other examples of Family History in Cape Breton's l/lagazine}N0u6 include Chris Fitt's article about her mother, Lizzie Belle Grant (Issue 56), and IMurdoch J. McPhee's history of his people in Ontario and Stephen Patrick Sampson's story of his own life (Issue 61). When asked about his interest in mine safety, Joe Nugent told his grandson: My earliest recollection of a coal mining disaster dates back to when I was going on five years of age. We received a telegram while we were living in St. John's, Newfoundland, that my grandfather had been in that explosion and that he had not (yet) been located. That was in 1917. When they brought , • ' the message to the door • it was in the evening, late in the evening--I didn't know what was going on. But my mother was crying and I heard them talking about the miners being trapped in the explosion in No. 12 Colliery (in New Waterford), and that 19 Newfoundlanders were also trapped and dead. They were taken home on the New? foundland ferry Kyle. In 1921 I came back to Cape Breton, and I was very close to my grandfather all the time. (Joe's grandfather did survive the explosion.) We went everjrwhere, and he took me around to show me the coal mines. He was particularly interested in telling Planning ahtadcan offer peace of mind. We encourage you to consider funeral prearrangement and invite you to call or send for our free prearrangement guide. T. W. Curry Parkview Chapel Leo J. Curry, Bill Curry Funeral Directors Phone 539-3002 755 George Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia Four generations of service me about the monument (that is) now in New Waterford on the main street, at the en? trance of town. It was previously put down at the bottom of Mahon and Ellsworth Ave? nue in a field there. That's the first place it was put. (See page 67.) So even at seven years of age I didn't know too much about coal mines, but I was interested. So this is what he told me about it. He said that in the morning of the 17th he went to work. He always went to work at quarter-to-five in the morning; he was always practically the first man at the mine. So that morning there was a lit? tle bit of activity going around about some kind of a situation that was not re? vealed and had to do with gas. After a while he was assigned (by the un- Your Cape Breton Highland'Vacation Resort INGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA TEL: 285-2049 FAX: 285-2395 • 90 Units • Licensed Restaurant • Gift Shop • Golfing • Private Ocean Beach • Swimming Pool GLENGHORM Scottish Gaelic Translation "THE GREEN AND THE BLUE" The green lawns rolling down to meet the blue of the ocean. More than just a place to stay overnight: a vacation resort
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