Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 72 > Page 48 - Boxing's Sailor Don MacKinnon

Page 48 - Boxing's Sailor Don MacKinnon

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1 (509 reads)

he read about it in the papers, he told tiiem at home from where I came tiiat it was too bad I didn't stay with him because he would have made a good fighter out of me. He said I was tough and that I could take it when I got knocked out and that I lived a good life, never drank, never smoked. It came naturally to me tiie way I was throwing punches and doing the footwork and all that. I could catch on to the acts of boxing quicker than anyone else could, quicker than any other fighter could. When my money ran out, I said I'll go back home but I'll still work on the heavy bag and do roadwork on the farm. I didn't stay there long either. During the summer of 19401 worked on the Point Edward navy base at Sydney, wheeling cement into tiie barracks they were constructing. After that I retumed home, worked another Uttle while in the mines, and said, "The heck witii this here." And I left again.... When I had been in Sydney, working at Point Edward, I would sec the sailors coming over, going from the ferry. I'd see all those sailors and I'd say, "Gee, that's a nice uniform. I'm going to be in that uniform someday." The uniform took my eye. Someone wanted me to go in the army. I said, "No. I want to go in the navy." When I arrived in Saint John [New Brunswick], I went over to the govemment building on Prince William Street. There were maybe 35 or 40 joining the navy every day. You had to be 18 years old to get in. I didn't tell them I was only 17 at the time. They didn't ask to see a birth certificate. As long as you gave your age, you were signed, sealed, and delivered. I was now in the navy.... I was able to keep training all the time even when I was on the ship. I had a heavy bag on the ship. There was a fellow from Sydney, Dempsey McVail, a stoker and a fighter himself who also was aboard. He was older and he was a better fighter. He showed me quite a few things. We had no gloves, just a heavy bag. Working out on the heavy bag, he would show me lots of (%i/''(Mitioe'K'/ote . . . rest wishes to the partic')anfe of '' Canadian & North American Highland Dance Chdn'ionships ?? Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is pleased to be a P'H'r ijQ'. jJ this event which supports the growth and employment potentialflf ' or J ' J Jthe ctitu''dust''. We a'laud the taljent and dedicatiiti of#ie J -J pfriSrmers, or'l'ej' aM volunteers. 'iHKW'J ' W w '
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