Page 21 - Bill Fraser, Superintendent R.C.M.P., Rtd.
ISSUE : Issue 34
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1
Bill Fraser, Superintendent R.C.M.R, Rtd. Taken from conversations between R. A. MacLean and Bill Fraser The 27th day of April, 1935, I was sent to Ingonish. Now this was a whole new world, and I can remember the date. The time in Inverness was really all too short. When the spring came and the roads opened up, and the other fellow came back from the hospital in Halifax, they began to get i- deas of moving me again. And I really didn't want to go--I liked Inverness, and I liked the people particularly. There were all kinds. We had a lot of fun, though. It was good work. And then finally I got word, the latter part of April, that I was going to go to Ingonish, that there was some trouble in North Ingonish, and they were going to send me there. So I got word to pack up my bags and come to Sydney. They'd found out that they really did have trouble in Ingonish. The constable in charge there, at the detachment, hadn't been heard from by way of correspondence since Christmas. Of course, they couldn't hear from him by phone because there were no phones at that time. Now here it was, almost the first of May. They didn't go down through the winter because it was al? most impossible to get there, unless you wanted to walk on snowshoes. So they let things ride. And I went into Sydney. They said, "We don't know what that man has done all winter. And now you're to go down there on the Aspy from North Sydney the first day she sails. And go to the detach? ment, and tell the man he's fired." I looked at him and I said, "You're asking another constable to do this?" That's fine. I went to North Sydney and I got on the Aspy. The Aspy went down the next day and got stuck in the ice and came back. Three days we tried that. Finally, on the first day of May, we got down there and landed up*at Ingonish. Not at North In? gonish because there was still ice; we landed at South Ingonish, at Dunphy's wharf. I got to the detachment and I found a man and his wife and seven children. I talked to him, and I found out right off the bat that things were really bad. He had been drinking all winter, and he just didn't do any work. I fired him, and or? dered him out of the house. It was a very sad thing to see because they had no money, nowhere to go. Their home was originally in Halifax. So they went to Halifax. But there was so much to see and do and hear. I went there as a very young man, telling another older man he was fired and has no job, and • "Here's your paycheque, and get out of here." Then I commenced to find out what really did happen was that he was drunk all winter. And he was sup? plied liquor by the rumrunner there. And sometime later, as I got acquainted and we started searching and finding these places, I went to this rumrunner's home. And in his bedroom, under a picture of the Sacred Heart, on the wallpaper, was a list of the rum that he had given to the policeman and another official during the winter. I spent a lot of time that first year just trying to reorganize the whole set-up. My predecessor there had been caught in a snowstorm the fall before on Smokey. He walked out of the car and left it there. It was still there in the snow when I got down there on the first of May. The first thing I had to do was get up Smokey and get somebody from the North Shore to come down, haul this thing back up out of the ditch, and get it down to the bottom of Smokey and try and get the engine going. But there wasn't too much wrong with it-- we got it going. And then the work started right away. Mostly rum, as I say. I was only in Ingonish a short while, a very few days, really. I just got the car operating. It was about the middle of the month when I got the first urgent call by telegram, Morse code--there was a tele? graph line up and down the shore there--to go north. A very serious problem. I drove all the way, thinking all the way down-- I'd heard of this fellow before, and I knew what he did to our former member there • I went down, and I went to this house, and he was standing in the doorway. He had a bottle of rum in his hip pocket-- a bottle of rum or moonshine or something. And I talked to him--he wasn't going to let me in, and it was none of my business, and get off his property--and so CONTINUED Congratulations to Cape Breton's Magazine on Its 34th Issue George's ENTERPRISES & LAUNDROMAT BADDECK (21)
Cape Breton's Magazine