Page 43 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers
ISSUE : Issue 44
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1
down, when the oil got so cheap, you could see the coal going down, going down. All those customers were gone. (That's, of course, after the war,) Yes. I came home again in 1946. (What was the condition of coal in Cape Breton?) It was slow. It was very slow. Because the produc? tion was very small, because a terrible lot of miners were in the army too, and the production was down. And then, all of a sudden, it started pick? ing up a bit. And then around '47 or '48, they started getting their Montreal mar? kets back again, and they started hiring ships from overseas again. You could see the ships coming back again. They were building special ships for the coal trade, that were easy to load. There was the Cape Breton Miner. Then they had the other boats--the Louisbourg, the Wabana, and the Arthur Cross--they were converted. They EASTERN LIGHTS CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA CAP-BRETON, NOUVELLE-ECOSSE FEBRUARY 14 ?? 28 1987 14 ?? 28 FEVRIER >c a Jeux Canada Games'87'??iC'SSR INVERNESS DOMINION SYDNEY ARICHAT BADDECK NEW WATERFORD SYDNEY MINES CHETICAMP- ST. PETERS PORT MORI • N were regular deep sea ships with double deck. But the company bought them in re? placement for the ships they lost--the Lord Strathcona and the Rosecastle. So that's when your coal started picking up. Their fleet started building up. Coal was busy till 1962, They had a big fleet of ships, the coal was all good. Next thing, the company got a contract with Ontario Hy? dro . And Ontario Hydro, they're going to buy the slack coal. Because other custom? ers were going on oil, like Canada Cement and them. Then that's when they started building the pier we have now. So they had plans for bringing in two big ships, the Cape Breton Miner and the Ontario Power. Both of those ships were 27,000 tons. And they could make a trip every 9 days up to Toronto. So this was in 1964, when they built the new pier. They started it in Ap? ril '64. By 1963 they had two small ships running the coal to Ontario Hydro, prepar? ing themselves for the following year. So in 1963, our main shipping pier burned down. But still they were making the new pier. To carry on, we had to go up to the government wharf in Sydney, loading it by cranes and clams ' We kept their coal mov? ing that way. We shipped over 400,000 ton up there, I believe. So in April '64, our new pier started. And then, 1968 came--you could feel a pinch com? ing again. Whatever hap- pened--the oil got so low in price, in 1968, they were going to phase out all the coal mines, Ontario Hydro didn't take any coal. They started dropping, drop? ping, dropping. And they were just shipping an odd cargo of coal. So--I think it was '69--we shipped nothing to Ontar? io Hydro. Then 1970, there was only a bit of coke getting shipped. Coal was gone down. In 1973 we didn't ship one pound of coal from the Pier, not a pound of coal. Only perhaps a few schooners loading, just for Newfoundland. And we started shipping coke for the steel company. They started moving a- head again in 1975, when the price of oil started going up. England--Eng? lish Electric Power-- they bought I think it was 500,000 ton of Cape Breton coal. So that's when the coal started Jeux Canada Games W-iS' • ' GLACE BAY FLORENCE lONA DINGWALL INGONISH PORT HAWKESBURY NEIL'S HARBOUR
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