Page 47 - Lizzie Belle Grant: A Family History
ISSUE : Issue 56
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/1/1
After Mrs. Grant became a widow she took the job of teaching hand crafts to the patients at I the T.B. units of St. Joseph and General hospital. She worked two afternoons a week for $2.50 an j afternoon. She taught weaving I and at that time making flowered i ear-rings from old nylons was quite fashionable. She collected nylons from her friends, bleached and dyed them and took them to the patients. When the ear-rings were made, she took them to town and sold them. Miss Chrissie Curry, her friend at MacLeod's Bookstore, was her ac? complice in this. One day she brought back $27 to the patients at St. Joseph's. Mr. Everett Green was in charge of re? habilitation work at that time. He told her she was the best re? hab worker he ever had, a com? pliment she appreciated. One day, her friend Mrs. Lil? lian Crewe Walsh came to her with a verse: "Black for the wealth of our coal mines,/ Grey for our Cape Breton steel,/ Green for our lofty mountains/ Our valleys and our fields,/ Gold for the golden sunsets/ Shining bright on the lakes of Bras d'Or,/ To show God's hand had lingered/ To bless Cape Breton shores." She asked if a tartan could be designed with those colours. Mrs. Grant took some yarn and wound it around cardboard and af? ter a little experimenting, came up with an attractive design. She wove a scarf which Mrs. Walsh took to town and showed to all her friends. "Look," she said, "this is the Cape Breton Tartan." Orders began to pour in for the tartan. The demand was too great to be filled with hand-weaving. Mrs. Grant, at this time seventy years of age, saw the possibili? ties of developing a business. Taking a great leap in the dark, she invested $1000 in having three bolts of material manufac? tured at a mill. It sold in short order and more was ordered. The tartan was ac? cepted by Cape Breton people as their own. Mrs. Grant made a living in spite of sev? eral brushes with unscrupulous business Creators of the Cape Breton Tartan: Lillian Crewe Walsh and Lizzie Belie Grant. men. She remembered her friend Mrs. Walsh and she made enough to have two trips to England and Scotland. At the age of 79 she suffered a severe stroke and became an invalid. She was lov? ingly cared for by her son Allister until her death at the age of 84 in the year 1972. Our thanl(S to Anne O'Neill, Sydney, for help with this story. r I ii/iiTED 110 Reeves St. SYDNEY, N. 8. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS "Serving Cape Breton Over 35 Years" SPECIALIZING IN: • INDUSTRIAL • COMMERCIAL • INSTITUTIONAL • RESIDENTIAL ' WIRING CONTRACTORS • MAINTENANCE SERVIC • ELECTRIC HEATING SYSTEMS • FREE ESTIMATES 562-1132 FAX 526-1699 Friendly Clothing Stores Serving All of Cape Breton Gentlemen Prefer Quality • Selection & Service That's why gentlemen prefer MEN'S WEAR Charlotte Street I Main Street SYDNEY I SYDNEY MINES
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