Page 2 - With Mungie MacNeil of Iona Rear
ISSUE : Issue 59
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1
By the time I kept house for priests, they were paid by cheque, of course, from the bank then. This was when we were children --they were just given so much by each family. But they'd never have to go hun? gry, you know, if they ran short. The peo? ple would always look after them.... (I suppose $6 in a year was a lot of mon? ey.) Yes, it was. They had lots of stuff, you know, raised lots of stuff on their farms. They fed themselves pretty much. And they'd get sale for certain goods. They weren't poor, actually. But they didn't have any ready money. They'd have to have those $6 for the priest. We were never poor. Well, we weren't poor and we weren't rich.... They just strug? gled along like all the rest of them. Very little cash. But then, my father had a branch post office. That helped a little, you know. (When you first went to work for a priest, did you ask for a certain amount of mon? ey?) Oh, no. He told me what he could give me. And that was it. Thirty-five dollars a month. But that was good at that time. It was around 1929 or '30--around that time. Might have been '31. VOLUME ONE BOOKSTORE Bag No. 200 Port Hawkesbury Centre Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 Phone (902) 625-1514 Phoebe Timmons Res.: 863-0220 Wilson Timmons Res.: 345-2387 133 Church St. Antigonish Shopping Centre Antigonish, N. S. B2G 2E3 Phone (902) 863-4112 VOLUME TWO BOOKSTORE Heather BUILDING SUPPLIES STORAGE SHEDS (COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED) Small Job installations a Specialty SALES & INSTALLATION OF DOORS, WINDOWS & SIDING • ELECTRICAL • PLUMBING • FLOORING & CARPET • LUMBER • HARDWARE • ROOF TRUSSES • BENJAMIN MOORE PAINTS (Was this Fr. Rankin?) No, no, I never (worked for) Fr. Rankin. He was our parish priest. He had a curate that was a helper --Fr. MacKinnon. The curate, they didn't leave them too long in a parish. They'd take him and put him as a parish priest somewhere. And the bishop sent (Fr. Mac? Kinnon) to Brook Village--that's in Inver? ness County. He was only a young priest, about 30 or something--near my own age. And he asked me if I'd go and keep house for him at his home. I said I'd go for a month until he'd find a housekeeper. Mun? gie chuckles. It lasted a long time.... We were 3 years in Brook Village. And then he was sent down to--they called it Pass- chendaele--Dominion Number 4--you know where that is? A mining town. Everybody said, "Oh, the poor fellow. Look where he's going!" So I went along with him. He didn't even ask me. He said, "We are going." Well, I came too. (And were you still getting $35 a month.) Yeah. (A good job, for the De? pression.) Well, yes--I was lucky to get a job. I was happy there, you know. I was my own boss, actually, you know. He'd never question.... Although I wasn't the best cook in the world for this man to be sat? isfied. There were some burnt offerings, I suppose, at times!... The reason mostly why I thought I'd like the work: I had a younger brother--he died when he was quite young. And he was kind of thinking that he might be a priest, too. Well, he just kind of talked it; I don't think he meant it. And I said, "And "Enjoy superb dining in a re[a7(ing & [uTQirious atmospHere SPECIALIZING IN CHINESE CUISINE Canadian Dishes also available FULLY LICENSED TAKE OUT & DELIVERY ORDERS Major Credit Cards Accepted SB 'Ujn0 Hestaurant 355 Charlotte Street Dowr'town Sydney Tel; 539-7775 Open daily 11:00 am ONE OF } CAPE BRETON'S FINEST i
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