Page 37 - Mae Wilcox, 98 - Poet from Big Lorraine
ISSUE : Issue 59
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1
(Your husband was in a shipwreck, was he not?) Oh, my dear. I had, in my life, I had to go through three shipwrecks. And one was on St. Pierre Banks. One was some? where down the back of the island--that wasn't such a bad one. And the other one was down off of Newfoundland. My husband-- well, there was poor times--no fish, no mackerel. That was after this First World War. And he said to me that he couldn't sell the fish. And he said, "I have to go where I can get work, because we've got to live." So, he went on a boat going to...Labrador. It was the Little Bras d'Or Coal Company. And he went captain on--he had his papers--he had gone to school--he had his master's paper. Then he was deter? mined to go to sea. So there was a violent August gale came on. And many, many boats were lost that time. There was a whole month I didn't know where he was. You couldn't phone. It wasn't like today--you wouldn't hear of ships that were lost. And my little boy came in one day--he was about 7--and he said, "Mommy," he said, "do you know what the boys told me today?" He said, "They told me that my dad was drowned down at the bottom of the sea." Well, you know, that was pretty hard to take. That was one. . . . (What did happen?) Well, what happened: he got safely into Black Harbour. That's in Newfoundland. And he really wasn't ship? wrecked. But the report went around that he was.... Well, the other time was, he was going to St. Pierre. And I didn't have a phone. But the neighbours said, "You're wanted on the phone." I went down. My son was with him then; he was about 18. And I went down to a neigh- ''or, ??; Mae at 17 hour's. And the first thing came to me: "Pearl Cann"--that's the name of the ship --"is down with all hands." Well, I don't know--I remember throwing the phone down. And getting out of the house, and getting up to our house--I just don't remember how I ever got there. Well, it must have been--it was quite awhile--I suppose about probably 2 weeks or 3 weeks, when someone was good enough to phone the Bras d'Or Company. And they told me that they were picked up by Newfoundland fishermen, and saved--taken in. So, I had plenty of that, I'm going to tell you. Hon. John C. Crosbie Greetings to Cap • J Breton's Magazine and its Readers I congratulate Cape Breton's Magazine on its twentieth anniversary issue. The dedication of staff and the support of its readers has undoubtedly contributed to its success over the years. As Minister for both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, I am encouraged by the businesses and individuals who are helping to stabilize and improve the Cape Breton economy. There is no shortage of energy or determination, as your magazine proves; and my officials will work with Cape Bretoners to promote further economic growth in the region. We are in a period of adjustment in the fishing industry, but something is being done. Close coop? eration between my department and the private sector will become the order of the day as we re? gain the sense of optimism which is the first step towards the kind of fishery we all want to see. I am now taking steps to establish a management system that is more consistent, more visibly fair and more accessible to all participants. In addition, through the Adantic Fisheries Adjustment Program (AFAP), my officials are encour? aging diversification both within and outside the fishery. Our overall objectives remain the same; rebuilding the fish stocks, adjusting to current realities and achieving economic diversification. AFAP is administered to provide more direct, measurable benefits to our clients. Finally, through the activities of the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the programs it deliv? ers for the Atlantic Canada Oppportunities Agency (ACOA), a wide range of federal assistance is available to start or expand small- and medium-sized businesses on the Island. 1'1 Atlantic Canada Agence de Opportunities promotion economique /'ency du Canada atlantique Canada
Cape Breton's Magazine