Page 34 - Sydney Harbour in World War 2
ISSUE : Issue 13
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1
Monday morning and we were on till 10 o'? clock the following Monday morning. Then when you went home you were on call all the time, round the clock, for convoys in or out • in addition to movement of ships in the harbour. It was coal-bunkering in those days and the coal piers were filled with ships taking coal bunkers, getting ready for convoy. We had 3 men at the Whitney Pier pilot station. On occasion they were all gone and more pilots re? quested • and the off-duty men were called out. On watch you were looking for the lights of ships inbound • and they had them on very low power actually, not according to the international rule of the road. It would be only the mast light and the red and green port and starboard • no other lights were allowed. In a fog the ships would be blow? ing a fog signal as they approached the port. But we had no advance warning that ships were coming. We had a breakwater at first but it was eventually carried away • so we had to go on a mooring. And every time we had to meet ships inbound, go out and take pilots off outbound ships • we had to row out to the moorii'. It meant launch? ing a boat off the shore, rowing out to our pilot boat. Of course the engineer of the pilot boat remained on board all the time. You boarded your ship inbound and proceeded up to the ExEunination Vessel • and from there you'd get in, get to an anchorage. If there were more ships coming, you'd get ashore at the old terminal which is now the CNR Terminal • a little wooden dock at the time • and we'd get a taxi • 4 or 5 of us • get a taxi to rush us back to the pilot station. May be more ships. Get in the dory and row out to the mooring again. And the harbour was all laid off in a graph, squares • based I believe on the average size of a ship for swinging. Lines were given letters and numbers. When you got ashore you re? ported to the naval office where you were anchored • and they marked where the numbered line and the lettered line crossed. Then perhaps you'd get a bus back to North Sydney or Sydney Mines. After midnight you had to get a taxi. I remember one night I couldn't even get a taxi in North Sydney. About 2 o'clock in the morning I walked out to Swivel Point. There were six of us came on June the lOth, 1940: myself, Emmanuel Gallup, J.C.Guthro, A.M.Huntley, R.C.Rose and D.F.Ryan. The men that were pilots were V. McGilvary • he was liscensed in 1902. Tom Burke, Peter Rigby, D. Morrisson, C. Anderson, J.H. Campbell, F.M.MacKenzie, A.D.MacDonald, J.O.MacNeil, F.Voutier, E.H.Ruck, S,E, MacDonald and T.F.Lee. The following year, 1941, men came on: St.Clair Allen, A.J. Vincent and J.M.Wilson. Meantime Rigby had died in February of '41. We were 19 that first year and with him dying and the 3 coming on we were 21 pilots • and that's what we remained right through the war. And looking back at it now you wonder how you ever got along. Of course, you were younger • but what I marvel at is sorae of these men If you're satisfied, tell others If not...tell us. Cottage Lunchette North Bast Margaree CAPE BRETONlS OWN FURNITURE SHOWROOMS Ranges Tables Chairs Recliners Sofas Beds Stereos Televisions Carpets Refrigerators Washers ByAoBy dace Bay New Waterford Port Hastings TROPICANA Restaurant & Lounge hwktM SYDNEY SHOPPING MALL Prince Street, Sydney Restaurant Hours 11 AM - 10 PM Lounge Hours 11 AM - 1 AM TOP BANDS NIGHTLY Schwartz J. W. Stephens Limited tUILDERS SUPPLIES MARPWARE AND PAINTS WOODWORKERS AND MIU WORK Phone the Lumber Number 564-5554 Sydi ?y. fXova' Scotid' A member of the BOLD organization
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