Page 36 - Sydney Harbour in World War 2
ISSUE : Issue 13
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1
1942 • all through the war • everybody making big money. There I was doing twice as much work, not getting a cent more. And I could be called anytime, day or night. If a ship should come in the navy wanted to get out the next day with the convoy, they had no hesitation calling us. I went out when it wasn't fit for a dog to be out. And I served every race, every nationality. Many of them didn't get as far as Newfound? land. I had friends I made before the war, carrying coal to Montreal • and they were just converted to transport across • many of them had never seen across. Had some hellish nice friends left and never came back, never got over. We'd have them to the house. It'd be the first place they'd dig for. Feed them, yes. Half of them were glad to get a bath* Esther Dubinsky, Ship's Chandler: I'll tell you what they kept close tabs on • rope. New? man Dubinsky: Manila rope J Because when the Japanese got into it the manila was very difficult to get. Also zinc. Esther: You really had to need those articles desper? ately before they would allow us to put it on the ship. Stockings and onions were con? sidered the thing to take back to Britain- better than money. Newman: I'll never for? get 6 o'clock in the morning we had to rush like hell • 8 or 10 guys that didn't have time to get their gifts • onions and silk stockings. Newman: The convoy's departure was set by the navy • they'd have their conference etc etc • and it might be blowing 40-50 mile gale here • but for next morning they knew the weather would be all right. The convoy would be going out. So we'd have to deli? ver stores the night before in all kinds of weather. There were no cancellations. (Ever lose an order?) No. But one of our competitors did. Next morning onions and potatoes all floating around. Fellow on a little launch got too close to the propel- lor and the boat got chopped up and the stores were floating all around. And my brother was in a storm so bad the waves put the 48 foot boat up over the rail of the ship, right onto the merchant ship. We had to push it off. Newman: Most ships were getting ice because there was no such thing as fridges • some had only little ice chests • the rest were all live animals, kill them and eat them themselves. (You put live animals on board?) Hundreds of thousands. Polish and Greek and English ships* Esther: Chickens and cows and steers. Used to go around to all the farmers, round thera up. Newman: Cows?I I used to put calves on. And put hay on, put feed on. Chickens on. Many many sheep. One ship was lost and we had 12 sheep ready for him and the season ended • there were no convoys • so we had to keep them over the winter. 1942. They had lambs and no one would buy them. Sold two sheep. We kept the rest in our backyard there. 10 sheep and 18 lambs. No one died. 10 sheep and 18 lambs. Eventually I almost went to jail for them. Esther: He used to get up about 5 o'clock in the morning and take them up to the park to eat the grass. Used to have a bandstand there. Take his magazine and sit there and let the sheep graze. Stay about an hour and a half, then take them back to our yard. And he had bulls at Lingan. They were staked and chained. All of a sudden we hear there's no fresh milk in New Water? ford. Newman: We got a summons. The milk stopped producing. These three young bulls waiting for a ship to come in. A farmer 0 Built by Cabotcraft industries Ltd. to the design of Brewer, Wallsirom and Associates this 36 foot luxury sailing yacht is built to the most exacting Standards of Detail and Quality as are all the products manufactured and sold by Cabotcraft Ind.: these include marine hardware, engines and custom fibre- glass work. Cabotcraft Industries Ltd. Sydney, Cape Breton Island 902-539-7740
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