Page 66 - With Evelyn Smith, Wreck Cove
ISSUE : Issue 65
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1
like that, when you were growing up?) No. They had community concerts, but they were English. Christmas concerts, I'm talking about. No Gaelic. (No Gael? ic at all?) No, I don't think. (Where would they hold the Christmas concerts?) In the schoolhouses. And of course, it would be the schoolteacher, you know, and she had no Gaelic usual? ly, so. Now, I'm just speaking--I went to school in the late 1920's. Now be? fore that, maybe there was. (You were a Gaelic-speaking person. When you went to school, was there any • , encouragement within the school or the schoolyard, to speak Gaelic?) No. (Was there any active discouragement?) No. I don't think there was, either. It was up to yourself. And some of us as kids spoke Gaelic when we were playing outside, and then sometimes we didn't. Danny, my brother, told me--he came to live (at) Wreck Cove when he was 11. They had lived in Sydney Mines. And he couldn't speak a word of Gaelic when he came here. And I didn't know that. I thought it was his first language, same as the rest of the family. But see, living in Sydney Mines and going to school there, he didn't learn the Gaelic at all. So he comes to Wreck Cove and he has no Gaelic. And he said, "I re? member walking down the road from my grand '' ' • f?Sf!* . Vtr%i - ' EXPLORE CAPE BRETON'S INLAND Sea with Silver Donald Cameron FOR JUST $24.95 • -~ - T BRAS DOR I LAKES NEW ON VIDEO Evelyn's husband Alexander Smith, and her brother Kenny MacDermid, fishing at Wreck Cove Shore mother's place"--with his grandmother. She couldn't speak English, and he couldn't speak Gaelic. And he said there was very little communication. But he said, in 6 months time--all the children that he played with here spoke nothing but Gaelic-- and he said, "In 6 months time, I was as fluent in the Gaelic as they were." (So when I hear stories--they say, you know, "They were very strict, and they wouldn't let any Gaelic be spoken around the school"--and that that's what kind of destroyed Gaelic--one of the things that helped keep Gaelic from growing. That wasn't your experience.) No, not my expe? rience at all. But I have heard that. And it may have been in earlier--maybe 10 or 12 years before I started going to school. I think there was a period. And I heard Catherine (Eddie's wife) just speak of it last week, and she said something to that effect. And she said, "Oh goodness, we were made to understand, if you were going to have Gaelic, your English is not going to be good, and you'd better get the Eng? lish and forget about the Gaelic." So she went through a period where.... Port Hawke! Credit Card Orders phone toll free 1-800-565-5140 (INDUSTRIAL CAPE BRETON, PHONE 539-5140) 66 (The question is, who made her understand that? Was it the teacher or was it her parents?) I'm just wondering. She didn't say. But it could have been her mother. MMOUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS ARMOUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, one of the most reUable names on the road, is here to deliver. It's a network comprised of four leading companies in the highway transportation industry...Annour Transport...Drury Transfer...Diamond's Transfer and Pole Star Transport. Maritime owned and operated, servicing Atlantic Canada and beyond. Armour Transportation Systems is dedicated to getting the job done right. WPaleStar Diamonds ArmPM DRURYS SYDNEY 149 York Street, Sydney, N.S. BI P 6B6 Phone 539-4185 • Toll Free 1-800-565-4186 • Fax 562-0205
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