Page 85 - George Leonard & the Fish Business
ISSUE : Issue 69
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/8/1
drastic change. But to really bring it back to the way it was--it'11 never come back to the way it was. As far as I'm con? cerned, to provide a livelihood for a lot of people, they're going to have to get into the hook-and-line fishery properly, and regulate it properly, and get with it. And catch all big fish, basically, and so on and so forth. (Was your father happy in a business like this? Was it his choice of what he wanted to do, do you think?) Oh, yes. He was in other things, but he never made any money at any? thing else. Anything to do with the sea, he was all right, but when he got involved in other things, he was not particularly suc? cessful . He got into a clothing business at one time, had somebody else running it. There was no way. Things like that. He made money in the seal business of all things, one time, too. Not here--in Neil's Harbour, of all places. That point of land that sticks out in Neil's Harbour, with all those fish shacks on it and so on. He owned that at one time, all of that area-- up where that Chowder House is. They used to be in the seal business. Right there. (What would they do?) They'd get the seals. The little boats would go out amongst the ice and they'd kill these seals, club them over the head, bring them in. And skin them. And then they would take the blubber off of them--it was about three inches thick--off the skins. And they would boil it down, render it down, into seal oil. Which was sold--I don't remember now where it was sold, or what it was used for. And that's what became of that. (And he would hire men along there, or was he doing it himself?) No, no, no, no. He always had--there was somebody down there that was buying fish for us, he'd buy seals.... The skins were taken and eventu? ally shipped somewhere where they were-- whatever they do with those sort of things --used to be big business. And eventually into fur coats and the like. That's what happened to that stuff. Women used to wear them, and there were little ornaments made out of sealskin. You used to see it around. (Well, let me put it another way: was there ever any talk to you, that your father would say to you, I want you to go into something else?) No, not really. (Did you ever want to go into something else, other than be in the fish business?) Oh, yes. But not because of the fish business; because of other reasons. I was glad I got out of it when I did. Because everything went to putt shortly thereafter. Problems started, with the government getting involved, and the 200-mile limit, and all this stuff. But no, I didn't miss it. Still don't miss it. (But was it your first choice?) I didn't have any choice--well, it's not true, I suppose, because.... You know, it's kind of an interesting thing. Because when you went through school in the '30s and early '40s, there was always a job waiting for you. You know, if you finished Grade 12. And if you finished Grade 9, there was always a pick- and-shovel waiting for you, you knew that. And Grade 12, there was always a job of some kind. And then if you went to univer? sity, you took your choice. It was just as simple as that. You know, there were jobs, there was never a problem. (Oh, you don't mean there was a job in the sense of, your family would take care of you. You just mean, you could find work somewhere.) Yeah. The world has changed; it's not like that today. That's the big change. But I always wanted to go in the fish business. I had no other.... Summer? times I worked, got involved down there. I never minded that. No Habitat. No Fish! MuffCer 93 King St., North Sydney • Exhaust • Brakes • Struts • Shocks • Springs • Michelln and Goodrich Tires • Life Time Warranty • 4-V'heel Alignment • Wheel Balancing i Estimates 794-7500 D SERVIOES!
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