Page 34 - Mary Willa Littler and "The Strangers' Grave"
ISSUE : Issue 71
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1
or to the library or to the town hall, or to the miners' museum. Letters are passed on to me, and I'll do my best to answer those letters. You know, you can keep busy. he lived in New Glasgow, and they had no idea of each other's existence until James Conway's grave was located, and that I wanted to put a marker there.... (As I understand it, you don't just find the grave, place the marker, and walk away.) No. Actually, I like to try to contact somebody to get permis? sion to do it, for one thing. Someone in au? thority that won't say, "Well, she just went along and did this, and didn't even ask permis? sion!" So, it's just a formality, to do it. (Like the family.) Family. Or whoever is in charge of the cemetery. But sometimes I try to ask the family. If the family want to be there, that's great. Like, I placed a marker in Stellarton in 1992. And there was an older fellow, his name is Danny Hood--he's since passed away. But I think Danny was 82 when I went to place a marker on James Conway's grave. And a lady from Springhill who was 91 at that time. And it turns out that they were like maybe second or third cousins, but had no knowledge of each other until I put them together. She lived in Springhill and Mary Willa found the grave of Hugh M. Robinson. At 31, he left behind a wife and three children. He was a native of Lancashire, England. His remains were numbered as the 104th body, taken out of the mine at Springhill on Monday, February 23,1891. After the explosion, Mrs. Ro? binson and her children re-located to Port Morien, Cape Breton, where some of the descendants of Hugh M. Ro? binson reside today. The grave of Hugh M. Robinson is located In Hillside Cemetery, south section, Springhill. So that's nice, to meet up with these peo? ple. To meet who they are, and sit. Hey, these are part of James Conway's family. You know, a hundred years later, it's in? teresting to see some of these people. [ CONGRATULATIONS CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE The Canadian Coast Guard College is a few years older than Cape Bre? ton 's Magazine. It opened its doors in 1965, but it too has grown and changed over the years. Today the College is Canada's only bilingual marine training facility, and attracts clients from across Canada and around the world. In large part, the College's success lies with the val? ues it embraces: leadership 4 innovation business acumen flexibility positive attitude towards changing technology... ...values in large part shared by Cape Breton's Magazine. Thank you Cape Breton's Magazine for providing all of us with wonderful stories and an important record of our island history for so many years. May both the College and the magazine continue to grow and thrive in the future! 1'1 Fislieries and Oceans Peches et Oceans " * Canada Canada Canada (Now, are any Cape Bretoners buried at Springhill?) Yes. There are quite a few. And probably the reason is because the family ac? tually moved into Springhill and made (it) their home.... Like, in particular this John Gillis who was buried in lona. There was also Rory Mac? Neil who was living in Springhill. And it appeared that his parents were in lona, but his body didn't come back to lona. There's a headstone in the cemetery in Springhill with his name on it. But I don't know the reason why. There had to be some circum? stances that his body didn't return to Cape Breton. I've never figured that out. I document information about all fatali? ties in Springhill. Single mishaps (as well as the) 1891 explosion. I haven't touched (the Springhill mine disasters of) 1956 or '58 in too much detail. I have been asked to do things on one individual or a couple of individuals, and I've looked something up about them, but haven't gotten into it in any detail. (Those are just two huge jobs.) Yes. (By single mishap you mean....) Single mishaps in the everyday workings. ("Fall of the roof." "Number 1 slope which was on fire.") I actually raised money in Springhill to erect monuments in memory of all of these single mishaps. It took me two years from A HERITAGE BUILDING OVERLOOKING THE HARBOUR City Lodge OFFERS FIRST RATE ACCOMMODATIONS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES • PLUS We Serve Sydney's Dining Public and Overnight Guests at Our FAMILY RESTAURANT & PUB 100 Kings Road, Sydney TF 1-800-580-2489 • FAX (902) 562-2640 CENTRALLY LOCATED, 30 MINUTES FROM THE NEWFOUNDLAND FERRY 34
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