Page 47 - Love Letters from St. Pauls Island
ISSUE : Issue 73
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1998/6/1
Love Letters from St. Paul's Island There's no wedding picture. No formal studio portrait of Marga? ret Coady or of John and Margaret Maclntyre and their children together. Just a packet of letters by John A. Maclntyre sent to Margaret Coady, and later to her as his wife. Their daughter, Peggy Maclntyre Maclsaac, told us: "When my father went over there [to St Paul's Island] he did not plan to go over there to stay. He had been a miner, and then he lost one of his legs in an accident, and he went back home to Boularderie to farm. And they had a fire, and he decided that he wanted to earn some quick cash and he applied for the job at the Life Saving Station at St. Paul's Island, and stayed there. And when the job of Lighthouse Keeper came up, he got the job and proposed to my mother. (He had a fire?) He had a fire on Boularderie at his farm. Lost their barn and whatever farm equipment they had. So in order to make some money • quick money • he applied for this job on the island. They didn't know he had an artificial leg at the time. He said afterwards he proba? bly wouldn't have been hired. "My father had Grade Seven education. After that, he was self- taught. My mother of course had High School and went to Nor? mal College. And my father's writing is beauitiful, it's his spelling is terrible. It's just terrible." it was a long courtship. Most of our letters are from St. Paul's Is? land. But as far back as February 1911, working as a linesman in Bay City, Michigan, he was writing letters like this: Dear Margaret, I suppose you'll be surprised to hear from a friend who has been silent so long, but I hope you'll recover from the shock in season to make an early reply.... My thoughts carries me back to the first time I met you two years ago in Boularderie. It was a cold frosty night at Uncle Joseph's house. The delightful walk home. How I used to look forward to the time we would meet again. Skating on the lake, and long walks on summer evenings. All this comes back again, and I almost feel happy once more. Until I realized that I am only dreaming. How I wish I could recall these days and live them over again. But I hope I will be back soon, and then we can talk over old times.... ' LIMITED 110 Reeves St. SYDNEY, N. S. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS "Serving Cape Breton Over 35 Years" SPECIALIZING IN: • INDUSTRIAL • COMMERCIAL - INSTITUTIONAL - RESIDENTIAL • WIRING CONTRACTORS • MAINTENANCE SERVICE ?? ELECTRIC HEATING SYSTEMS • FREE ESTIMATES FAX 526-1699 562-1132 And then he was a coal miner, working in Cape Breton at Dominion Number 4: Dear Margaret, I must drop you a few lines to let you know that • I am working in the pit.... I suppose they are dancing away to beat the band every.... I suppose you've forgotten me alto? gether but I'm not forgetting you.... And then our packet of letters really begins.... Miss Margret A. Coady (Teacher) Sydney, C.B., N.S. July 13, 1917 Dear Margret, Was simply delighted to hear from you and also that you consid? ered our offer to teach in our school another year. I refered the mat? ter of salary to the Board of Trustees, and I have reason to believe that it will be accepted. But of course they will have to advertise for another in order to prove that they couldn't get one for the amount granted at the meeting which is $175.00. At any rate I will know soon and let you know. Well Margret I was away all this week buying cattle and market? ing them didn't get home till today and I feel darn good and tired. They ar going to have a Big dance at uncle Joes place Munday night. I would sertainly like to go over to see you in Sydney and I will go the first chance I get. Why ar you so particular about me writing before I go. I can't understand it at all. Hubie is just going to the office and he's going to mail this for me so I must come to a close. With Best regards, I remain, Sincearly yours John A. Maclntyre, Boul. West Miss Margret A. Coady Atlantic Avenue, Sydney, CB. Aug. 8, 1917 Rome's (Wharf) Restaurant Sd Lounge - Specializing in Fresh Seafood and Steaks LICENSED RESTi=iURANT i LOUNGE Monday to Saturday * 11 a. m. to 2 a. m. Large Video Screen and Dance Floor Live Entertainment Friday & Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m 2-for-1 STEAKS (16-02. steaks) in the Lounge Lunch and Dinner 10 a. m. to9 p. m. 7 Days a Week 411 Purvis Street in North Sydney on the NORTHSIDE WATERFRONT _' . _?_ . near MARINE ATLANTIC 794-7774 <''. Featuring a New Wharf for Pleasure Craft with Water Power Valet Service 47
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