Page 34 - From Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories: From the Memoirs of Thomas Cozzolino
ISSUE : Issue 74
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1999/6/1
Premier Russell MacLellan reminiscing about his days as a member at the Browns, one of the original teams in Sydney and District Litde League, Canada's Oldest Litde League. went to see him at the hotel. I explained my case to him. He was very nice about it, and sent for the General Manager to discuss the matter. The General Manager got angry and came to see me at my home. He said that I had no right to go see the President, and that I would never get another day's work from the company. I replied, "I lived a good many years before I started working for tiiis company; I guess I can live without it." He then said, "Your conttact reads so much per cu? bic yard for everything, including the rock." He showed me his copy of the conttact. Above the word "earth," he had written "rock and everything else included." I told him that I could have him put in jail for adding those words to the conttact. My copy, which he and two witnesses had signed, did not include tiiose additional words. He cooled down, and offered me more work at the Broughton site in ex? change for calling off the claim on the rock. Since I would be getting a pretty good price, I agreed. I built about ten long stteets, and exca? vated a large foundation for a warehouse. While working at the Broughton site, Cozzolino took a subcontract, with Rhodes, Curry and Company, for work on the Intercolonial Railway construc? tion project in the Truro area. He then took on a partner? ship with O'Brian and Martin for a construction project with the Transconti? nental Railway near Latuque, Quebec. I retumed to Nova Scotia in the fall of 1908. Once home, I formed the Nova Scotia Construction Company, Limited. We accepted a job that winter to build three cribs at An? napolis, Nova Sco? tia, but we sublet tills work to anotiier conttactor. In the (Eapp Irrtntt l-800-$6$-9464 for information Cape Breton Island Bed & Breakfast Association Tourism Cape Breton P. O. Box 1448 Sydney, N.S. 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We worked at this job until 1911. During that period, we purchased a great deal of new equipment; our plant tiiere now was worth over $150,000. At the same time, we had another job in Sydney with the Dominion Iron and Steel Company. We built a four-mile spur line, about two miles of highways, and, in? side the plant, we built a blast furnace, a nail mill, as well as work on other construction. We also did some sewer work for them, and built a subway near the Coke Ovens.... It was difficult to find good men; as soon as I brought in a gang from New York, tiie Gov'nment would take them away [for tiie War]. I had a good man on the steam shovel while we were blasting. The government tried to take him away, but he came back. He was the only man I could get to run the steam shovel; so, to keep him, I went out, bought him long, grey whiskers, and changed his name. Every time someone came along, he would put on his whiskers and work very slow. He looked as if he was over 60 years old. I said to the In? spector one day, "The young man you took away from here would do as much work in a day as this old man does in a week." The Inspec? tor replied, "We cannot help that," and went away. We were able to complete the project.... Thomas Cozzolino and his family moved to Montreal in 1928. He continued to work on several smaller projects in Quebec but, by the early 1930s, economic conditions were not good. It was at this point that he retired and began work on his Memoirs. I am staying home witii my wife and two of my grandchildren • a boy of 17, and a girl of 12. They are both going to school and doing well. I hope tiiat in a few years time they will be a help to me. I find it lonesome doing nothing. It kills me. Of course, I could not stand any hard work, as I will soon be 69 years old. At that age a man can? not do very much. I have taken my time in writing my Ufe story, but I am sure that I have left out many tilings that I did not remember. I thank God with all my life for having spared me such a long life, without sickness. Our thanks to Penny Marshall, Director, University College of Cape Bre? ton Press, for permission to offer this excerpt from Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories, edited by Sam Migliore and A. Evo DiPierro, pub? lished by UCCB Press, 1999. The book is available everywhere for $24.95. Cozzolino family photographs are courtesy of Dr. John Burke. Northeast Highlands Shuttle DAILY from Bay St. Lawrence to Sydney with connections to Halifax VIA Cape North • Dingwall • Neil's Harbour • Ingonish • Englishtown AND ALL POINTS IN BETWEEN TO BOOK YOUR SEAT, PHONE: 383-2856 TAKE CHARGE Of Your Future Small business is now the number one source of job creation in Canada. We can help you become the next success story! We can offer loans to new or existing busi? nesses at competitive terms and interest rates. We can invest in your business by way of preferred or common shares. 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