Page 1 - A Visit with Mary and Clarence Lashley
ISSUE : Issue 18
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1
A Visit with Mary and Clarence Lashley Clarence Lashley, Sydney: I was born in Barbados in Under Britain's Hill, St. Mich? ael. I was born 1898. I remember the Bar? bados, oh yes, I'll never forget that. I lived in a town. My father was a coachman. He'd drive out his employers, just like a taximan • but it was carriages rather than cars. My mother was a cook. I came from a family of 9. Only myself came to Canada • in 1923. I would have gone out sooner if I could. When I was in Barbados, I had lots of op? portunities to go to the States but my mother didn't want me to go. I'll tell you why. If a foreigner come to Barbados and want to take away a kid from there, the parent wouldn't let you go. Don't care how you may like the kid. Because one time a guy came from Brazil and he took a boy away and killed him, to take his heart out to make some kind of witchcraft or other • that's what I heard. After that no parent would let the children go. And that kept a lot of kids from getting out. Mary Lashley: It was the same in Cape Breton Wouldn't let you go anywhere. See, I was living with my aunt down Margaree. She had 9 children. And a family from America used to come down to fish salmon in the river. So my uncle used to cook for them at their camp on the riverside • there a month or two They had a house too, and I was working for them. The woman wanted to take me with her, to the States, just to be her friend, to go around with her. That would be good for me. I was 14 or 15 • But my aunt wouldn't let me go. "First thing," she said, "they're Prot? estants." Anyhow, I wasn't able to go. She had to give consent to cross the border. So then I figured I'd go and be a nun. People talked to my aunt. You can't let her go to the convent, so far from home, what if she gets sick? I was going to school at the convent. And I was so tired, working and working, I was only a kid • and the Sister asked me if I wanted to be a nun. I wanted to be a Sister or a nurse and it took money to be a nurse. So I was supposed to go in June but my aunt said, "No, it's too far from home" • but I found out what she missed was the work I would do. So I can't be a nurse. I can'*t be a Sister. I can't go away to the States. What can I do? I school. All I could do was housework, house? work • and I was sick and tired of it. And I said to myself, if I had a child maybe I'd get married and I'd have my own home. That time was just like today • the men were no different. A promise and that was it. Prom? ise they were going to marry you. I admit • he would have, only for his mother. But that time the parents would stop you. And I wanted to get away. Clarence: I had many offers to go to the States, rich people. Then an American woman did carry me to Demerara • -and she was very nice to me, kind. I had my own bicycle, good clothes, and she used to give me a pound a month for money • but then I got CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER EIGHTEEN WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL • REGISTRATION NUMBER 301' A Member of the Canadian Periodical Publishers' Association
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