Page 46 - How we Buried Our Dead
ISSUE : Issue 18
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1
they salt their fish when they catch them. Well those fellows that died there, they put them in the salt and covered them up and they're there till they get here or St. John's, wherever they're going • and they're all right. They're pickled, you know. Oh, it was done, lots of times. One time the older crowd would come around and pick out their own casket, take it home and keep it under the bed until they'd need it. Perhaps after a couple of years they didn't die, they'd come in for a trade-in. This fellow a good while ago bought one, the old coffin shape. It got out of date. He brought it in one day and wanted to trade it. We traded it. He had that a coup? le of years. And that went out of style. And he wanted to trade again • but he wasn't too keen on the new prices, so he kept the old one there. And he used it after awhile. Bob Fitzgerald, Dingwall: You know, a man's love for his neighbour should be the same today as it was then. And after all, the best man that ever walked the earth was buried without a casket and no undertaker. At White Point years ago, they would gather in 4 or 5 carpenters. At that time there was no such a thing as an undertaker. And there shouldn't be any today. Not in those places. Not in a country place. So 4 or 5 carpenters gathered in a house, whether it was a woman or a man that passed away. It didn't make any difference, a child or whatever it was. Took the measurements and went to somebody's workshop. Got the lum? ber. Made a beautiful casket • and they were good carpenters. Covered it and bought mountings for the casket. Lined it inside. Beautiful. Took it there. Put the creature in it, whatever it was. The neighbours took care of everything. They went and dug the grave and they saw to it that there was a team to take the remains to the cemetery and everything. That was all arranged by the neighbours. There was neighbourly love then. And it was better then, of course. Why wasn't it? There's not half enough of- that today. We've lost that part of our heritage. We have lost neighbourly love. That's one thing that's gone. That's no more. And burials were a good example of neighbourly love. It showed that you weren't alone. When you had trouble and misery and sorrow, the whole community shared it with you • and it made the burden very much lighter. When there was somebody died, the whole community mourned the loss of one of their number. Regardless of what religious denomination it was • it didn't make any difference at all. It was all the same. The people made caskets. Everyone was used the same. It was far far different than it is today. Today, the modern conveniences of the world tend to spread us apart, tend to separate us, more and more, keep us apart. Televis? ion, telephone, cars • they tend to separate us. We don't need neighbours to talk to us because we can turn on the television and get all the entertainment we want. Tele? phones • now there's not even a switchboard, there's no nothing, you don't have to talk to anybody • if you want somebody in any part of the world you dial it and that's it. There's nothing more to it. You jump in the car and go to the, beach or Sydney or wherever. And so you very seldom today think of your neighbour as a means of break? ing the monotony • you don't think of him in that sense at all. In the old days your neighbour was the means of breaking the monotonous life of the village. Therefore people were much closer together. Your Newly Renovated Grill at Sydney Rirerl Town and Country RESTAURANT Red ond White POOD STCXU3S Baddeck Port Hawkesbury Sydney River h Glace Bay 9ort HaEMkesbury We Buy h We 'ell and We*re as Near as your Teleplione Sids Used Furniture Pbone 564.6123 436 Charlotte Street, SrOnvf AUTHORIZED SALES AND SERVICE KEN YAZER MOTORS LIMITED SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA 539-1500
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