Page 33 - Le Mine de Plate a Cheticamp
ISSUE : Issue 24
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/12/1
tivate their farms. He owned the island and he farmed this side. He was in charge of it. (When he came here, he was wealthy?) Not wealthy, but he had means. And he was a priest. And the community needed him then because they were under domination. I don't think they were so harsh, but it was domination of outsiders, and he didn't like what he considered outsiders to have the whole business of the Acadians of Cheticamp. (Did he treat the Acadians bet? ter than these outsiders?) Well, nobody ever complained. Of course, you had to o- bey him. He wanted to be obeyed. He was a leader. If he hadn't been a leader, that church would never have been built. In a poor place like Cheticamp, this is a monu? ment. And he financed it. (And in the gypsum business, buying shares at 5 cents a piece, did the people do well?) They never got money for that, no dividends. And they lost everything, But the people of Cheticamp didn't buy too much of it. Most of it was bought in Que? bec, because Fr. Fiset was born there. (So all the people of Cheticamp got from the gypsum was wages?) That's all. And those that had property, after the Atlantic Gyp? sum and the National Gypsimi came, got two cents a ton royalties. Some did pretty well. The mill was put up in I9O8. On the 20th of August they started the mill. I was there. And Fr. Fiset put the first stone in the crusher. That was on the 20th of August, and he became sick in November. He got kind of a weak spell saying mass. He sat down. And after awhile he finished the mass, but he never went to church after? ward. And he was sick all winter, and he died in April. He died only a year after the gypsum started. He was the force behind it and I think, if he had lived, it would have gone better. Because people had confidence in him. But nobody knows. He didn't have a chance. The mill started in August 1908, and he got sick in November 1909. He was a businessman. And he was a good priest. Four companies mined gypsum at Cheticamp: The Great Northern Mining Company from I908 to 191'; the International Gypsum Company, 1923-25; Atlantic Gypsum Mining Company, I926 to 1936; and National Gypsum (Canada) Ltd., 1936 to 1939. Our thanks to Jacques Pleau, Naturalist, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, for bringing Anselme Boudreau's article to our attention; most of the French portion appeared first in Le Petit Courier. Most of the photos came from the National Park collection, and Wilfred Chiasson, Wilfred Deveau, Marie Helene Romard and Mrs. P.E. Chiasson supplied originals. Thanks as well to Marcelle Crimp for help with editing. SYDNEY SHIP SUPPLY Sydney and Port Hawkesbury INTEGRITY Being true to yourself ?? having Integrity meaiis more than just nui preten'ng to be someone else. Itmeansbelngcompletely true to what Is inside of you.. To what you icriow is right. It means doing what yoii feel you must do regardless of the immediate cost or sacrifice. It means making decisions for yourself and your family, and your entire life tj'ned on what is proper, not on what is exped imt. i;'me??is at all time to be honourable and to behave decent!) and ghmi bi a very practical.sertse it f>ays' for without integrity no person b complete and without it no book, no play, nothing writ- ten, nothing done by man hasany real value. As British psychiatrist Harry Edelston remarked of the melancholy figure of Howard Hughes: "A RUTHLESS PURSUIT OF FINANCIAL DOMINANCE CARRIES WITH IT DEEP AND PRIMITIVE FEARS WHICH LEAVE NO ROOM FOR THE GENTLER ELEMENTS OF PERSONAL AFFECTION." • from "Who's the Richest Man in the World," Weekend Magazine
Cape Breton's Magazine