Howard MacKay, Retired Coal Miner, Margaree Harbour

I was born near St. Rose in 1893. I suppose I started coal mining in 1919 with Dean Evans' father. The mine was called the Eight-Foot Seam but it wasn't. It was a six-foot seam.

For the first ten years, I had charge of the mine myself, even though I didn't have underground managers' paper - I did have shot firers' paper, though. I was in charge of the underground and Dean was in charge overall. Dean is my first cousin. We got along good and we never had a word. Although, when I went to work, there were some people around who said, You won't work long for Dean.

I was no more than 12 years old when I first started working. I worked for Dean's father in the mine and I worked in his sawmill. I used to fire the boilers in the sawmill for 50 cents a day, 10 hours a day. I worked in the lumber woods in Maine as head chopper. I went to Calgary for six years. I farmed and I worked for the CNR.

I got married in 1922 and we had six children. In the summer, I fished lobsters and salmon and mackerel. I was keeping a boat, too. By working in the mine in the wintertime, I was going into debt because there wasn't enough work. I was fishing but I didn't enjoy it. I didn't like the water. I liked working in the mine by comparison.

The mining was good. We used to have days off now and then, and take a little drink and have a good time around.

My wife was born in this house. Next year, we will have been married 60 years. You know, I say to myself, That's too long to live with one woman. Oh, but we get along very good together. I can't complain.

Oh yeah, I had lots of girlfriends before I got married.