I went to see Broderick Brothers for a job; he hired me as a bulldozer operator. I was working the night shift, 12 hours a night, seven day a weeks; I was getting the same wage as the previous job. I worked for them until 1950. One day they asked me if I would like to go to Quebec. They had bought a big shovel and it had to be taken apart. I said that I would go. We worked in an asbestos mine and we stayed in Danville in the motel. It took us 2 and half months to take it apart. We had to ship it by rail. It weighed 850 tons; it took 28 flat cars to ship it to Minto. The boom alone was 90 feet long and weighed 90 tons. At that time, it was the biggest shovel in New Brunswick. It took six months and 8 workers to put it back together. Once we had it together we started to work it. They were taking 60 feet of dirt off the coal and I was the oiler on the machine. I did that until 1951, at that time I was getting 1 dollar an hour.
I went to work in Goose Bay, Labrador in 1951 as a heavy equipment operator. My pay was a dollar and a half an hour and after eight hours, we were getting time and a half. I started to work in May until December, and then I would come home. I did that for the next 3 years. I came home in 1954 for the last time because Mom was sick. When I came back from Goose Bay Labrador, I stayed with my brother Camille. Mom and dad were staying with Camille as well, that was good, because it made it easier to look after my mother.
I went to see Broderick Brothers for a job again, and they hired me back. They must have liked me for the work I was doing before, otherwise I don’t think they would have hired me. It was good of them. I worked there for two or three months. I had to ask them for some time off so I could look after my mother. We had to give her some needles. She needed to have a needle every so often because she was taking seizures and when that happened we had
to give her a needle. Dr. Dysart showed me how to do it. My brothers and sisters asked me if I would look after mom because I was single and they all had families and they needed to work. I told them that I would. They gave me a bit of money because I had to quit work for a while. She passed away on April the 8, 1955. I was fortunate and honoured to look after my mother. It was good of Broderick Brothers to give me time off for that period of time.
I was operating a big 8 yard shovel; it was the biggest in Minto.
I didn’t have any technology except my practical way of doing things. So I told them by pulling on the spring. If it is hard to pull it means that it would hit harder and that’s how I do it.