As the years went by, Ata and I started a family and tried to get used to life in Canada. I started going to the Halifax Immigrant Learning Center to study English. I didn’t finish high school, but I would love to so I can become a nurse. Fray, was born in 2000. I couldn’t believe I had a daughter and I was so happy to see her. Two years later, I had a boy, Muse. I was overjoyed because I didn’t have a brother: I had five sisters. Since 2005, I have been working as a continuing care assistant. Last year, we were excited to buy our first house. I am delighted to be a Canadian citizen. We are all enjoying Halifax, although I still sometimes complain about the weather.
By Jane Burchell
Spring Garden Library Adult Learning Program
I was born in a small village called Sugarloaf on the island of Cape Breton, in the year 1940. There were about 20 families living there. In my family there were eight children, six girls and two boys. I was the second born. We were one of the smaller families and we were not very well off. Everyone lived quite close together, which made it easy if someone was in need.
In the spring and summer months the men fished and cut fire wood. The fish that were caught would go to the fish plant in Dingwall to be sold. In winter months their job was logging. They hauled the logs out of the woods by horse and sleigh. Then they were taken to the mill to be sawed and sold.
The General Store was a grocery store and post office combined. The people would gather there in the evening to wait for the mailman to come in from Sydney. I happened to be one of those. I’d go for groceries after school and wait for the mail to come in after nine o’clock. I didn’t feel so good about the whole idea. I was only twelve years old. I was very tired and my selfesteem was very low. After the mail came in it had to be sorted so that was more waiting. I had to walk home in the dark. I was in no shape to do school work.
A ship called the S.S. Aspy came from Sydney carrying supplies. The people would travel on it back and forth to Sydney. There was no bus so they traveled on the old Aspy.