Alfred Marche’s Interview
Alfred Marche is a retired fisherman from Cape St. George. He has been retired now for twenty-two years, after fishing for sixty years. He began fishing when he was eighteen years old and stopped fishing when he was sixty-five years old. He retired fishing because he began receiving old age pension and did not seek further employment.
Alfred first began fishing in Mainland for five years, then at the age of twenty-two, he moved to Cape St. George and began fishing there and remained fishing there till he retired. He fished lobster, herring and cod, basically anything you could catch. He fished alone at first in a dory, then after a few years, he began fishing in a 3 Acadia outboard motor boat. There were thousands of fish to catch at that time. On average they could catch as much as their boats could handle.
Alfred really misses fishing. He loves the water and said that he practically lived on it. Fishing was something that he really enjoyed. In those times people mainly fished for a living, even though some worked in the woods. Fishing was kept up from generation to generation in Alfred's family. His father fished, he fished, then he passed it down to Percy, his son to take over. Alfred didn't really have many struggles except for the weather such as rough winds and cold. Back then there were no fishing seasons, people just fished from april till november. However there was a lobster season beginning at the 19th of April till the 5th of July. Also they didn't fish crab. Around the area where he fished, there were as many as twenty fishermen.
Alfred remembers the very early mornings in the Haliburton factory where he would have to get up at three 0'clock in the morning to light a fire because back then they canned lobsters. They would cook them in big pots, clean them and put them in cans until ten in the night. They would even have to shine the cans before they were put in boxes for sale. They would be sold for a price of twelve dollars for twenty-four cans or forty-eight cans for twenty-four dollars.
Alfred also added some interesting information. He mentioned that the lobster license before cost twenty-five cents and the lobsters would be sold for ten cents a pound. For a hundred pound of lobsters they would receive ten dollars. Sylvester Benoit use to collect the fish and was never late. People in the community would salt and dry their fish and sell it to Abbott & Haliburton in Degrau. A boat would then come every july to pick up the fish.
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