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Leonard Bernier

Judging from most entries, I'll be considered an Old Timer.?..and I guess I am.!.....I was born in Creighton Mine on May 10 1934 at 13 Alexander St. My Fathers name was Fred and my Mom's was Louise nee: Ranger.  I have a Brother at this time, his name is Gerald (Tubby) . He was born earlier at 17 Alexander St.  A couple of years later my sister Claudette arrived at  13 ......All us sibling's were brought into this world by a midwife. Mrs, Hodgins. the Blacksmiths wife.   I lived at 13 till I was about seven.   It's worth mentioning at this time that my Dad put in the running water at 13 Alexander,,....before that one had to carry buckets from the community spout..     

Dad bought a boarding house on George St. right across from Carbone's big white house.  We also shared water front property with The Chevriers, The small pond separated our properties.  On the other side our neighbor was Ev Staples.   We stayed there for only a couple of years.  Much to the chagrin of quite a few miner's; policemen; and travelling salesmen we left the boarding business      It was the best place to stay or just buy a meal in town at that time.    Dad sold the place to the Smythes.  Unfortunately it burn't down later and was never rebuilt. 

We had to go on the waiting list for a company house after that .      We  rented  Happy Tomasini's house on the old Copper Cliff road, only then it wasn't was the only road. I have since, gone down and looked .. and the old place is still there, right at the road going down to the creek below  Gagnon's old farm (now Livelys Golf club.).   It was on that Little dam  were I learned to skate on my ankles in skates three sizes too big. Damn I had FUN!    We went to school in the sunporch on Ritry's farm house. ( it's still there too ) Grades from #1 to #8.  One or two kid's in each class. We would bring tea in a Mason Jar for our lunch and warm it up in the big pot of water on the potbelly stove in the back of the class. I remember Mr Ritry sr. He was the ice man,  sold ice to the Creighton people   There were a lot who still had ice box's......refrigerators were relatively new then.    Even years later after we moved back to Creighton , He would always give me and everyone who could pile into the panel truck full of ice and sawdust,,, a ride from Meatburg lake back to Creighton.              We moved from Ritryville as it was called, to 47 Alexander Street. I must have been about 10 yrs. old.  I lived there till I joined the RCAF at 19.    I had considered myself too smart for school so quit as soon as I had turned 16 and went to work as a carpenter's helper constructing Lively.. That lasted one week and I was fired.  As you can see, my career is of to a flying start. Tony Celestini took pity on me.   He gave me a job delivering groceries with a horse and wagon. I loved that horse,  Lady was her name. That she was..... except when she got into the oats.......Later Tony brought me into the store to teach me meat cutting. That's when Johnny Hreljac left to play ball down south. (I think). Clifford Andersen took over the horse then ,but later came into meat cutting when I went to INCO. I was 18 then      ,A big event of my life occurred...My little Brother Rolland, Norman Bernier was born  That was quite a drought between Claudette and Rolly.  We were all surprised and elated.      I started out in the yard at #5 shaft, my woking buddy was Art  Chevrier ,...Yes!... of the waterfront Chevrier's.    Then I went underground as a Nipper (timbermans Helper) I worked in the stopes just long enough to learn how to use a scaling bar and found out what Muck was.    As a nipper I came close to blowing myself up   That made me a wee bit uneasy to say the least.   I immediately  Joined the RCAF along with Cliff Andersen ..   And poor Tony  had to start training some one else..                  I stayed in the Air Force for 10 yrs. Were I met my wife Mamie.Dockerty.  We had two children while in the service. First a Son David Leonard,  Then a Daughter Janet Louise.  We had a Third child later after leaving the RCAF.   When I was working for the CBC TV in Ottawa . This time a Second Daughter   Rachel Ann. Twenty seven years later I'm retired ,   still in Ottawa. Along the way we Divorced . I have chosen to remain single since.     But Happy as a loon.    Boy!   This is darn near a novel,   albeit a short one. So if anything you have read rings a bell .    Give me an email or call (613) 722-7165.


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