An extract from an interview with Kenny Wilson
Malagash, Nova Scotia, Canada


An extract of an interview with Kenny Wilson. Kenny speaks about the experience of working at the salt mine and what he misses about the mine and his fellow workers.

So why do you think now if you had the chance you would work for the salt mine again, because of the atmosphere, the community atmosphere?

Yes, that's probably right. Like a lot of people now that I have retired, do you miss the mine? I don't really miss the mine, I miss the people.

Now why do you say that?

It's a way of life. You know everybody, everybody knows you, everybody looks out for everybody especially underground. But in Pugwash we never had any deaths underground, we had two on surface. That's the funny thing, it's something like you hear people worrying about there're going to die of a heart attack, or die of cancer and end up getting hit by a truck. You never know what's going to happen and its no use worrying about.

Do you think that you know the conditions back there, you know you worked without insurance at one point, and the pays were not too bad. I mean nowadays you think how working conditions are you think you would still do it over again?

Oh yes, yes. We were there to?. That's my thinking anyway and everyone else must have thought the same thing. We were there to do a job and the job turned out much more difficult than we ever dreamed of but its something like anything, like yourself, when you go to do something you like to get to the other end to finish it, to complete it.


And it's the same thing. We wanted to do what we were sent to there to do. John MacQuarrie wrote a book. It has never been printed I don't think. They called it "These Men of Malagash" and that's what the book was about the determination to finish the job.

Well they were certainly like you said they were very innovative, you couldn't ship parts in you made them, you fixed them right here, I mean making the bagging machine, very innovative. You think back to that time ago and like you said having to have box cars filled, you had box cars filled; you can't go off and wait for the other shift to come in and do it and a big difference from today.

Yes. And we kind of disciplined ourselves to a certain extent. If somebody was just a little bit lazy they usually had a problem. Not verbally but buckets of water would land on them and you know that type of thing, or an air hose would come through the wall and blow his hat off his head, whatever it took to wake him up sort of thing. You know some of the best workers came out of that.