Nipigon Historical Museum Archives
Interview with Joyce Gidding, 2006
"I came to Nipigon in 1938."
"I used to work at the Little Mill."
"I worked around here in Nipigon. I was working at the Nipigon Cafe. Then the Unemployment Insurance in those days rounded up everyone who was doing non-essential war work and , of course, my name was on the list. They never called me for a long while so I ended up working in the bush camps way out past Orient Bay."
"I worked there for two or three months doing non-essential war work in the Nipigon Lake Timber bush camp cutting logs when they called me. I walked from camp into Orient Bay on a road that goes where you can pick blueberries, which was near Macdiarmid. So I walked about two miles out and then flagged a company truck that had been going by and I got a ride into town."
"After, when I found out what they wanted, I went to town and joined the Armed Forces and was in the Navy. That was in 1943. I was only 23 years old when I joined. I was just a young chick."
"I was in the Navy for 26 month and then the war ended and so I was discharged at Port Arthur and came back this way for work. I went to the bush camp for two or three months at a time and then I'd come in and work at the restaurant for a while and then go back to the bush camps. I was moving all the time and I wasn't permanent anywhere but my address was Nipigon. When i didn't do restaurant work I did housework. Moving around and working doing that. There were a lot of people who wanted house cleaning and it was quite the town back then for that kind of work. I didn't mind it because I had money and meals so that was the way it went. So I stayed here and never went anywhere else to work except to the Wood office and see if they wanted any cooking at the camps."
"So that's how I come to stay here and you know there's lots of work in this town if they want to work. Right now I find it hard to get anyone to come and cut the grass and I got all the equipment and everything."
"I was always busy working so I never had time to really make friends. I knew pretty near everybody in town, but not now. I was always so busy doing housework and I was always too tired at night. I was never one to go out dancing or to go to the beer parlor or anything other than go out with a group or something like that."
"Canada Post was a lot different back then than it is now. When I worked there Mr. Dampier was the boss and Helen L. worked there and Lorraine W. and myself. They had an extra girl come in once in a while when we were on holidays."
"I didn't realize it was a night job. I used to pick the mail up off the train which was the CP rail. The mail came at night and in the morning. At night it wasn't dark yet and it came on the East-bound passenger train and the West. They brought the mail in bags and I picked them up off the train with my wagon and delivered it to the Post Office. It was quite a job especially in the winter. I had to shovel from the station to the road to get to the road with my wagon. Of course some smart-alecs in town would park right in the middle so I couldn't get out. It was quite a system there but i enjoyed it."
"I built this house in 1963. I bought this lot but the house wasn't here...just an old shack and I gave it to the neighbour. Frank Ruoho and Sam Barden built my house."
"I've been a Legion member since 1951 because they didn't have girls in the Legion before that. "
"When I was in the Navy I took my basic training in Gault and it was something like a jail but it was for girls that got in trouble and were hard to manage. There were lots of buildings there. Then I went down to Halifax which was where I stayed and I was in three different camps down there because I was an Officer Steward."
"I was involved with the Navy League Cadets here and I belonged to that for quite a few years."