The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

January 22nd, 2014

Sept. 13, 1938SpringhillTown Overshadowed By Tragic Shooting; Jas. Mann Recovering

     The weekend was shadowed by a tragedy in which two young Springhill men were involved.  One lay dead and the other dangerously wounded, fighting for his life in the local hospital.

     The story, discussed from every conceivable angle has become familiar in its leading features, but may here be retold.  It is a story of a boy breaking under a strain of accumulated worries and another doing a favour, becoming the victim of a sudden and unexpected attack.

     As we have the story James Mann, Jr. machinist at the No. 2 mine, son of J.H. Mann, Mechanical Superintendant, of the Springhill Collieries, was sitting in Hyatt’s Restaurant, Friday evening, when Gerald White, part-time worker at No. 2 mine, came in and asked him where he could find Ralph Bernick.  Mr. Bernick, he was told, had gone to Montreal on a business trip.  Mann had the use of Bernick’s car during his absence.

     On hearing this White asked Mann to drive him to Percy Melanson’s dance hall just out of town.  On the way White ordered Mann at the point of a revolver, to drive, instead, to Clairmont Hill.  This he did and on arrival, White demanded Mann’s money.  Astonished, Mann is said to have asked “Do you mean that?” when White told him to put the money on the running board “and beat it!”  Mann complied and turned to run down the hill when three shots were fired after him, one striking him under the right arm and entering his lung.  He made his way with great difficulty to the farmhouse of Fred McCabe, where he collapsed.  Mrs. McCabe heard his cries and her son Blair hurried out and found him on the pathway.  He was helped into the house.  Dr. F.E. Walsh was called from town and R.C.M.P. Const. McWhirter was also called.  Miss Marjorie Stonehouse gave first aid until the arrival of Dr. Walsh, who had him removed to All Saints Hospital.

     In the meantime, White entering Bernick’s car had made off.  R.C.M.P.  were notified of the shooting, detachments were advised to be on the lookout for him along the New Brunswick border, and eastward towards Halifax.  Early Saturday morning, a farmhand, Alfred Tucker, found White near Truro, lying unconscious in the car and bleeding from a bullet wound in the head, the revolver beside him on the front seat.  He was removed to Colchester Hospital where he died Saturday afternoon. 

     The whole affair is a shocking surprise as White had been regarded as a boy of good character and had never been in any trouble. 

     The condition of James Mann is somewhat optimistic although the 22 bullet was not recovered from his lung he remains comfortable today.  He is a young man of strong physique, which is an important factor toward recovery and a host of friends are pulling with him.

Local Boy’s Song to be Published

     Bowman Allan Maddison has written the lyrics for a song, “Modern Days” which has been accepted by the Columbia Music Publishers of Toronto and set to music by their composer Alexander Angus.  Mr. Maddison received word this week that the Publishers are proceeding with the publication of the Professional Artist Edition, which will be completed in the course of one month’s time.  The publishers have intimated they would be interested in examining more of Mr. Maddison’s work.  This is surely good news and many friends will wish him the best of luck.

George H. Haystead Badly Burned by High Tension Wire

     George H. Haystead, manager of the Edison Electric Light and Power Company is in All Saints Hospital suffering from burns sustained when he came in contact with a live wire at Oxford Saturday carrying 6600 volts.

     At the time of the accident George was assisting in the installation of a third transformer due to the increasing load required on account of the Cumberland Exhibition.

He was working on the side of the pole carrying the 6600 volt wire while Jack Hannah was on the opposite side where the voltage was 2200.  Jack Robinson was on the ground.  Losing his balance Haystead came in contact with the 6600 volt wire as he tumbled to the ground 22 feet below.  The injured man sustained a very severe burn on his right forearm while a black mark on his right leg indicates his leg also touched the wire.  Mr. Hannah said that as Haystead was thrown from the wire there was a flash of fire about a foot long trailing behind him. 

     Peculiar as it may seem the fall to the ground in which Haystead also sustained two broken ribs, is said to have assisted in saving his life by bringing him back to consciousness.  The injured man was rushed to the home of Dr. Parks, where he was attended to and later brought to his home here.  On Monday he was removed to All Saints Hospital where this morning he is reported as showing some improvement. 

     George’s host of friends will wish him a speedy recovery.