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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, September LETHBRIDQE French island territory i changes slowly By WILLIAM BORDERS New York Times Service ST. PIERRE The French island territory of St. Pierre and Miquelon is changing, but the change is coming as slow- ly and gently as the islands' perpetual early-morning fog. With the tricolor flying everywhere, this cluster of a dozen gray-green islands 15 miles off southern New- foundland is still a proud though tiny symbol of what President Charles de Gaulle once described as "France on the threshold of America a sign of what we French are worth in the face of an im- mense continent." And the style, like the gen- darmes stationed here, still comes straight from France. Shoppers carrying long loaves of bread in string bags scurry through narrow streets, dodg- ing the Peugeots and Renaults that toot busily around town. On the waterfront, dock workers lounge about in black berets and turtlenecks. In the kitchens cookery is a loving art. NO LONGER PARADISE But new taxes on liquor have greatly diminished St. Pierre's long-time role as a paradise for smugglers plying the north Atlantic. The government's recent decision to cut its big subsidy on food prices so distressed some workers that they upset the tranquil pace of life with a brief general strike. "We are very isolated here, and we need all the help we get from Pans or we will not said a striker on the Place du General de Gaulle, on one shore of this island. Behind the neat little plaza, rows of brightly colored frame houses work their way up the bleak bald hill that everyone calls "The Moun- their pinks and greens and blues contrasting with its grayness In front of the square, on the waterfront, housewives meet the fishermen at dusk to poke at the day's catch cod, halibut, haddock Fishing, which drew the first Basque, Breton and Norman settlers to this volcanic archipelago 350 years ago, is still the important in- dustry And here, as is the case elsewhere along the north Atlantic, the small fishermen are being hurt by competition from the big mechanized fleets from Europe and Japan. Since the people who live here do not produce much wealth themselves, they have always looked to Paris to provide doctors and policemen, schools and pen- sions. With an elaborate cradle to grave social security system, including medical care and baby bonuses, the net flow of money from France is now thought to total millions of dollars a year. There is also incalculable indirect aid, like the regular shipments of endive, pears and apples from Paris on French air force cargo planes flown by pilots who want to accumulate air time Even the hay for the livestock must be imported Almost nothing not even trees of any size grows easi- ly in the inhospitably rocky soil of this windswept territory, an area of 95 square miles covered with moss and stubbly brush Except for the 500 people in the isolated fishing village of Miquelon on the island of the same name, virtually everyone in the territory lives in St. Pierre, on the island of that name. LITTLE SQUIRT Despite the charm and friendliness of the inhabitants, this town, as Jack O'Hearts, the main character in Damon Runyon's "The Lily of St. described it, is still just "a little squirt of a burg sort of huddled up alongside some big rocks off New- foundland, and very hard to get to Jack O'Hearts, a rum runner from New York, found St Pierre "very useful to par- ties in our line of and so did many others during prohibition days, which are fondly recalled here as the only time when the territory was genuinely prosperous. So general was the boom that an exhibit in the governmental museum refers to the post- prohibition era as "the economic crisis of 1936 The people of St Pierre felt more secure about their link to the homeland when de Gaulle was in power. They still delight in recalling how he personally ordered a Free French naval force here in December, 1941 to turn out a pro Vichy local administration and how the dur- ing which the people stood on the pier and cheered, was ac- complished without firing a shot. In a triumphal visit here in 1967 de Gaulle recalled the in- cident as one of the.first successes of his wartime exile and declared "France loves you. She will take care of you. I tell you that in the name of the entire country." The era of de Gaulle has passed, and with it, in the fears of some people here, the enthusiasm in Paris about supporting far-away lands like this one for the sake of the grandeur of France. "The new taxes, the lessen- ed subsidies, that's all O.K., I a concerned shopkeeper said. "But we could never be truly independent, and we just don't want them to forget about us over here NOMINATION NOTICE 1974 ClTYOFLETHIIHDGE PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that I will attend at the City Hall on WEDNESDAY, the 18th day of SEPT- EMBER, 1974, from TEN o'clock in the forenoon until TWELVE o'clock noon for the purpose of receiving nominations of Candidates for the office of MAYOR of the City of Lethbndge AND FOR ALDERMEN of the City of Lethbndge (Eight Vacancies) AND FOR SCHOOL TRUSTEES of Lethbndge Public School District No. 51 of the Province of Alberta (Seven va- cancies) AND FOR SCHOOL TRUSTEES of Lethbndge Catholic Separate School District No. 9 of the Province o! Alberta (Fwe Vacancies) AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD of Lethbndge Genera' and Auxiliary Hospital and Nursing Home District No 65 (Five Vacancies) Given under my hand at Lelnbridge 'his 7th day of September, 1974 John Gerla Reluming Officer NOMINATION FORMS CAN RE SECURED AT THE OF- OF THE CITY CLERK IN THE C77Y HALL Sears continue 3 days only. Cash in on great savings. Discover hundreds of bargains. Come in today! Two Door Tub Enclosure 24 Two sliding doors move smooth- ly on ball-bearing overhead roll- ers to either end of bathtub. Opaque plastic panels are im- pact resistant and shatterproof. Designed to fit standard 5' long bathtubs. Height about Complete with towel bars and assembly instructions. Reg. 99 99 SAVE! Tempered Glass Sliding Tub Enclosure 69 Our finest! Special heat treatment makes panels 3 to 5 times strong- er than ordinary glass. For safety, if they ever break, they crumble- no jagged edges! Twin doors slide smoothly and quietly on 1" overhead ball bearing rollers. 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