NOVEMBER 4, 1914
THE VESSEL OF MERCY
The Big Heart of Nova Scotia will be entitled to a page, and, mayhap, to a chapter, in the history of Belgium.
Several weeks ago Premier Murray sounded the call: Let us load a ship, said he, let us do it quickly. Let us give generously. There may have been a man or a woman in Nova Scotia who did not heed the call but I should wish to be assigned an easier task than to find such a one.
First came goods in bags and bundles and boxes. Then the cars commenced to roll in and every mail brought money, money, more money. Other provinces asked to be allowed to help fill the ship and permission was given. The mighty "Tremorvah" was secured and, at the moment this is written, she is loaded to the hatches ready to rush on her mission of mercy while a hundred and fifty cars still await shipment. Even now the flood of gifts continues and another great ship will soon be ready to receive cargo and I believe a third could easily be filled.
By some of my good friends it was suggested to Premier Murray that Co-operative News readers would like to have a story of the trip of the "Tremorvah" and the Premier asked me to meet him in Halifax. I did so.
I had an interesting talk with Mr. Murray. He is intensely interested in the co-operative movement and is most anxious for the continued prosperity of the apple industry. "Perhaps," said he, "you can do something to further the interests of our apple growers if you go over to London." We talked over what I might try to do and discussed the splendid generosity of Nova Scotians in the matter of Belgian Relief. Theres no doubt about it, the Premier is proud of his province.
Finally he told me that if I wished I could accompany Mr. Elderkin, who goes in charge of the first relief cargo, making myself as useful as I could and writing whatever I thought would be of interest to Nova Scotians.
The Tremorvah, of St. Ives, Cornwall, looks fit. She is not fitted for passenger-carrying and has no license for such service. I am therefore enrolled and signed on the ships articles as O. S., (ordinary seaman) and am to receive one shilling per month. If the ocean voyage becomes monotonous I may find myself organizing a strike for higher wages.
I have not yet made the acquaintance of the ships company but from what I have seen of them I anticipate a pleasant voyage. I have been sizing up my two companions. Mr. Elderkin, who represents the Government of Nova Scotia, and Mr. Crowell, a Morning Chronicle scribe who is making the trip in the interests of his paper. I have decided that they can have first chance at being sea sick. I shall not be offended at their taking such precedence although like myself they are only ""ordinary seamen.""
We are ready to sail, steam is up, hatches are battened down, all the formalities of clearance have been attended to and those who have come aboard to bid us farewell are on their way ashore.
Never did a ship go out of Nova Scotia carrying such good wishes. Men, women and children from Cape Sable to Cape North have a personal interest in this voyage and our speed cannot be too great towards stricken Belgium. Magnificent is the gift carried on the Tremorvah and as I look ashore and see the long rows of cars ready for the second steam I feel honored at having been allowed to go on this mission and proud of the Big Heart of Nova Scotia.
My next contribution will tell of our voyage but this one must now go ashore by the last man to cross the gang plank.
P. F. LAWSON.