Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Visit with Great "Uncle Martin"- Part 4

Below, are Uncle Martin's references to his family - statements were taken from various segments of the conversation between cousin Joe Flynn and Uncle Martin in 1993

My cousin Joe, asked Uncle Martin, "Do you have any memories of your brother Mike (Joe's
grandfather) that you can tell me about?

Uncle Martin was honest with his response, "What can I say! because I was not there very much" (pausing), then he continued, "not very much, because I was a kid and he was a man." Michael Flynn was born 1884, and Martin Flynn was born in 1900, with 16 years between them, Michael was probably living on his own by the time Martin was old enough to remember.

Uncle Martin did go on to say that he remembers his brother Mike lived on Bell Island., " he did pretty well, he worked as a Foreman on Bell Island" adding "he was pretty smart and pretty strong too!

"I loved when they were all up to the house in Harbour Main, I was probably 9 or 10." Uncle Martin recalled. "When they would come in they always had something to give me, a piece of candy or  something, cuz I was the youngest, the little fellow."

"Mike, that brother of mine! Uncle Martin recalled, "He was the oldest boy, I tell you, he used to get a hold of me sometimes and say, now don't you say nothing about what you seen, or I won't give you
no more candy."

" I remember a lot of things like that, he was quite a boy!"

Joe asked Uncle Martin about Mike's wife, Catherine Kent (Kitty Kent), "I heard she was a good singer!" Uncle Martin replied, "Oh Sure! She would come up from Bell Island to Harbour Main on Holidays, and she would sing, she was a hell of a nice person, she would always tell us stories."

Uncle Martin mentioned several times in his conversation with Joe, about his brother Pat (Patrick) from Hamilton, Ontario, that he had a large family. He stayed with his brother for about a year or so before coming to New York City to live.

When asked about his sisters, Uncle Martin replies, " Yes, I had a sister Elizabeth, she was the
youngest, and I had a sister Mary, and a sister Esther. Esther married a man from Bell Island, Lahey,
George Lahey he'll of a nice guy too!"

Joe went on to ask about Uncle Martin's brother Stephen (my grandfather), "Stephen was a well educated man?" Uncle Martins response, "We'll he should be, No I wouldn't say well educated, he educated himself."

Uncle Martin referred to his father Stepher Sr, " Now there was a One Shipmate!," which I am interrupting to mean, he was a good sailor of the sea.

I have listened to this tape recording of my cousin Joe's visit with Great Uncle Martin from 1993 many times now. During my recent trip home to Newfoundland, I was able to share this tape with Uncle Ray (my Mom's brother). We spent a rainy afternoon together playing the tape, pausing it for Uncle Ray to explain the parts I did not understand, discussing its content and enjoying Uncle Martin's stories. Uncle Ray was intrigued to hear the voice of his Uncle, who he had never met, who had come before him and who had grown up on Flynn's Hill just as he had and who had went off to make his way in life.

My favorite part of the tape recorded visit was when Joe asked Uncle Martin, "Can you tell me what part of Ireland we all came from?"  After a lengthy pause and careful thought, Uncle Martin replied in a firm and assertive tone, "You didn't come from Ireland my friend, No Sir! You were born in Newfoundland! If you are any relation to me! Because I was the youngest and my fathers name was Stephen..............

Thank you Uncle Martin, we will never forget our roots from Newfoundland!

                                                                       Your Great Niece,



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Uncle Martin's Story about the Titanic

Joe's conversation with Uncle Martin continued for sometime, talking about when he was young, sharing stories about his family, places he had traveled and his job as an Iron Worker when he first came to New York City years ago. 

The conversation quickly turned when Uncle Martin excitably spoke up,
"I was going to tell you in my mind, about when the Titanic sunk,  (there was a long pause), now that's the big story to tell you!"

Uncle Martin eagerly goes on, "Well, I was out there when it sunk, (pause) I was just a young kid, (pause) it's kind of a long story, (pause) but my father went out there fishing in a little boat, with a buddy.  My mother, she had the other children and went to the farm, well, we called it a farm, which was a little ways from the house."

"My father, he had his friend, and they had to take me with them."  Reflecting on that experience, Uncle Martin questioned in disbelieve, "What were they going to do with me?, See I was a young kid, about 8 or 9, I was the youngest of the whole crew."

"They would put me down in the bottom of the boat, you know, down in the cuddy hole, that's right, that's right", he repeats as he reminisces .

"I will never forget that, never."

My Uncle Ray explains, that back in 1912 when the RMS Titanic sunk 350 miles off the southeast coast of Newfoundland, information or news about such an event traveled "around the bay" by "word of mouth". People in that area mainly relied on what had been passed along without knowing all of the details  about the tragic event but eager to help anyway they could.

Uncle Martin was actually 12 years old at the time the Titanic sunk, but for an old man of 93 years the event left an impression in his memory, that he wanted to share with his great nephew Joe who came to visit him one summer in 1993. Joe, who just happened to tape record the visit for his father, and who I was able to hunt down and who share the tape with me so I could then share this story with all who are interested!