Walter summarises his working life in Canada

 

INT:So when you were in Canada and people said, “Who are you? Are you German, Scottish - what were you?

W.G: They just assumed that I was Scottish.

Well I got a job. I got a job within a couple of days, not doing what I wanted, but after 3 months I did.

I was right into the feed business. I was posted to a place called Dauphin, Manitoba, for Canada Packers. They were the biggest in Canada. It was a nice company. Being accepted never came up. It was never a topic of conversation for sure.

INT: Because everybody is an immigrant.

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W.G:Yes. There was one man in town, Mr Oliphant. He owned the hardware store. He came from Glasgow when he was six years old.  He was an orphan. 

When I got to Dauphin I was told to go and see old man Oliphant. He was an older man by then. Nobody could understand him. 

So I went to the store, saw Mr Oliphant and spoke to him. He first greeted me. I could not understand a word he said. 

I said I was from Glasgow. He spoke quite normal Canadian.  He said “That is the reputation I have. Nobody can understand a word I say, except the price!”  He was popular; he was a good guy.

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He knew his stuff.

He spoke something that was not Glaswegian. It was just something.  Anyone from Glasgow would realise this - he made it up on his own.

INT:So you had your job. Later on, was it when you retired that you started working for UNESCO?

 W.G:Yea. I worked out of Winnipeg, then Dauphin for 3 years and Northern Manitoba for 3 years and then I moved to Saskatchewan on 19th November 1962 and then worked for International Packers for 25 years and then I did International Consulting for United Nations International Culture Organisation, for the World Bank, CIDA - Canadian International Development Agency - 

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and they farmed me out to different people. I worked in six continents but I missed one.

INT:  Which one was that?

W.G. Antarctica. There you go. 

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