Voices from the Camps

Mrs. Casey of Duggan Town, by Bill Meek (1987)

Mrs. Sills was 88 years-old at the time of the interview.


Download the entire file (2:44:70 min., 1931 ko)

00.00:00 Ah, we were all born here in the country. In this country, here in the next station to here, Duggan's camp. You might hear of Duggan's, it's Duggan's. We were all born in that camp. And then, there is a little town called after Duggan. And it have a church and everything. Ah, only you want is the money, and everything is there.
00.21:10 I'm going on for eighty-nine years of age. – My goodness. – In October, I'll be eighty-nine. And I'm here in this place with nuns. There's thirteen old people here, all old people. Miss Savage is there. I'm six months older than her. But she does stop a lot in bed. She haven't her memory very good than folk.
00.42:78 I have my memory good, yes, thank God. But I... but I hardly can walk with the rheumatism. But I've nothing else, I've no pressure, presiora, pressure, or anything like that. – Are you happy here? – Yes, well of course I have to be happy here. I'd like to be in my own home with my own but here is all right with the nuns. But they think that you can never go out. You're always shut in, like in prison.
01.06:67 You have to go to bed. You have to do what they say not your own way at all. And I was used to my own way, going out and going in and everything and now I'm shut in, I think I'm in prison. But I'm nearly three years here. – How long are you here? – Two years and eleven months here.
01.24:15 And where were you before you came here? – In Duggan, in the town of Duggan. – Oh, you lived all your life in Duggan before? – Yes, I was born and reared in Duggan all my life. Ah, sure the cats and dogs used to follow me in Duggan. Everyone knows me so well.
01.36:07 Well, I washed for rich people and cleaned their houses for them, mind their children or anything like that. That's the work I do. Oh, I get very good wages. They get very hard to mind their children, to get anybody of confidence and they pay good wages now.
01.52:49 The Duggans was terrible rich people, but they're all nearly dead. All died young, what a terrible thing. The old man, no, he lived to be over ninety. Well, there did an old man that worked, on the camp, where I was out there in Duggan, when I was seventy years, and he died here now about four months ago and he was ninety-three years of age.
02.17:84 His name was Egan, Egan, George Egan. And he used to get up at two o'clock in the morning, have mate and have his coffee, go out in the night and go working. Oh (he) had a hard life but he had fifteen children, and them one a priest. The priest is here yet, a young priest here, in Buenos Aires. And the father died here. He always used to come to see the father when he'd be sick here. They lived in Duggan, in Duggan.


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