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Interviewee: Mathieu Lemieux

Role: Gear Manufacturer

Date of Interview: 9/27/09

Collection: Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Mathieu Lemieux who works in his father’s welding company making chain bags for the scallop industry talks about how he learned his trade, his father’s influence and his love of his work.

Transcript: Pretty much my dad’s like, my inspiration. Like he, you know, he’s been a father, a friend and a boss to me.
I was brought up in the fishing industry, because of my father. And nobody helped my dad. My dad did it all on his own. And when I learned to do the gear, I mean, you take a little bit of what people tell you. But, you know, you take a little bit from this guy, a little bit from this guy and mix it all up in a pot and you just come up with your own way of doin’ things. And that’s pretty much what my dad did and I just kinda learned from him in that way, but except with the chain bags. So, that’s how I got into it.

I’ve been out scallopin’ and draggin’ a couple times. Not the life for me, but he [my father] wanted me to go out there to experience [it], because I am making the scallop bags.  So I went out there and got a better grasp of why they want this done a certain way. So when I came back on land now I understand, “oh OK, this is built this way because this happens on the boat”.

The beauty of my dad’s shop is, you can come to our shop and we’re like a one-stop shop. You can come here; you can get your scallop dredge, scallop bag, whatever you need. If you need boat repair, we can do crane work, you name it. Anything to do with the fishing industry, we can do it. And if we don’t know how to do it, we’ll go and get somebody to work for us to do it.

Everybody in that shop has their own thing. I do gear. My brother Adam does the dredges, Roger bends the bails, Sal and Winston they do boat work. Bob and my father do the crane work. We can always find somebody to get the job done. So if somebody needs anything, that’s the beauty. It’s the one-stop shop. You can come and get whatever you need. You can get a full drag and bag assembled and ready to fish. Ready to go. Or just the parts. Or just the buckets and the rings and the links. Whatever you want. It’s all about keeping the customer happy.

Hey I’m not a, I’m not a computer guy. A suit and tie kind of guy. I’m a blue collar guy. You know what I’m sayin? And I have no problems with somebody sitting at a desk. I mean, you need people to do that stuff. But some people are cut out for that type of work, and this is what I’m cut out for. You know? I just, I love bein’ out here. The, the, you know, the air, the sea water. Just uh, bein’ in the shop. The smoke, the machines . . .

To read Mathieu's full transcript, click here.