NOVEMBER 27, 2003
Conne River

I asked my nan if she had any stories that she would to tell me about the old days. She said that she had a story about when her husband (my pop) got shot.

It was February 1963 when my poppy Benoit from St. Alban's got shot in the arm while he was moose hunting.

Poppy Jake was originally from Conne River but moved to St. Alban's when he married my nan. They lived in St. Alban's and had a family of nine children. My mom is the baby of the family. Nan said that her seventh child (uncle Gerard) was about fifteen months old when pop decided to go hunting with his buddies.

The weather was very cold when they decided to go hunting. They had to travel into the country by dog sled. Pop's dog was the lead dog. When they got to where they were going they set up camp and bunked down for the night. The next day they rose bright and early to go hunting and to get their animal cleaned and packed before dark. Poppy Jake was walking in front of one of his buddies with his gun on his shoulder. Then all of a sudden his buddy's gun trigger got caught in a twig and went off with a loud bang. Pop did not know that he was hit at first, but all of a sudden pop said his arm felt hot and he passed out. He was hit. The bullet had entered through his elbow and came out of his wrist. His buddies did not know what to do except bandage the wound. They placed him on the sled and began the long trip home. Pop's dog would not lead the dog team because he wanted to go to the back of the sled where pop was. It took seven hours to get home and they did not get home until 10:00 pm. By this time infection was setting in, but there was nothing that could be done. Pop stayed with nan and his children that night, lying on the daybed. Nan said pop's arm was beginning to smell really bad because gangrene (a really bad infection that causes the skin to rot and turn green) had set in. Nan said that she had to try take care of pop and at the same time try to convince her children that their dad was going to be ok. Nan sat with pop all night. She thought that pop was going to die. She prayed and prayed to God not to take pop away from her and their seven children. Pop survived the night. The next morning he was taken on a helicopter to St. John's. Pop was in St. John's for six weeks. He was going in and out of conscienceness. Because it took so long to get pop out of the county, his arm was in a really bad condition. So bad that they had to take skin graphs off one of his thighs and his butt to put on his arm. He had six or seven graphs done. After six weeks, pop was well enough to come home, but the nerves in his arm was not coming back. It took seven years for pop to regain total use of his arm.

Pop was a very hard worker who made his living by cutting logs for the local sawmill. In the summer time when pop worked in the woods, the flies would have his injured arm eat to pieces because he could not feel them biting. When pop used to move his fingers, you could see the strings in his arm moving. I thought this was really cool, just like my pop.

This story has been told to my mom and my aunts and uncles now it is being told to me. Some day I will pass it on to my kids.

Thanks nan.

Ian Benoit
St. Anne's School
Grade 7

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