John Mochar, sworn : By Mr. Wilson : Q. You live here, Mr. Mochar? — A. Yes. Q. Working here in the mines? — A. I have been working in the mines. Q. Did you ever live at Ladysmith? — A. Yes, I was down there for a few days. Q. Anything said to you about moving from here there? — A. Yes. In last Sep- tember the pit boss, Mr, Sharp, said: 'Now, its Ladysmith or nothing.' I said 'what do you mean ?' He said I would have to go down or there would be no more work. Q. What did you do?— A. I quit. Q. That was in September last ? — A. Yes. Q. Did you quit before you were obliged to, or was there no alternative? — A. Well, I suppose because I was obliged to. I built a house at No. 1 and I built a house here. The house was not quite finished. No. 1 is about two miles below. Then I built another one here. By His Lordship : Q. How much did you put into it — the one here? — A. Not very much, about $100. By Mr. Wilson : Q. Did you use your own labour ? — A. Yes. By His Lordship : Q. Did you buy the ground? — A. No, I paid ground rent. By Mr. Rowe : Q. I suppose the $100 is cash, exclusive of labour? — A. Yes. By Mr. Wilson : Q. That would be the cost of material?— A. Yes. I built it in my spare hours. I had a man to give me a hand. I paid him about $15 or $16. Q. How many days did you put in on it yourself? — A. About two weeks. Q. Anything said about the company assisting you to move your house down to Ladysmith? — A. No, not to move the house. By His Lordship : Q. Did the company offer to take the house down? — A. I did not ask that. By Mr. Rome : Q. When was it you built you house here? — A. In May last. May a year ago. By His Lordship : Q. Are you married? — Yes. Q. Any children ? — A. I have two, one died a couple of days ago. By Mr. Rowe : Q. At the time you were building your house was anything said about suggesting you would have to move it? — A. Yes, I said I had not finished yet, and I could not move yet. By His Lordship : Q. When you built the house here did any person belonging to the company tell you you were taking chances on being moved to Ladysmith? — A. I don't think so. Q. Nobody told you there was a likelihood of your going to Ladysmith ? — A. No. Q. Ever hear anything oi that when you were building the house, or before? — A. No, I did not hear anything. I was looking for a house to rent, and every house was filled. No one had to move, and I started to build, and after I commenced lo build it was talked about moving down. Q. What nationality are you ?— A. Austrian. By Mr. Rowe : Q. You say the town was so filled that you could not rent a house? — A. Yes, the town was so filled in April a year ago, when I came I could not rent a house. Sy Mr. Bodwell : Q. Is there much sickness here? — A. I do not think there has been very much. Q. The last man who gave evidence was sick, and your child has d'.ed ? — A. That is all I know. I do not know of anybody else. By His Lordship : Q. Have you a graveyard here ? — A. 'No. By Mr. Bodwell : Q. You lived over at No. 1? — A. No, here. At first I was at No. 1. Q. When did you come to live at No. 1 - A. Four years next fall. Q. When they were through at No. 1 you moved down here? — A. Yes, I brought my house over myself. Q. And that was the same house you rebuilt here? — A. A part of it. Q. And while you were building you were told you might have to go to Lady- smith? — A. After, I believe. Q. Was it not talked around here that they were going to move down to Lady- smith ? — A. I heard something about it after I built. Q. Before you built-while you were building — didn't you hear this talk? — A. No. Q. You didn't hear that talk — you must have?— A. Yes, after I built the house. Q. No, while you were building the house — didn't you hear that talk around while you were building ? — A. No. His Lordship. — Assuming that this is so, why have they not the right to live as they like? Mr. Bodwell. — Why have we not the same right to employ whom we like? His Lordship. — Would a employer have a right to say he would not employ a man who wore a top hat on Sunday? Mr. Bodwell. — I suppose he would if he paid the man. His Lordship. — On the ground of abstract right he might have, but it remains to be shown that he would be right in exercising it. It seems to me, Mr. Bodwell, that there is a very heavy onus on you to show that these men have been fairly dealt with. Mr. Bodwell. — We have an explanation of all these things which I think will be satisfactory. If the question is going to be on ground of abstract right, there are mutual rights. Q. What I want to know is whether this man did not know at the time that this was likely to be the order — to go to Ladysmith ? — A. I say that I did not hear anything talked around. Of course if I had I would not have left. Q. When you heard that talked around, did you go to any man in the company and ask them whether that was going to be so ? — A. No, I just went ahead. Q. You knew the) company would move you down to Ladysmith if you wanted them to ? — A. Yes, I knew that ; I have seen them do it with others. Q. And you did not ask to have anything of the kind done ? — A. No. Q. You didn't ask to have this money paid back to you — that you had spent? — A. NO; I didn't ask for any of these things. I did not know whether it would have been refused or not. By Mr. Bowe : Q. Did the company offer to move your house down from No. 1? — No, they did not. By Mr. Wilson : Q. When you heard this talk about moving to Ladysmith did it impress you as more than idle rumour— you did not imagine that any man would force his men to go down, would you ? — A. 'No.
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Excerpt from "Report of the Royal Commission on Industrial Disputes in the Province of British Columbia issued by the Department of Labour
Mr. John Mochar gives evidence at Extension, BC.