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The Earth is Round

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Guy Jobin

Mr. Jobin’s father was a chemist for a mill in Chandler, in the Gaspé. During the Depression, his father left to go work in Masson, in the Outaouais Region, and the family joined him 18 months later. They settled in Buckingham and when war was declared young Guy Jobin, a lover of ships, wanted to enlist in the Navy. He did his basic training in Québec and then went to Halifax to learn to fire guns before being sent to British Columbia. His group of Canadians left on the British aircraft carrier HMS Nabob. The ship went down the Pacific coast, crossed the Panama Canal and stopped in Virginia before arriving in England, at Liverpool. There they found the remains of a city damaged by 9 days German bombings. The Nabob was active in the British Isles throughout the war. During a mission to Scapa Flow in northern Scotland, the boat was hit by a torpedo. Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Jobin was hospitalized for awhile.


The Earth is Round

The five inch guns, there’s brass in the bottom, with cordite in it and at the front, there is a shell that is about the same length. And five inches is a big gun. There are seven of you in the middle of the night, in the dark, and you are going to launch . . . no starlight . . . a shell that bursts in the air, and you see the night, you see everything for two miles, you can see a pin on the ocean. But when you put your shell in the five inch, which is pretty big, and you put the cordite behind it, you close the bridge, and fire, when that goes . . . the cordite, y’know, when that bursts, the little particles, your eyes and ears get plugged . . . You go crazy as shit, that’s all there is to it. Because it really gets going everywhere, and it goes up high and lights up, y’know, and it’s so beautiful, you see the ocean, damn far. You can pick out a periscope if the sea is calm. It’s hardly ever calm but it reflects so much light, y’know, you could see it or a boat. And a boat on the ocean, you can see five miles away, to fire on it, but at seven miles, you no longer see it. The Earth is round, eh? So, that’s why the battleships, when a battleship fires a one ton shell, you hear that go by like a train but you don’t see it. The battleship is [twenty] miles away but you hear its shots go by, like a train going by, because it’s a big shell. So when you fire on the sea, over five miles away, you don’t see what you’re firing on at all because the Earth is round.

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