As Told by Harold Rowlings
[Editor’s Note: Back in 1977, in a rare act of civil disobedience, Harold Rowlings put his body on the line to stop a pipeline taking sewage from Eastern Shore District High straight into Petpeswick Inlet. In Part 1, Harold told of blocking access to the pipe with his truck and then his body, and being manhandled by four Mounties into a police car. ]
They took me to Dartmouth and kept me overnight. I had a hunting knife, I always carried a hunting knife, they took that stuff all away from me.
I had a good lawyer friend that I had done a job for on Ostrea Lake Road,
Don Morrison was his name. So when I got out on bail, I called him.
“I’m in the shit Don, will you defend me or do something for me?
“I’ll try,” he said, “but I’m not a criminal lawyer, this sounds like a criminal case. But I’ll do the best I can.”
The case went up, I didn’t even go on the stand. The judge, which was N.D Murray, was supposed to be one of the worst that ever came in the country, he was sitting up there going through these photographs, saying nothing, listening to the testimony of each and every one of the police officers.
I whispered to Morrison, “Should I say something?”
“No!” he said. “Shut up. Don’t say nothing!
The judge was still looking at the photographs, great big photographs, at least 8x10.
Judge Murray stood up, he said, “I’m looking at these photographs here, he says, Officer, you said two men put him in the car, the photographs here show four men putting him in the car, manhandling him.”
The Mountie said, “He got quite violent, we had to get some help, some reinforcements.”
“Well,” the judge says, “I think, if someone was trying to put a shit pipe across my property, I’d be inclined to wail them myself. Man’s acquitted!”
Just like that!
Out in the lobby, I took Don Morrison aside, how much do I owe you?
He said, “You got any geese?
I said, “I got a freezer full of them down home, and a bunch of ducks.”
He said he’d be something happy to get a goose all clean and ready for the oven.
I said that’s no problem.
And that’s what it cost me, two geese, for the whole thing.
(Part III: Rowlings survives a bad case of “duckitis” while green smile appears in the Inlet.)