1877 - Pratt, W. T. Colonial Experiences - CHAPTER XIV: CONCLUDING REMARKS.

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  1877 - Pratt, W. T. Colonial Experiences - CHAPTER XIV: CONCLUDING REMARKS.
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WITH the influx of such a large number of immigrants that have arrived in this province the last two or three years, there would be almost of necessity some instances of disappointment and temporary inconvenience, perhaps some little suffering, from not immediately finding suitable and accustomed employment.

I have frequently heard it remarked by new arrivals that they regretted not having emigrated in the earlier days of the settlement, believing that all the prizes and chances of success had been monopolised by the first settlers; pointing for confirmation of this opinion to the easy competence and generally

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prosperous positions now enjoyed by almost all of them.

To all entertaining this view I would observe, that with the exception of a few, very few, who have made lucky, or perhaps it would be more correct to write judicious speculations in land, the majority have carved out their own fortunes and obtained their present positions by patient industry, sobriety, and unwearying perseverance; and there are the same opportunities, and with the same results, awaiting the exercise of the same qualities now, without the trials and privations peculiar to new settlements, and under which doubtless many, totally unfitted for the roughing of colonial life, succumbed.

Recent arrivals are often surprised and disappointed at finding the provinces exhibiting the advanced civilization, and so many of the characteristics of the old established centres of population to which they have been accustomed, and which having so recently left, with perhaps too sanguine expectations, they can hardly realize the fact of being in a new country, and often wish it exhibited a little

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less of the old (which perhaps from a bitter experience they had hoped had been left far behind) and more of the new. In the towns they find the various sub-divisions of labour in different branches of industry as obtains in the old country; each trade a nucleus of more or less skilled operatives, and being necessarily on a somewhat limited scale, they are easily overdone; that is, artisans and mechanics often arrive and find no immediate opening for their particular calling, and are apt to think they have made a serious mistake in emigrating. Industry, sobriety, and perseverance, essential as they may be to success, require a field for their exercise, and to ensure this it is needful that a man should possess in addition a certain amount of adaptability, or versatility of resources, and a power of turning to anything that may offer in the shape of honest employment, even if lower than the current wages. have to be submitted to, until some fair amount of skill is acquired in the new occupation, which can be at any time relinquished when more congenial and accustomed work offers.

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I think it will be conceded that the advice here given has been practically illustrated in the foregoing pages. I may be considered to have been a veritable "Jack of all trades," and I dare say have also proved its converse, of being "master of none;" but I have generally managed to pull through with tolerably fair results, and this I take to be the testing point. Few are aware of their capabilities until they are put to the test; therefore let any one arriving in the colony, and depending upon his own exertions, consider the little word "try" as a talisman, that, if it fail to help him out of all his difficulties, he may rest assured will very materially lessen them.

In giving the foregoing details, and results of thirty-four years' experience in the colony, I venture to hope the example may not be altogether fruitless in encouraging new beginners to persevere, and not to be daunted even if some disappointment is at first experienced in finding some things falling short of the sanguine expectations in which new colonists are so apt to indulge. The broad fact, to be soon tested and proved, will still

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remain, that here in this new and prosperous country, with its immense natural endowment of yet only partially developed resources, there is ample room for generations to come for honest labour to meet and find its just reward--

"A fair day's wages for a fair day's work."



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