4 juin 2008

COFFIN'S BROTHER DONALD TESTIFIES BEFORE THE BROSSARD COMMISSION



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SEARCHERS, VICTIMS AND COFFIN
Dans ce témoignage de Donald Coffin devant la Commission Brossard, il est question du paragraphe 45 de la Déclaration que Wilbert Coffin avait faite le 9 octobre 1955. La Commission a analysé chacun des paiements que Coffin a prétendu avoir reçus relativement à son travail de prospecteur. Je vous reproduis ci-dessous ce paragraphe.
Vous pouvez lire sur ce blogue un extrait du rapport Brossard sous le titre CONCESSIONS MINIÈRES ET L’ARGENT DÉPENSÉ PAR COFFIN, 31/01/08 – 10/02/08 – 16/02/08.

In Donald Coffin’s testimony, a reference is made to paragraph 45 of the Statement of Wilbert Coffin, on the 9th October 1955. The Brossard Commission examined each amount listed as having been paid to Wilbert Coffin.
You may read on this blog excerpts from the Brossard report under the title COFFIN’S MINING CLAIMS AND EXPENSES, 31/01/08 – 10/02/08 – 16/02/08.

Here is paragraph 45 from the Statement of Wilbert Coffin on the 9th October 1955:

45. A lot of evidence was given about the money I spent between Gaspé and Montréal and there was some evidence about I lived in Montréal. This is easy to explain. It was my own money paid to me by the following persons for the following amounts and terms for services, I did for them chiefly staking claims:
Greta Miller – May, 1953 $30.00
Iva M. Bryker – “ “ $90.00
Mrs. James Caputo, May, 1953 $40.00
Merryn Annett “ “ $40.00
John E. Eagle “ “ $50.00
Mrs. Marion Petrie Coffin, May 1953 $50.00
P.G. Carey “ “ $60.00
D.H. Coffin “ “ $20.00
Mrs. James Annett “ “ $10.00
Earl Tuzo “ “ $20.00
William H. Petrie June “ $70.00
Donald F. Coffin July “ $50.00
Albert Coffin “ “ $50.00
______
$580.00
EXTRAITS DU TÉMOIGNAGE DE DONALD, LE FRÈRE DE COFFIN, DEVANT LA COMMISSION BROSSARD
EXCERPTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF DONALD, WILBERT COFFIN’S BROTHER BEFORE THE BROSSARD COMMISSION: FROM PAGE 3151 OF THE COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTIONS

CANADA
Province of Québec INQUIRY COMMISSION INTO
THE COFFIN AFFAIR
District of Québec

PRESENT: THE HONOURABLE ROGER BROSSARD, J.S.C.

On the 20th day of May 1964, came and appeared:

DONALD FRANCIS COFFIN, welder, domiciled at York Centre, Gaspé, Province of Québec, aged 41, who is being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelists, doth depose and say:

EXAMINED by Mr. JULES DESHÊNES, Q.C.,
Legal Counsel to the Commission:
Q. Mr. Coffin, I understand that you are a relative of late Wilbert Coffin?
A. That’s right, Sir.
Q. He was your brother, I understand?
A. That’s right, Sir.
Q. Now, Mr. Coffin, I understand that your brother Wilbert, at some time, used to do some prospecting?
A. That’s right, Sir.
Q. Were you also interested in the same field?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you do any prospecting on your own?
A. Oh, with him, about maybe three months, altogether.
Q. Three months?
A. About three months, yes.
Q. Would you please remind us at about what time you had done that kind of business?
A. In 1953.
Q. In 1953?
A. In the last part of April, May, and part of June.
Q. And part of June 1953?
A. Yes.
Q. Had you actually staked any claims?
A. Yes Sir.
Q. I am going to call upon you to try to refresh your memory through a passage I am going to read to you from a book, which was written by Mr. Jacques Hébert, and I am going to quote to you from the English translation?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Have you read the latest book of Mr. Jacques Hébert?
A. I have, Sir.
Q. In the English translation?
A. Yes sir.
Q. So, it is rather recently that you have read the book?
A. Yes sir.
Q. I suppose you have seen that your name appears at various places in that book?
A. Yes sir.
Q. So, you are not surprised if I am going to use the book to quote passages to you?
A. That’s right.
Q. Right. I am going to quote to you from page 58, at the bottom of the page, where the author writes as follows: “Matte- speaking of Captain Matte, whom you know, of course…”
A. Yes.
Q. “Matte knew that Patterson – that is, Vincent Patterson – you know also Vincent Patterson, don’t you?
A. Yes sir.
Q. “Matte knew that Patterson was at Wilbert Coffin’s camp one night while Donald Coffin, the prospector’s brother, was cleaning his rifle. According to Patterson, Donald warned that if any Americans were to trespass where “our claims” were staked out, he’d go after them with a shot-gun.”
A. That’s not true, Sir.
Q. Do you remember ever having made that statement?
A. Not to the best of my knowledge, no sir.
Q. Are you positive that you never made that statement, or is it only to the best of you knowledge?
A. I am absolutely sure that I never made such a statement.
Q. You never made such a statement?
A. Because I never, at the time, the only gun that I owned was a 22, and as far as I know, I never had it up to where we were staking claims; so I had no rifle to be cleaning, in the first place.
Q. So, you would not even have done that gun cleaning or rifle cleaning which is referred to in that passage?
A. I had no gun there with me, Sir.
Q. All right. Now, you remember, I suppose Mr. Coffin, that during the same summer, towards the middle of June, your brother left Gaspé and actually came to Montréal?
A. That’s right, Sir.
Q. You remember that?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember having, about that period of time, paid to him, or sent to him any amount of money?
A. Yes, shortly before he left, before he left Gaspé, there was some mix-up in the way they were staking claims up there; there is two different ways to stake claims; probably you realise there is surveyed territory, and unsurveyed territory, on Crown property. Most of us, when we first staked there, we had staked the wrong way. We didn’t know. So, Mr. Billy Baker sent $50.00 to me because they were going to stake claims, they wanted to know the right way to have them staked, there. Well, he got approximately $35.00, I suppose, of that, and while he was in Montréal, I had a phone call from him, at the time, I was in town, and I had $15.00 due him, and I wired it up to him in Montréal.
Q. So, do I understand that your brother would have got that $50.00?
A. About, not all of it, but about $30.00, $35.00.
Q. Fifteen dollars ($15.00) from you, as you just stated…
A. Yes personally.
THE COURT:
The witness said he got $30.00 or 35.00 before he left.
A. Before he left, yes sir.
Q. And he got the additional $15.00 once he was in Montréal?
A. That’s right, sir.
Q. You wired the money?
A. That’s right.
MR. JULES DESCHÊNES, Q.C.,
Legal Counsel to the Commission,
Q. Then, that makes it full $50.00, does it not?
A. That’s right, sir.
Q. Now, whom did he get that $50.00 before he left Gaspé, whom did he get that from?
A. From me, sir.
Q. From you also?
A. Just a minute, sir, I think you are mistaken. I was paying $50.00 to show this… there was two, I forget who they were, how to stake their claims, and he got $35.00 of the $50.00
Q. Well, from whom did he receive that amount?
A. He received it from me, because it was paid to me, and I gave him $35.00 out of it, and I guess the balance…
Q. At about what time was that, Mr. Coffin?
A. …I couldn’t tell you. I am sorry, it could be two or three weeks, maybe, at least, before he left. Q. Before he left?
A. Yes.
Q. Would that be in June or in May?
A. I figure it was somewhere around the last part of May.
Q. And then, once he came to Montréal, you wired him the additional $15.00?
A. That’s right, sir.
Q. Was that at his request?
A. Yes sir.
Q. It was. Since you have read, Mr. Coffin, Mr. Hébert’s book, I suppose that you have read in that book the statement which Wilbert Coffin had given in October 1955, and in which he lists a certain number of payments?
A. That’s right.
Q. Which he says he had received?
A. Yes sir.
Q. At about the time of his trip. Do you have read that?
A. Yes sir.
Q. I am showing you here this statement, and I am drawing your attention to paragraph 45?
A. Right.
Q. In which you see that certain payments are detailed for the month of May 1953?
A. That’s right.
Q. Do you acknowledge that during the month of May 1953, no payment, according to Wilbert Coffin, is supposed to have come from you?
A. That’s right, sir.
Q. Now, where you come in – you are Donald F. Coffin?
A. That’s right.
Q, And the payment, according to Wilbert Coffin, was made in July 1953?
A. In July 1953? There has to be a mistake there, because in July 1953, I only paid him $15.00; I sent $15.00 from the Town of Gaspé to Montréal.
Q. Had you ever given a statement to that effect, Mr. Coffin?
A. No Sir.
Q. Never?
A. Not that I remember.
Q. If I were…
A. Never a sworn statement, anyway.
Q. Oh no, I didn’t ask you whether you had given a sworn statement, I am asking you whether you did give any statement at all?
A. I am sorry, I don’t remember.
Q. Would there have been any difference in the value of you statement, depending upon whether it was sworn or not?
A. No sir.
Q. Then, why the question if it was sworn or not? I am asking you if you gave a statement, period.
A. I don’t know. I am telling you, I am telling you, I couldn’t tell you whether I gave a statement or not.
Q. Well, would you have a look at this document, which is document number 14 in the file of the Department of Justice, and tell us now if you remember having given that statement?
A. … I am sorry, Sir, I just don’t remember. It is my writing, it is a copy of my writing, so I must have given it, but I couldn’t say if I did or not.
Q. But you do recognize your handwriting don’t you?
A. Yes, it is definitely my handwriting.
Q. Would you have any idea how you came about to give that statement?
A. Well, the only thing it says is the address to S.S. Eastern Shell, Toronto. Somebody must have written me to get that statement, and I must have wrote that statement out, and sent it to them.

THE COURT;
Q. Were you working there at the time?
A. Yes sir, I was working at Eastern Shell.
MR. JULES DESCHÊNES, Q.C.,
Legal Counsel to the Commission;
Q. And, would you remember to whom you addressed the statement, at the time?
A. I am sorry, I don’t remember.
Q. You don’t remember at all?
A. No.
Q. I see. But, I find that in that statement, you do refer, as you have just a moment ago here, to a payment of $15.00, which you sent through the C.N.R. telegraph, to Mr. Harold Petrie’s address in Montréal?
A. That’s right.
Q. So, do I have to conclude that when your brother mentioned a payment of $50.00 from you in July 1953, in his sworn statement here, he was mistaken?
A. In July, yes.
(TO BE CONTINUED NEX WEEK)

6 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

Allez-vous publier les conclusions du juge Brossard sur les autres montants supposément reçus par Coffin?
B. Butler, Montreal

Clément Fortin a dit...

Je vais publier prochainement des extraits du témoignage de Rhoda, la soeur de Wilbert Coffin, devant la Commission Brossard. Son témoignage porte sur certains de ces paiements que Coffin aurait reçus.

Anonyme a dit...

Donald Coffin a plus de mémoire après 11 ans (1953-1964)que son frère après deux (1953-1955).
M. R.
Terrebonne

Anonyme a dit...

Lew is back!
Don't miss him. He so funny!

Anonyme a dit...

Yes I just visited Lew's blog. I've been moved by his story. He had occasion to witness in person an apparition of Marie. The Virgin Marie told him Coffin is innocent.

Dianne Thompson a dit...

The most famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary are that witnessed by Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, which has become the hot-spot pilgrimage site for the Catholic Church, attracting millions of visitors each year, and by Lew Stoddard at Burnaby, BC.
Dianne Thompson, Gatineau