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Pride and a Paycheck July/August 2013 – “The Mason”

Pride and a Paycheck is a newsletter for tradeswomen by tradeswomen. In addition to articles each edition also has information about training, employment, apprenticeships and more.

“The Mason”
By Stella Cheng

In, 1989, after 10 years as a bricklayer in the Bay Area/San Francisco, I won a fellowship from my union to learn traditional masonry techniques used on the restoration of the Reims Cathedral, in the Champagne region of France. Once there, I found an old typewriter and wrote down my first impressions, hence lost over the decades. But the memories remain. I lived in the heart of a guild with 59 young men aged from 15 years old to 24. I’m not still sure who was more in a state of shock, them or me. When my union contacted them, somewhere across the ocean, someone forgot to mention that I was a woman. It made for great drama, funny scenes and memories to last a lifetime. Women were officially admitted into the guild in 2002 (but still live apart)> At the time, guild members were strongly encourage to cut all ties with women until they attained mastery. If a liaison was suspected, they often got sent to the other side of the country.

Check out the latest from Pride and a Paycheck ~ and read the complete article The Mason – here.

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