Location: Crowsnest Pass
Profile: Bruno Gentil was born in Coleman in 1915. For fifty years he worked for Coleman mines, but always on the outside workings and operations. Starting out driving a team of horses, he later drove truck, then retrained as a blacksmith, before managing the stables then warehouse. He describes the importance of mine horses up until the mines were no longer being expanded. He remembers the logging industry in the pass, and the types of timber required inside the mine. Ashes and coal dust were a part of life in Coleman thanks to the lack of wet washers in the tipple up until the 50s. He highlights the different political and union affiliation between Coleman, Blairmore and Bellevue, which often led to outright fist fights at the dance halls and bars. This antagonism between Coleman and Blairmore spilled into many other areas of competition.
Keywords: Communists; Crowsnest coalmines; Harvey Murphy; Logging industry; Mine horses; One Big Union; Rum runners; Scabs; Tim Buck Boulevard; Union competition in coal mining
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