Nine people participated in this group interview about work and life in the Crowsnest Pass during its coalmining era.
Profiles: George MacDonald– started mining underground as soon as he turned 18. He describes accidentally derailing a “dinky,” an air compression-run engine that replaced horses in the mine.
Richard (Dick) Marquardt– moved to the Pass in 1963, working underground all his life to finish his career as pit boss.
Clarence Morrow– first ran a forestry camp when he moved to the Pass, then worked in the Coleman coal mine plant until it closed in 1980.
Beryl Orr– was the wife of a coal miner and speaks of the poor amenities in Coleman.
Remo Quarin– started mining in 1955 as coupler boy, then worked underground until a mine explosion in 1967. He was involved in mine rescue.
Helen Suca– worked as a school teacher for 28 years in numerous small town schools.
Mary Suca– was a teacher in the Crowsnest Pass who fought the school board policy that forced female teachers to quit once married.
Gary Taje– started working in the coal mines in 1971 and speaks of the appeal of Communists when many mine workers felt inadequately represented in bargaining with profitable companies.
Betty Walmsley (née Olsen)- was the granddaughter of a Communist Party member and town council leader.
Keywords: 1932 Crowsnest strike; Alberta Teacher’s Association; Communism; Crowsnest Pass; Mine rescue; Mine Workers Union of Canada; Miners’ hospital; United Mine Workers of America.
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