Billy Pittman - Retired Coal Miner, New Aberdeen

I was born right in New Aberdeen. My grandfather came to Glace Bay in 1804, so I was from one of the pioneering families of the town.

My father was a coal miner and he went overseas during the first war and got wounded three times. Then he came back and went coal mining again and he worked around 50 years.

I started work in the old No. 9 Colliery when I was 13 years of age. I worked there until the mine closed in 1922. Then I transferred to No. 2 Colliery which was considered the big producer at the time. And I worked there all my life, you know, until the war broke out. I happened to belong to the militia and, when the war broke out, I had to report. I went overseas with the medical unit and served there until the war was over.

Then I went back to No. 20 Mine. I worked the plugs and was in the explosion there. I went from trapping to flagging, driving, loading coal, being shot firer and overman. I was overman for years.

Then the last few years, I was on surface. I retired in 1960 because they were trying to close down the mines. And when you're 60, you're out.

They credited me with 50 years of service in the mines. I didn't really have the 50 years but they added on my army service.