My grandfather was a boss in the Victoria Mine. My dad was a lumberman and he worked in the woods all his life - I worked for a while with me father. I got into coal mining through some of my friends.
I started mining in 1954. We used to work during the winter then got laid off in summer because of falling coal sales. The Bayview Mine, where I was working, shut down in 1961 and they stripped her of equipment in 1962.
Dr. Cochrane opened up the River Hebert Mine. He was a doctor, a logger, a fireman and a mine operator. He showed up at the mine every day. River Hebert was a tough mine to work because you were on your knees all day and the seam pitched at 33 degrees.
When I went into the mine, I used to shove boxes. Then I got my miner's papers. In 1972, I got a permit to be a shot firer. Then I went to school in the winter of '72 and got my mine examiner's papers. Then, in 1979, I became underground manager working under a temporary permit. I'm now upgrading my studies because I hope to get a job in Springhill if they open a new mine. Yeah, if a new mine opened, that would take me to retirement.
I would go back to the coal mine today. Well, that's pretty well all you know when you work in a coal mine all your life. It's hard to start something different.
I lived in River Hebert most of my life. Then, 12 years ago, I bought this house in Joggins.
I have three boys and one girl. I am the captain of the Joggins Fire Department. I keep active, I'm into everything. I am a trustee of the church, VP of the community association. I am a Draegerman.