I was born right here in Minto in 1914.
I was 13 years old when I started in the mines then I went to Montreal for quite awhile and then I was in the merchant navy. All the rest of my time was in mines and draglines. After the underground closed I went on draglines.
The trouble with most of us here was we drank a lot and had good times too. But when they got a certain age they wouldn't quit. They tried to keep going like when they were 20 or 30. They're all gone now.
Well like I say if I was young again, I would go back again because I don't think it's that bad of a life. Oh ya there were hard times depending on what level you had, but it had a lot to do with you too. If you were working in a place and wanted to tim¬ber it right and keep it clean and keep your levels right, it was up to you. It ain't that cold and ain't that hot. It was about 35 degrees all the time. Oh I liked the pit-Oh hell ya! If you wanted to go home at noon you go on home. And there was nobody at your back watching you work to tell you what to do. The dragline was alright. If you were running, you got lazy. The trouble with the draglines, you had to work 8 hours. I have operated and done everything on the draglines.
I had a big family of 9 and I kicked them all out. One boy worked in the mines but he only lasted a couple of weeks. I fig¬ured there was no future in it for the young people. It was okay for us. When we had to go to work, there was no place else. Today a kid has a chance. You can always work in Minto. This is one place where you can get a job any day. In my life mister, if you didn't work, you didn't eat!