Cambria Publishing
mining songs, music, photographs Lawrence Chrismas Photography
Minto Miners Gallery
 
FIRMAN BETTS & ROGER FORGES
RETIRED COAL MINERS

I get more money on the pension than I ever earned in the mines. I'm getting so damn old that I forget everything that happened to me. But I still go fishing every day.

I was born in 1900 and came to Minto in 1914. I went in the mine the same year and worked 39 years underground. I wore out a lot of carbide lamps in my time.

I had 13 kids.

There were some hard old times from '22 to '39. She was damned hard. We had some good storekeepers here, by gosh. They would give you credit if you got stuck. If you were sick, they would carry you until you got work.

I worked a total of 54 years and retired in 1968. The last five years, I worked down here in the shop. I liked the mines. You'd be out of the cold, out of the heat, but you'd damn near freeze going home after you'd come out. They had no changing shack - just a place to go into the boiler room to eat. They got washrooms in after I quit.

FIRMAN BETTS

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