Cambria Publishing
mining songs, music, photographs Lawrence Chrismas Photography
Canmore Miners Gallery
Page 87
Andy Bodnar
Retired Sawmill Operator

I worked about 36 years, all in the Canmore Mine. I was born in 1914. I've been here since I arrived from the old country - Poland. My uncle used to be a fire boss in the mine. He brought me over here when I was 14 years old.

I retired three years ago after working in the sawmill at the mine. I always worked on top. I looked after all the materials needed for the mines - like props, roof bolts and ties. I also looked after all the track on top.

I wanted to go underground but they wouldn't let me. There was more money underground. I even squawked to the union about going underground but it didn't help.

In the early days, we used to make everything for the mine, including sawing our own mine timbers. When I was working in the sawmill, we started with props 16 feet long and I would cut them to the size the miners required. The sawmill was located alongside the river, near the mine. We also cut timber to build and repair the houses because it was all controlled by the Canmore Mines. There were four of us working in the sawmill - plus a horse. We used a horse to pull the timber up to the mine.

Me and my son built this house 15 years ago.

I went to the doctor a couple of months ago. I told him, I'm feeling okay but I'm gaining too much weight. He told me to quit eating, drinking beer and to buy a bicycle to do lots of riding. So I bought a bicycle and do lots of riding.

I used to like having quite a few beers now and then.