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John Vasco
Retired Tippleman

I was born in Czechoslovakia in 1903, and came to this country in 1928. I arrived in Calgary, and I've stayed in Alberta ever since. I came to East Coulee in 1935, on the 20th of November. On the 21st, I started work in the old East Coulee mine, the Atlas.

I first worked as a trapper in the mine, opening and closing the doors. Then I worked for a few years outside on the picking table, then they gave me a job as a surface foreman. For that job, I loaded coal into the boxcars.

I worked from 1935 until they closed that mine down - I was 74 years old when I retired. I was the last old man to retire from the Atlas.

The company gave me a big trophy, a watch for 42 years of faithful service - something like that. They had it engraved on the back of the watch.

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