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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 11, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Tuesday, February 11, 1975-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD-3 DICC1INC A NEW FUTURE Scottish miner glad he joined 'Pass operation JIM AND SANDRA ANDERSON ELK VALLEY Life in a trailer in this remote British Columbia river valley is a far cry from Jim and Sandra Anderson's life in a suite in a 100 year old home in a Scottish village of people. While the Andersons almost didn't emigrate to this country, Jim and Sandra share few regrets about their move to Canada. Jim, 37, a coal miner recruited in the United Kingdom last year by Kaiser Resources, decided to leave his a week mining job with Seafield Collieries in Fife, Scotland, after reading a Kaiser job ad in a local newspaper. The' wiry miner, who began his underground career at the age of 15, wrote a reply to the and gave his job application to Sandra for mailing. "I wasn't going to post Sandra recalls. But after holding on to Jim's job reply for three days, she reluctantly dropped it in a mail box. After Kaiser accepted Jim and 37 other U.K. miners for its 'Pass coal operation, Jim, Sandra and their daughter Sharon, 7, climbed aboard a chartered Air Canada DC- 8. The flight from Manchester, England, arrived in Canada.July 21. On the trip over, Jim and Sandra learned their first home in Canada, to be rented from the company, would be a trailer. "This kept going through my says Jim, who thought they would be crammed into a travel trailer, or "caravan." Sandra also admits the thought of giving up the relative comfort of their Scottish flat for a Canadian "caravan'.' didn't appeal to her. Along with 30 other U.K. families, the Andersons moved into single wide trailers in trailer courts along the Elk River, north of the burgeoning town of Sparwood. The trailers are rented from Kaiser for monthly. And like many other U.K. families, the Ander- sons are leaving the trailer for new homes in Ridgemont, a suburb of Fernie, a 20-minute drive from work. A new home is something the Andersons could not af- ford back home, despite the fact they both earned wages. "I couldn't afford to run a explains Jim, describing how Canadians enjoy a higher standard of living than their U.K. counterparts. "To have a car back home is really a luxury." Canada is not Scotland, they agree. Jim says he had never heard of winter tires before coming to Canada. Sandra, who recently received her driver's licence after two unsuccessful attempts, misses regular bus service. Sandra also misses the- social activity of the Scot- tish village they left behind. "I miss the pubs and the dancing." "I've never been in a place where so many peo- pie drink You have to drink here, there's no social life." Another difference between the Old Country and Canada is the availability of credit. Explains Jim: "Back home, if you have debts, you could forget about getting credit." But in Canada, banks and stores encourage people to get in debt. "Here you're always in agrees Sandra. Another novelty for the Andersons is the Canadian phenomenon known as the power toboggan. "I took my first ride on one of Jim says, "I feel like Jackie Stewart on one." For Jim, work is more lucrative than before. But working in a coal mine is still working in a coal mine. Although his former employer, Seafield Collieries ran "one of Great Britain's most modernized Jim is impressed with the hydraulic mining techni- ques used by Kaiser. "This hydraulic mine is the greatest thing I've ever he says. In Scotland, Jim would wear only a shirt, since un- derground miners truly go underground, where temperatures are warm. But at Kaiser's mine, Jim .wears layer upon layer of clothing, including long Johns, which he had never worn before corning to the East Kootenay. Clothes stay cleaner, too. At Seafield Collieries, Jim would change and wash at work. Now he wears his work clothes home. Coal mining is dirty work, admits Jim. "It's always going to be dirty But it's always going to get safer. This mine here is the' safest mine I've ever worked in." Jim has no regrets about leaving the Old Country. Sandra says, "Oc- casionally I've been pretty low, and I've wanted to go back." Seyen of the 38 U.K. families imported by Kaiser have succumbed to homesickness and returned to Great Britain. Despite occasional longings for Scotland, the Andersons have no intention of going back. "I'm better off says Jim. ;