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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 20, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta District The Uthbrtdge Herald Local news Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, January 20, 1975 Pages 15-28 Telephone insulator church was two-year home project PINCHER CREEK (Staff (-Sunlight of ten streams through telephone pole in- sulators into an eight by -14 foot church here It was built by Bas- tian (Boss) Zoeteman, 72, a retired farmer and implement dealer. Mr. Zoeteman agreed to his request to build "a little church like the one in the Crowsnest Pass" if the children helped him collect enough in- sulators for the "stain- ed glass" windows. Then Mr. and.Mrs Tom Ferguson's children, Marnie, 14, Rochelle, 13, Jeff, 12, Lane, 10, LaVonne, 9, and Glen, 4, took to the roadsides searching for insulators. Soon they had more than of them and everyone set to work putting the clear, blue and brown insulators into cement blocks. "They worked like lit- tle says Mr. Zoeteman. "You ought to see them work." The insulators came from Milk River, Foremost, Vulcan, Car- mangay and Hill spring. They were supplied by 4-H clubs and church groups. Blue insulators form the windows. The pulpit is made of clear and blue insulators. .They started .collecting the insulators ago and Began building the church last year. It re- quired about one year of construction work. The tower, with one in- sulator at the top, went up just before Christ- mas. Mr. Zoeteman still has about in- sulators on hand. He plans to build a little red "country school house now, using red dye in the cement. The church stands on property owned by the United Church here. "I would like to build three or four buildings and then group them says Mr. Zoeteman. "Then I could make it a tourist attraction." He plans to build one building each year until the end of 1977. "The one thing I am not happy he says, "Is that I haven't got a good bell. "I would also like to find a bell for the school we plan to build.' tiiic A Si tuft aoss Q09S WOO SOCC ceo INSULATOR CHURCH WAS BUILT TO CHILD'S ORDER Coal market demand balanced by controls, poor labor supply WALTER KERBER photo story PEWS ARE OF WOOD, OTHER ITEMS GLASS AND CONCRETE CHAPEL GLOWS INSIDE WITH TRANSMITTED LIGHT By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer Finding markets for its product may be the least of worries for a burgeoning Alberta coal industry. Environmental and manpower con- siderations appear to be much thornier problems. Japan wants more coal, contracts are being pursued in Mexico and Brazil, and large Canadian users such as Ontario Hydro are looking to Western Canada to meet present and future power generating demands. Ontario Hydro wants to start moving moun- tain coals to existing power stations by 1977. It has a target of five to six million tons a year from the West by 1979 or 1980, says John Matthew, executive in charge of resource and fuel supplies. "We're taking eight million tons from the U.S. now and will be taking 12 million by then. But we will need 17 or 18 million tons a year, so it is an excellent opportunity to open up the western movement." "We're at various stages of he says. "Some are at the point where we are ready to proceed. "We have contacted essentially all the companies in Alberta and B.C. which we believe have access to bituminous coal suitable for existing furnaces." Negotiations are still under way, for in- stance, with Byron Creek Collieries in the Crowsnest Pass although, Mr. Matthew says, "Northern coals are more immediately suitable." Coal such as that owned by CanPac Minerals at Brooks and Lethbridge is also be- ing considered. But development may be a few years down the road when new power stations designed for these softer coals are phased in. CanPac has proved up at least 100 million tons of top grade sub bituminous coal at Brooks 65 miles northeast of Lethbridge and 146 million tons just 15 miles west of the city in the Shaughnessy field. Government complicates picture "The complications are the Alberta government and the environmental con- Mr. Matthew says in echoing a common refrain about the future for Alberta coal. "There is no way I want to announce any contracts and embarrass the Alberta government." The entire industry is impatiently waiting for a policy on coal development to be brought down by the province. But spokesmen for the industry curb their im- patience in public statements for fear of alienating the department of environment of its powerful minister, Bill Yurko. Its protests that the coal can be mined without destroying the environment are han- dicapped by a sad history of environmental damage. "We have absolutely nothing to be proud of in our says a mining company president. One industry official says a major problem for the industry's public relations program is finding a decently reclaimed mine to demonstrate what can be achieved. The government itself appears divided about what route to take on coal. "That is a very dicey a reliable government source told The Herald. "I think the government will be a lot more cautious in the months that follow because of the issue surrounding lands and forests granting ex- ploration permits during a development moratorium. "I think this thing is going to be a little better monitored. "After the election (expected by the government will have to make a this official says. The delay is because of an anticipated cabinet shuffle: "They, would want the new minister to be in on it from the start." Whatever happens, the debate within government should continue to be interesting, the official says. "Mr. Yurko is really controlling the industrial development of the province to a significant degree by his en- vironmental controls. Industry and com- merce's plans have been thwarted to some degree." Industry needs more workers If the environmental concerns are cleared away, the industry must still find people to mine some of the estimated nine billion tons in the province's huge reserves. Although use of coal will increase, the reserves would last for 800 years at the current level of 11 million tons annual produc- tion, according to estimates by the Energy Resources Conservation Board. With the miners, who are already in critically short supply; would come new or expanded towns. "If the number of mines that are planned go ahead six or seven major mining operations overnight there is going to be a need for upwards of housing says Robert Allison, chairman of the Alberta Coal Industry Advisory Committee. The committee reports to the provincial cabinet committee on manpower. It is com- posed of members from the department of manpower and labor, the private sector and the ERCB. It was struck last September. "Between now and 1980 we might be talking of employees, plus all the multiplying he says. Just returned from a fact finding tour of coal towns in the Crowsnest Pass, Mr. Allison says housing prospects there are discourag- ing to potential miners. "If we could move into high ratio loans for houses, say five per cent down, it would allow people in the 'Pass area to move into a better calibre of housing. Now, it turns them off." Indoor recreational facilities are another concern. As part of a recruitment campaign, the committee is considering university scholarships for mining engineers, and college scholarships for technical personnel. And it wants to unblacken the image of the in- dustry in the eyes of potential employees at the secondary school level. But Mr. Allison says recruitment should be pursued among the families of coal miners first. Greenhorns fail to perform "Based on the experiences of some of the coal companies, to bring in greenhorns just hasn't worked out." Mines are now ex- periencing extremely high turnover rates. "I feel we should concentrate on the mining areas to keep sons of miners in there, because they know what it is like. You have to have a man in the mines today with a certain physical and mental capability, considering all the equipment and techniques." Howard Pierson, a 54 year old veteran miner, is one man eager to return to his oc- cupation at a proposed CanPac mine near Shaughnessy and Diamond City. "They say once a miner, always a he says during an interview at the old Lethbridge Collieries mine at Shaughnessy. He keeps his eye on what remains of the mine buildings for CanPac. "It's a definite I don't know what, but there's a better fellowship among the men you must depend on the other fellow, your life depends on it." He says the mine never had any serious ac- cidents but that people have been killed in in- dividual industrial accidents. Mr. Pierson started with Lethbridge Collieries when he was only 14, in 1934, as a the boy who closed large doors after horses used in the mines passed through. The doors insured air circulated all the way to the mine face where the men worked. "In my career, I never worked at the face, but mostly on the locomotives and maintenance. The work was he says, "and the pay was better than average for the times." Student housing task force to examine city rentals By MURDOCH MACLEOD Herald Staff Writer Appointment of a task force to study student housing problems was recommended Saturday by the University of Lethbridge senate. Jim McDowell, a student representative on the senate, first suggested the housing situation needs examination. "Once a landlord hears you're a student, he decides the place is already rented, even though two minutes before it he said. There were about students at the university last spring, 700 of them from Lethbridge. The residence can hold 350. About 200 students need a place to live, said Mr. McDowell. Senator John Szumlas said an advisory committee to Ad- vanced Education Minister Jim Foster had already recommended a study of stu- dent housing needs across the province. AH post secondary institutions, not just the un- iversities, are in dire need of 'student housing, he said. He suggested the U of L task force would be filling the same role for just one in- stitution. Chancellor James Oshiro said the two would not conflict since a task force here would be examining a specific situation. Senator Maurice. Mitchell said the task force would need some money. ;