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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta The UtHbridge Herald VOL. LXVII 156 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 1974 15 Cents 68 Pages Finally Canadi Long wait ends for 'branded9 us after 3 miners Branded a communist more than 35 years ago, it took Nick Urkewich until just this year to get his Canadian citizenship Nick came from Poland in 1927 and settled in the Crowsnest Pass, working in the coal mines He's lived and worked in this country longer than many citizens can remember, yet until April, 1974, he was denied many of the rights Canadians take for granted Through the efforts of Rockey Mountain incumbent MP Joe Clark, who represents the Pass, Nick and five other longtime 'Pass residents gathered in a courtroom in Blairmore two months ago and received the citizenship papers long due them In 1932 a seven-month strike for higher wages and better working conditions erupted in the coal towns of the 'Pass a bitter strike that left bitter memories and hard feelings even after it was finally settled Communists and socialists were a power not only in the miners union, but had a crack at running the Town of Blairmore for a while, when the town's mam street was named after Tim Buck, the leader of the Canadian Communist party Nick Urkewich was involved in that strike and was warned by RCMP Sgt James Cawsey not to apply for citizenship because he would be turned down 'There was no use spending my without getting my papers he says, so he didn't bother applying until 1972, when he was rejected Although he had been labeled a communist, Nick says many people don't what the term means I'm as red as Diefenbaker I m an ordinary worker an honest man Part of the reason Nick and several of the others had to wait so long to get their citizenship lies with a now- defunct organization in the Pass called the Federation of Russian Canadians "The police would think it was a Bolshevik organiztion, Nick savs. 'but it had nothing to do with politics Peter Zook is another of the new Canadians and a former memb-er of the federation He came from Poland in 1928 and started working in the mines in 1937 I was never on strike I wasn t even in the un'on he says He applied for citizenship in the earlv 50s and applied again everv two years, receiving rejection after rejection "I could never find out They would give no explanation But "I think maybe somebody told them I was a Bolshevik Mr Clark says the six people fell into three categories those known by officials to have been involved in the strike as Mr Urkewich was. people suspected of being involved, and people too apprehensive to apply because they knew their neighbors had been rejected Mr and Mrs John ChomiK Sign of the times Tim Buck street sign once graced boulevard in Blairmore Coleman with mme in background came to Canada 47 years ago but like the others, it took them until April to become official Canadians Mr Chomik says he wasn't even working in the mines during the strike he was a railroad worker He fust applied for citizenship last year, because, he says he always planned to leave Canada and return to his birthplace Mr Clark says he believes the Chomiks were afraid they would be refused citizenship, so they never applied Alex Jumarchuk first applied to be a Canadian in 1962 34 years after coming from Poland He worked in the mines for 36 vears but says he has no idea wh> he had trouble getting his citizenship "I m not a red I live in Canada not Moscow he says But when questioned further he would only reph To hell with it it s finished" Mr Jumarchuk also belonged to the Russian- Canadian club Mike Stelmachovich, a friend of Mr. Zook's. says he thinks the RCMP believed people belonging to the Russian-Canadian club were in sympathy with the Soviet Union He received citizenship when he applied in 1935, but was asked at that time by citizenship officials if he was involved in the strike He says he wasn't "on the company's alleged blacklist" so he savs he had no difficulty getting his papers According to Mr Stelmachovich, Pauline Paczkowski the other person receiving citizenship papers in April was related by marriage to a woman arrested on a picket line during the 1932 strike Mrs Paczkowski was unavailable for comment, but Mr Stelmachovich says that is the only reason he could think of wtiv Mrs Paczkowski would have trouble becoming a Canadian Mr Urkewich says about 75 people who took a leading role in the strike were blacklisted by the companies involved, and it took him about 10 years after the strike ended to get work again in the mines Until 1965. says John Schnurr administrator of the federal citizenship court in Calgary citizenship was handled by provincial district court judges He savs before citizenship applications are granted, a clearance check is done by the RCMP Gus Eriksson never had any trouble becoming a Canadian citizen Although he was a miner he broke his leg just before the strike and wasn't m the walk-out But he says the judge holding the citizenship hearings in the district after the strike would ask all the applicants if they had been imohed I think people active in the strike had a harder problem getting citizenship if vou're the leadership of the country. wjnt docile citizens, not trouble makers he savs Stories by H arren Cam gat a Early 30's 'blight' on 'Pass area It s a period of local history that should be forgotten a provincial judge in the Crowsnest Pass says Referring to the early 30s, when communists and and socialists controlled the Blairmore town council and mmeworkers waged a bitter struggle with four mining companies, Fred Radford says the period is a blight on the 'Pass He was about 14 during the 1932 strike which saw about 1 200 mmeworkers fighting the owners of the International, Greenhill, McGillvary and Belle vue mines for seven months The picket lines "used to get kind of Judge Radford says and it took a long time before bitter memories of the strike were forgotten Nick Urkewich. now a retired miner living in Cole- man who received Canadian citizenship only after a 35-year-wait because of his involvement, says the walkout was called because mine owners wanted to lay-off a couple of hundred men 'We protested against that and finally struck he says The" companies blacklisted the leaders of the strike and tried to keep the mines open busing in scabs with police protection, he says During the strike about 95 RCMP officers were stationed in the Pass amid fears that violence would break out on the picket lines Gus Eriksson, who sat out the strike with a broken leg says he doesn t think the authorities called in the RCMP to intimidate the miners but to keep the peace He savs it took about two years after the strike settlement to get all the miners involved back to work but adds he doesn t think the companies had a blacklist The mine managers exercised certain preferences in hiring after the strike and men weren't neces- sarily taken back on the basis of seniority. Mr Eriksson says Miners in the home splinter group of miners opposing the strike were probably re-hired faster than the others he said At the time miners were making 40 for an eight- hour shift, or 97 cents-a-ton The strike wasn t called about wages as much as about the number of days worked While we were working three-to-four days a period (or six-to-10 days a month) Canada, was importing coal from the United States he says This fact led to bitter feelings on the part of many- miners he says Mr Urkewich says most of the workers blacklisted were Russian or Ukranian Only a few English miners were on the list, he says At the time of the strike. Mr Eriksson says, 'a villianous Englishman was considered better than a dishonest alien Photos by Hick Ervitt Meat cost may 'hurt tourism' By JEFF CARRUTHERS Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Buying a beef dinner at restaurants and hotels across Canada will become even more of a trauma for the- consumer's wallet later this summer unless U S beef starts to move into Canada again soon, according to an executive of the Canadian Restaurant As- sociation Jack Hemming, executive vice-president of the CRA, said Friday that pries for the special cuts of steaks, ribs and roasts used by the hotel restaurant and institutional and I) trade have jumped by 25 per cent and more since April, when Canada in effect blocked the border to U S shipments of beef and cattle because the controversial growth hormone DES (diethylstilbestrol) could be used there on cattle again The H R and I trade which traditionally has obtained its special cuts from the U S has now been forced to rely ex- clusively on Canadian suppliers The result Mr Hemming said, is that "we're bidding against ourselves for very limited supplies and "forcing the prices up The onset of the barbecue season when consumers start competing for same limited supply of steaks and ribs and roast" will make the situation even worse, he said Seak dinners that used to cost about earlier this year and now cost and could soon push he suggested Such a development could be particularly catastrophic for Canada s summer tourist trade from the U S The tourists will look at our prices, compare them with much more reasonable prices back home and figure we're ripping them off he said The impending strike at the meat packer plants would make the already tenuous supply and pricing situation even worse for the hotel, restaurant and institutional trade which now uses about 25 percent of the meat- consumed on Canada. Mr Hemming added The problem is that traditionally the trade has obtained its speciality cuts from the U S The Canadian meat industry he explained, has concentrated traditionally on supplying the supermarkets Here in Canada they don't break much beef into the special cuts needed by the restaurant trade he noted In time the Canadian m- dustrv could probably adjust to meet all the needs of the H. R and I trade he said Heavy monitoring seen for N-help New York Times Service WASHINGTON In extending nuclear assistance to Egypt the United States will rely on international controls as well as special Reception in Syria is 'muted' DAMASCUS (AP! Presi dent Nixon promised increased arms aid to Saudi Arabia today and then came to Syria for an important third stop on his tour of the ?vliddle East The public reception here was muted Nixon and his wife were officially welcomed by President and Mrs Hafez Assad at the Damascus airport American safeguards to assure that none of the nuclear materials is diverted to the production of atomic bombs Despite the immediate anxiety expressed in some quarters officials of the state department and Atomic Energy Commission expressed confidence that co operation with Egypt in the peaceful development of atomic power would not lead to Egyptian possession of nuclear weapons In large measure, their confidence rested on the effectiveness of an elaborate svstem of safeguards and inspections developed first by the United States and more recently by the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent the diversion of fissionable materials into the manufacture of weapons Oil price drop said unlikely QUITO, Ecuador (AP) Ministers of the world's major oil-exporting countries meet today to set petroleum prices for the next three months Most observers expect prices for the period to remain unchanged I don t believe that a Sewage report facing council NICK URKEWICH g ALEX JUMARCHUK MIKE STELMACHOVICH A relatively heavy agenda including major reports on the city sewage treatment plant and West Lethbridge financing face city counci1 following its public hearing on the power plant Mondav The power plant hearing is to start at 7 p m and two hours has been set aside for it. after which council will tackle its regular agenda engineering director Randy Holfeld is proposing further amendments to the city sewage bylaw, including a 25 per cent increase in the monthly sewage charge to domestic users bringing it to 50 per month The main provisions in his recommendations to council are aimed at industry, however, as were previous bvlaw amendments late last %ear which increased grease surcharges to industry and provided for the installation of automatic samplers at industries The citv has had continuous with its secondary sewage treatment plant ever since il was constructed 3973 at a cost of 6 million Mr Holfeld says in his report the plan} has conformed to provincial .sJandards for release of efJJucnts into the nver onlv aboul 30 per cent of the time. 1hr main reason being the shock loads from mduslrv which arlect the sewage plant s biological process In Februarv this vear the plant loadings hit an all-time high with Ihe dailv average loading including weekends reaching a level of thai of a nU of 200 000 the report savs In response 1o chronic poor performance 1hr cilv received loiter from the provincial omironmcnl department in Mdfoh 1ha1 if the situation not improve Oct 31 the city will be asked to take further measures to irvade plant performance There has been talk of a major plant expansion costing 5 million being necessary unless the industrial sewage load is reduced Mr Holfeld says in his report that large capital expenditures will be necessary unless industry can be made to give its waste water significant pretreatment before discharging into the city sewage system He is proposing suffer surcharges and stricter limits on the amounts and kinds of sewage industries will be allowed to dump into the city s> stem The surcharges are not intended to generate revenue for the citv, he savs. but simph to achieve a more effective and expedient method of compliance than court action reduction of prices is possible said Valentin Hernandez Acosta the Venezuelan oil minister before the start of the three- dav meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Saudi Arabia the world s leading oil exporter has called for a decrease in prices to lessen the economic burden skv rocketing oil prices have had on both industrial and developing countries in the last nine months But Saudi Oil Minister Ahmed Zaki Yamini was reported to be meeting stiff resistance from other oil ministers opposed to a reduction Some countries were reported lobbying for a price increase The 13-member OPEC, whose members account for 80 per cent of the world s petroleum exports froze oil prices last January and extended the freeze for three months in March in what a spokesman described as a goodwill gesture toward the oil-consuming countries Seen and heard About town Police Chief Ralph Michelson he lets his inspectors talk to the press because it keeps him out of trouble Local legion members chuckling at member Father Bruce Field being selected for personal search while at Toronto airport Inside 34 Ivoral 29 then Henry pretended he'd leave Good gag, LOW TONIGHT 55, HIGH S3. CONTINt ING HOT ;