Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
16 _ THE LETHBRIOGE HERAID Tuetday, OcloW 3, 1972 Coal, the black gold thnt has been a way of life for thousands of persons in the Crow's Nest Pass, was also responsible for the formation of Colcman, a busy centve of activity for citizens on the west end of a ch a in of four towns on the southern route to the coast. Coal was mined in the area as early as 1885 but there was no serious development until 1893 when the Cantulini! Pacific Railway was completed linking Coleman with and Nelson, British Columbia. No agriculture The lowu-ship survey for man was complete idn 1900 ami Ihe town surveyed in 1003. In- corporation took place the fol- lowing year and in 1005 the first school was I) nil t. With only one square mile of black soil in the Coleman reg- ion, agriculture is non-existant. An average annual rainfall of 19 inches would support crops but the terrain makes it impos- sible. Major John Holyk is a prime example of the t o w n spirit which is a trademark of the Crow's Nest Pass residents. He lives and breathes the Pass nnrl Coleman in particular, and, aided by the relatively small size and density of the popula- tion, knows pracficalSy every- thing about the region, past and present, Employees lie heads a six-man council consisting of Ted Kryczka, .loo Kmiry MLsura, Bill Skura, Graham Atkinson and Jarry Rejman. Like many other towns in Alterta, the council and mayor are elected every t'nvce years r rut her than the old system of elect ing t v.'o new councilors every year for a three-year Tneve arc permanent town employees working under town foreman Rudy aided by a part-time secretary. Four students were provided with employment from June to August under the federal gov- ernment Student Temporary Employment Program. In a unique program sponsor- ed by the town of Colcman, 12 students were employed for two-- week periods as needed in order to space the jobs throughout the readily available wo.'k force. As town secretary treasur- er John Kalpalka said, "It js a program which gives every- body i> chance to make some money." has established two bodies for participation in the operation of the town. CoLoman Light and Co. Ltd.. through foreman Ernie is responsible for the light and water system for the entire town and some cf the surrounding district. Elcclrieily The company buys electricity from Calgary Power and sells it back to 600 homeowners in the town. Water needs are satis- fied by a reservoir above the town limits. Water is pumped from the Oldman River as need- ed to fill the reservoir and the gravity system for wafer pres- sure kecps hotnes and busi- iicsscs suppl ied. The Town of Coleman Natural GJLS System is also set up to assist in keeping the mill rate lowered. This body buys natur- al gas from Alberta and South- ern Gas Co. Ltd. of Calgary and resells it to ratepayers. Joa 31 ic gun, gas ,s y.s t e in fo 'c m a n, keeps the system in smooth operation. Coleman is situated in the centre of Improvement District No. 5. Five small com m uni- ties on the immediate outskirts of the town draw .some fits from the provided for the of Coleman. Willow Drive is the only im- provement rjjstvrict se'ilemenL not serviced. The rest all re- ceive natural gas service. Car- bondale and East Co'.eman (Bush Town) arc serviced, with, natural gas only while Grafton Tcwn and Blairmore Hoad have scwcv and water services. The improvement district is, for all intents and purposes, the trading area for Coleman. There are people living in the region that is governed from Edmonton. Citizens of the improvement district pa> the same price for services as residents of the town. With the dropping of the CP Ttail daylincr, Greyhound offers the on'; transportation, facility for the townspeople. A bus slops twice daily east and west- bound through the Pass. KufUerotf Taxi Service pro- vides rides i n the town. CP Rail and several indepen- dent trucking firms provide freight hauling service for the community. The town is growing with IS building permits issued Fo: 000 in the past year. All the streets are paved and lighting, for the streets has been install- ed. A 72-hed hospital, the Crow's Nest Pass General Hospital, is located on the western perimet- er of the town. It serves the en- tire region. Travellers The Crow's Nest Pass Con- solidated High School has a pop- ulation of 500 students from all the towns in the Pass. The Horace Allen School for Grades I to 7 lias 293 students and the Colcman Central School for Grades 1 to 3 lias ISO slu- dcnl.s. Both are located within the town. A Roman Catholic and United Church of Canada supply the re- liilious needs of the community. Four cslahlishmcnls cater to travellers. The Grand Union Hotel, the last of three original structures in town, Stop Inn rnolel and Kov.y Knesl Rabins also provide a tors. The Coleman weekly r.cws residents can movies at UK: The Canadia of Commerce Credit Union facilities. respite for visi- Journal provides coverage while enjoy modern Roxy Theatre, n Imperial Bank and the Colcman provide banking Industries Athletic events enjoyed in the town include skating, curling, tennis, baseball, badminton, basketball, hockey and horse- manship. In the immediate area, hunting and fishing is a favorite past time. Holyk said a new sub- division is the major project for ttie town now. It will pro- vide 68 new serviced lots cut out of the wilderness wilh lots of trees. Plans are in the works (or a major shopping centre also. Several Industries provide for the town. Colcman Culleries has 632 people working in the plant and office while Phillips Cable Co. employs Natal Forest Products' pole plant hxs 18 employees, Sara- toga Processing Co. Ltd. 1ms 27 and Revelsloke Lumber Co. cm- ploys 88. To fill the needs of the citi- zens, there are three butcher shops, two doctors, three gar- ages, five grocery stores, three restaurants, two shoe repair shops and one batlKr shop, howling alley, drug store, dry goods, clothing and hardware. When asked alxiut funeral par- lors, Mayor Holyk said there is one. VPeople still die here." The town is policed by the RCMP from Blairmore. Justice of the Peace Melville Cornell looks after court matters with visiting magistrate Fred ICultoi-rt. The fire brigade, formed in 1D01, is manned by 17 lire fight- ers. Fire Chief Henry Xak keens the oocrntion running smootli- ly.