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Jimmie Robb and his friends, Merrit BC, 1908

the comparable shack he lived in for years with his coal-miner colleagues in Merrit, BC, on Vancouver Island. The year is 1908 - one hundred years ago this spring. He had travelled here from Scotland in hopes of a better life. After he moved the family to Drumheller, Alberta, he became a union activist, the first president of the UMWA in Drumheller, my mother said. In this picture, at 23, he was already an experienced coal miner, having been pulled out of school at 14, which, he told my mother, made him cry himself to sleep at night for two weeks.

© Roy Brander, P.Eng 2008