August 8, 1998
- Leslie Robertson and Mary Giuliano
(Italics - Leslie Robertson) (A - Dick Guzzi) A1 - Dalia
Q: Did you hear about the mines a lot from your
A: Oh yeah, yeah he was the one he was working
the mines and he used to come home and he used to
tell us how things were there and all that kind of stuff and I
always used to say - and then he said to me once listen when you
get bigger and getting to be a teenager and your going to be
finished school dont work in the mine he says - he said keep
away from the mines. A lot of better places and more money to be
earned than going there.
Q: Did your dad work in the mine Dalia?
A1: Definitely 40 years.
Q: Forty years? Also at Coal Creek?
A: Yeah. Yeah. Cause my dad worked in the mine for -
he didnt work that long - my dad worked probably maybe 20 some
odd years and then being that he was in the store - my grandma
had the business thats what he went into - he went into the
grocery business and then he built the house onto the store and
all that kind of stuff as we were growing up and heck we just
had a good life.
Q: When did he open the store Dick cause I remember
here in 1953 but it was here way before that?
A1: Oh yeah.
Oh yeah it was way before that.
Q: In the forties - thirties?
A: Yes way way back into the thirties yeah.
A1: Because uh when they were kids - Mike and them
went away to work thats his brother and they sent him money to
start it up again during the Depression.
A: Yeah thats right.
Q: So he started even before the Depression then if
they were helping him out.?
A: Yeah. Yeah.
A1: Then they closed it and then they opened it again.
Q: None of your family did go - none of your brothers
and sisters or your brothers went into the mine did they?
A: Uh Mike went.
A1: Oh Mike went yeah.
A: My brother Mike was the only one in our family that
went uh in the mine and my brother Johnny and the rest of us uh
they said they were kind of scared getting into the mine you
know they figured - they had a lot of
explosions in the mine
those days. A lot of guys were killed and thats what kept them
away. But well the guys that needed money and this and that they
went in and a lot of them didnt...
Q: They never had much choice did they?
A1: No. No in those days....
A: ... a lot of them didnt make it - they were doing
the work underground in the mine and a bloody big bump would
come and some of them got buried alive and all that kind of
This oral history transcript is extracted from the
Elk Valley Italian Oral History Project undertaken for the Fernie and District Historical Society
in 1998-99. The
Heritage Community Foundation and the Year of the Coal Miner Consortium would
like to thank Leslie Robertson and the interview team and the Fernie and District Historical Society,
which is a member of the consortium, for permission to reprint this material.