Hunter family float honours their mining past | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Hunter family float honours their mining past


    Trailing the Atlas Coal Mine and The Mail’s floats in the Canada Day parade was a family inspired to celebrate the coal dust in their blood.

    Three generations of the Hunter family showed up in Drumheller on July 1 from all over Alberta after learning about George Hunter months before.
    “We recognized in the celebrations something that was a big part of our family story,” says Carol Hunter, daughter to George who worked at the Midland Mine and Atlas Coal Mine in Drumheller.
    On April 30 and May 1, the four generations of Hunters came to Drumheller to learn more about where George worked and walked. Carol Hunter says much appreciation and insight was gleaned about her grandpa and grandma’s story and the “coal town roots that we cherish”. They returned July 1 to lend their support to the Mining Centennial celebrations.
    There were three generations present on their float, who think they represent the pride of a lot of mining families in Drumheller.
    “We really think the line from the song The Men of the Deeps says a lot about what has happened as a result of linking up with mining family celebrations.”
    There are 105 descendants from the original Hunter family of Winnie and George.
    Carol’s paternal grandfather and his brothers came from Scotland in 1912 as mining engineers. Her grandfather worked as a mine inspector in various mines across Alberta, including the ABC Colliries in Drumheller. Her mother's father, William E. Clark came from Nova Scotia and also worked in the Drumheller mines until he sustained an injury.
    “My mother’s uncle perished in a methane gas explosion in the mine. My father George Hunter worked in the Midland Mine in 1937 and later retired from the Atlas Mine in the early ‘60’s,” says Carol.
    Other connections in the Hunter mining family story include Carol’s aunt, Pat Vansen, who worked in the mine offices as a bookkeeper. Other families they have connected with through marriage are the Jack Barrie family of East Coulee, the Contenti family of Drumheller, and the Gallagher family in Drumheller.

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