News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2139
Last updateMon, 24 Sep 2018 4pm

Preparations begin for coal mining centennial


newcastle.jpg The history of Drumheller is a series of tales that have almost become legend.  Sam Drumheller stumbling on Thomas Greentree’s homestead; discovering coal seams; the mad dash to register lands to exploit the coal; the coin toss to name the community; contested land deals and trips along the frozen Red Deer River in a Model T Ford.
    A couple names that are not heard as often in the retelling of the birth of Drumheller are Garnet Napier Coyle and Jesse Gouge. These two were the first to commercially exploit the vast coal reserves in the valley, and next year will be the 100th anniversary of the Newcastle Mine.
    Linda Digby, executive director of the Atlas Coal Mine is hoping to build community support to celebrate the centennial of coal mining in the valley, and has scheduled a meeting in the near future to look at ideas.
    “The Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society preserves and presents the coal mining history of the entire Drumheller Valley, from Nacmine and Midland, up to Wayne, and out to East Coulee.  The whole Drumheller Valley was founded on coal. We believe the 100th anniversary of our founding is something to celebrate, and something to commemorate,” said Digby.
    “Drumheller, this is your story.  Let’s get together and talk about what this means to you.”
    In 1911, Coyle, who owned a hardware store in Acme, and Gouge, who owned a farm implement dealership, partnered and the first commercial coal  mine in the valley was registered.  The Rosedale Mine and the Star Mine quickly followed the Newcastle. In 1912, eight other mines opened and by 1921, there were 27 mines operating in the valley.
    The Newcastle and a handful of other predate the incorporation of the Town of Drumheller. For Digby, this is where much of the modern history of the valley begins, with the mines. It attracted business and investments in the valley as well as thousands from all over the world to eke out a living in Canada.
    Gouge was successful in business ventures, and was a community leader serving on the local Board of Trade as well as the Rotary Club. Coyle was known to have the Midas touch, had interests in a number of mines, and eventually owned both the Regent Theatre and the Napier, which still bears his name.
    The remnants of this history live on through the many institutions that celebrate the days of coal mining such as the Atlas Coal Mine, and the East Coulee School Museum. It is reflected in a historic downtown Drumheller where many of the buildings sprung up during this boom, and through the families and names that have endured for the near century since the roots of mining began.
    Digby feels it is important to mark the century since coal came to prominence, and it is important the community is involved in creating the celebrations. They are looking for ideas and involvement in creating these celebrations as well as a Miners Memorial.
    A meeting has been scheduled for Monday, March 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Civic Centre to brainstorm for ideas on how to celebrate the century of coal mining and explore the question what does coal mining mean to individuals as well as Drumheller.     

For more information, contact Linda Digby at 403-822-2220.

Cuts for Cancer smashes goal


chop-shop.jpg    In its sixth year, Cuts For Cancer hit its stride with a record-breaking result.
    The event, held on February 3 at the Chop Shop, to raise funds to help those battling cancer, was set up by Cathy Morse in memoriam of her mother who passed away fighting cancer.
    This year, it achieved its goal of raising more than $20,000 in a single day hair-cutting blitz.
    When the last hair fell, from the likes of Rod Morse and Walter Albrecht, the event raised $20,413.37, its best showing ever.     
    Cathy was elated by the results, as the pledge sheets for some of the participants whowent all out were in circulation for less than a month.
    There were 515 receipt-able donations, plus numerous others who gave out of pocket to support the cause, or just showed up for a haircut.
    More support was shown by the likes of Freson IGA and the Drumheller Co-op, which provided fuel in the form of fruit, drinks and sandwiches to keep the scissors blazing.
    The money raised by the event will be going to a fund of the Drumheller and Area Health Foundation. This fund is for people undergoing treatment at the Community Cancer Centre. Patients can apply to access the funds for financial assistance or for medical expenses. Chair of the Drumheller Area Health Foundation, Dr. Boris Nahornick, was presented with the funds at the Chop Shop on Thursday, March 4
    “100 per cent of the funds stay in Drumheller,” said Cathy.
    Although the seventh annual event is almost a year away, brainstorming on who should be on the block for next year has begun.

We Won’t Pay! fills Rosebud Theatre with non-stop laughs



Remember when comedian Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy started work at the chocolate factory with Ethel? Soon, they were doing wacky things to keep up with the assembly line.
    Every move they made escalated into even more outrageous consequences. This spring, Rosebud Theatre renews this laugh-a-minute scenario with We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! playing from March 12 to May 15.
     Director, Karl Sine, describes the show as “a wild and zany story about normal people finding themselves in extraordinary situations. The neighbourhood has erupted into a domestic revolution that feels like The Honeymooners meets I Love Lucy.
    Two crazy women and their hapless husbands are doing everything in their power to eek out a meagre existence, and if that means they have to break a few rules along the way to make ends meet, then so be it! Desperate times call for desperate measures. And after navigating through all the laughs and absurd situations, in the end, the play is really about love, friendship, family and loyalty, something we can all relate to and understand.”
    The comedy of classic television shows such as The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy had audiences doubled over with laughter. Simple antics and comments intensified tenacious situations to the extreme and created unimaginable outcomes. The humour in We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! will do the same for Rosebud Theatre audiences.
    When a neighbourhood of women revolt against the rising price of groceries at the local supermarket, two couples get swept up in the whirlwind revolution of the day. With each move, the couples get pulled deeper and deeper into a powerful vortex of utter chaos and absurdity.

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