February 2008

Mining in Canada

A personal history

By Peter Nowosad

This is the true story of one man’s arrival in Canada, his experiences stemming from a career in the Canadian mining industry, with vivid descriptions of people, places, and technologies. The author, Peter Nowosad, has been retired since 1986 and has travelled extensively with his wife Michaelene. Nowosad is also the author of With Ukraine in my Heart, written in Ukranian and published in 2005.

Mining in Canada: a personal history is being published on the CIM web site as a series of articles starting September 2007.


It was a cold winter and the road wasn’t very good because it was snow-covered and very icy. On the first day, I made it to Saskatoon, where I stayed with my parent in-laws. The following day I drove through Regina to the army camp named Shilo, in Manitoba, where I stayed with my cousin Martha. Her husband, Willard Farnell, was in the army. They had one daughter, Esther, who wasn’t yet in school. It was very icy from Regina to the Manitoba border – like a skating rink. Travel was extremely difficult and slow; many vehicles were in the ditch. By the time I arrived at Martha’s it was late evening.

I left the next day and by-passed Winnipeg, as I was pressed for time. I had promised the mine authorities that I would be there that day. The road to Lac du Bonnet was fine, free of ice and snow. However, after Lac du Bonnet, it was very difficult and I was confronted with heavy snow in this bush country. I drove in the middle of the road so that I would not end up in the ditch; there were no fresh tracks to follow. Somehow, in the snow, I missed the turnoff and came upon a country store. I parked the car and went in. As soon as I entered, an older couple said to me, “You missed the turnoff to the mine?” I said yes and they sent me back 16 miles, which, though not too far, proved tiresome and I was disgusted. At least the couple, who were Ukrainian, had given me a hot coffee and something to eat, as well as a souvenir calendar.

Download Mining in Canada Part 4.

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