Thursday, September 1, 2011


On the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the town of Glacé Bay holds this areas rich and colorful coal mining history. I wasn't sure if a mining museum would be of any interest but with a guided tour of the Oceans Deeps Colliery, an underground coal mine, led by a retired miner, I gained an appreciation of the difficult life of the people of this area in the years around 1932. Donned with hard hats and capes to keep our clothes clean we walked deep into a mine shaft, the headroom becoming less and less till we were hunched over in the 4 foot tunnel. It was becoming a little claustrophobic, but the stories of one who had worked long, backbreaking hours in dangerous conditions for minimal wages kept me stumbling along on the tour. A delightful moment was coming across a flower garden down deep in the mine shaft which had become a place of tranquility for the weary miners.
A bonus at the end of our day was getting last minute tickets to hear the "Men of The Deeps", a choir of miners whose songs resonate with the hard life, the catastrophes, the family life and the comaradarie that came from their experiences.

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