Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The George Rollingson Mine

 In 1902 my Grandfather George Rollingson with his brother John journeyed to Canada from their homeland of Northern England. Coal miners these men were. In fact George had been a coal miner since he was 9 years old. They ended up in Southern Alberta in a place called Coalbanks, later to be called Lethbridge. After grievance with an employer, they returned to England to take on wives and start their families, only to heed the call to once again to return to Canada in 1913. This time to establish their own mines. Coal mining was a life long venture for George till he hung up his pick at the age of 74.
While in Hungary a few years ago I received an email from a descendant of John Rollingson by the name of Bea Crawford. She had heard that I had written and published a book "Oh those Rollingson Boys" and wished a copy which I was only too willing to oblige. She also told me that she had a painting of the John Rollingson Mine painted by my sister Dorothy Peterson and that she understood it to be one of a pair, the other being the George Rollingson Mine (my grandfather). I was totally unaware of such a painting. I remember the mine of which she spoke from my childhood days. I had to track down that painting. My sister had passed on many years ago, however her daughter Connie had her remaining paintings stashed away in a storage facility. It was eventually found and I dibbed possession. Before doing so, I had Connie who is also an artist in the family, inscribe a excerpt from grampa's journal. I have since framed the painting as you see here. It has been a real family project and it is a priceless family heirloom now hanging in my Star Valley home. The painting is of George's Mine painted in 1968, now a ghost mine in the coulee above the confluence of the St Mary and Old Man River in Southern Alberta.