Poem: Mining Days of Clinton Creek
by Valerie Robertson
The mining town of Clinton Creek,
Lies nestled near the mountains,
It cannot boast a Taj Mahal,
Or ancient Roman fountains,
Olympic sites or lakes of blue,
Or shores of golden sand,
Its good old plain asbestos,
That is buried in this land.
Twas back in nineteen sixty eight,
The mine began to pay,
A handful of brave hearty souls,
As ever came this way,
Dug in their heels and laboured hard,
Determined to succeed,
Thus our community was born,
And proud we are indeed.
That first cold winter came the flu,
And everyone was low,
A quarantine existed
And the pace was rather slow,
There were no friendly meetings,
Round a bowl of Christmas cheer,
As most folk lay near deaths dark door,
Praying theyd see next year.
Then Spring arrived one day in May,
And with it came the bears,
The ladies, though alarmed at first
Soon overcame their fears,
They knew that living in the wilds
Was quite a different thing,
And each one vowed, come rain or shine,
Theyd take what life may bring.
One day it was announced with pride,
That Trudeau would be here,
And all the town turned out to see
The man they all held dear,
It looked like Ascot on that day,
And each was dressed to kill,
But Mr. Trudeaus casual dress
Has got us talking still.
Unfinished houses proved to cause
More problems than enough,
How long was one supposed to take?
This pioneering stuff,
No floors, no sinks or countertops,
Each washing day was cruel,
The only water to be had
Was mixed with diesel fuel.
Now shopping was a pleasure
In those days long since gone by,
You simply gave your order
To a most congenial guy,
That four-pound roast you asked for
And were hoping would suffice,
Turned out to weigh near six pounds
But you paid the four-pound price.
The sun shone long in Clinton Creek,
And rain was very rare,
Yet when it came, confusion reigned
For mud was everywhere,
Each careful step would sink you deep
Down in the permafrost,
It dried up fast, but till it did
Serenity was lost.
The ladies formed a friendly group,
And met to choose a name,
Ideas flowed and days passed by
Before the answer came,
The Petticoat Circle was their choice,
And even to this day,
The name still stands, and ladies meet
The same informal way.
If trees could talk, the poplars here
Would have great tales to tell,
Of happy times, of problem times,
The funny times as well,
And when the ore has all been mined
And weve gone separate ways,
Theyll stand as silent sentinels of Clintons mining days.
Contributed by Bernadette Bajo
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