CPR would purchase Nova Scotia Coal
April 10, 1947 – Springhill Record
During the Board of Transports enquiry into the railways application for higher rates, the following statement was made by representatives of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which will be of interest:
“Mr. Millar said the C.P.R. buys about 2,800,000 tons of coal annually from the United States. He told Col. Ralston it would buy more from the Maritimes if “we could get it.”
It seems only a few short years ago when Nova Scotia mines were looking for coal orders and if our memory serves us correctly the Canadian Pacific bought little Nova Scotia except for its lines in the Province.
The statement by Mr. Millar, assistant general purchasing agent for the C.P.R., will be welcome today for it will not be long till Nova Scotia mines will be again “selling” coal.
Herb. Roney retires; served for 57 years
Seventy-Two-year-old Herbert Roney, one of Springhill’s grand old men, has been retired by the Cumberland Railway and Coal Company, effective April 1st. But he did not actually quit work until Saturday, Apr. 5th, having served the Company since September 1890.
“Herb” as he is popularly known throughout the town, came to Springhill with his brother Bill, long since deceased, in September 1890 when he was but 14 years of age. He spent his first day with the Company on Number Three stonebank when Rufus Shears was in charge of outside operations, and later under John McKinnon, both of whom have long since passed away.
For over two years he continued to work on the surface when he became attracted to the railroad and for two or three years dropped cars under the screens at Number Two. During his years at the screens he was occasionally employed at breaking on the line. After the Dominion Steel and Coal Company purchased the mines between 1910-11 he found himself working full time on the railroad and when he said good-bye to his fellow workers Saturday, April 5th he had completed 54 years, seven months and five days service – a record that will be hard to equal. During that time he worked under three Superintendents. Messrs. Fred Losley, Neil McDougall, and Daniel McMillan.
On Parrsboro Run
Speaking about those early days to your reporter, Mr. Roney said he had worked on the coal train that ran from Springhill to Parrsboro for about fifteen years. Well he recalls the Parrsboro road, for he was tells us he was crawling around what is now Southampton Station when the railroad was being built about seventy-one years ago. He recalls too that his first day’s braking was done under the late Arthur Paul, who was then Shunter Foreman. In those days, continued Herb, we had no automatic couplings as we have today. They were all link and pin couplings, he added. And then he told us of the trip on which the automatic couplings were tested and accepted by the Company.
Speaking of his experience on the road he mused on the train that broke away on the wharf at Parrsboro after standing for 48 hours and three or four cars running off the end of the wharf into the sea loaded with coal. Mr. Dick Lelhanty, who was in charge, filled the cars with barrels and floated them around the wharf, hooked a line to the engine and pulled them back to the railroad.
Born at Southampton
Herb Roney was born at Southampton and attended school at West Brook until he was near 14 when he began to work around the lumber mills and finally drifted into Springhill. A couple of years later his parents came to Springhill and for a number of years his father worked around the mines and in the carpenter shop.
Takes well-earned rest
So today Herb Roney is taking a well deserved rest from his labors and a host of his friends will join with The Record in wishing him many years of good health and relaxation.
This week’s five facts
76. These Springhillers are inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame for Baseball:
“Nugget” Richmond; Alfred Allbon; Bill McKay; Dr. A. “Tony” Condy; George Weatherbee; Herbert McLeod; Jack Stan Fraser; Jim “Hank” O’Rourke; Len Boss. Hockey: Bill McKay and George Weatherbee, Nova Scotia Sr. Champions with the Springhill team in 1919. Harness Racing: Bill O’Donnell. Boxing: Roddy “Big Pay” McDonald.
77. The Town’s Churches in 1899 were: Saint Andrews Presbyterian, The Latter Day Saints Church, Saint John The Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Wesley Methodist Church, United Baptist Church and the Salvation Army.
78. The first Church in Springhill was framed, by Thomas Reid, of hand-hewn timbers and great 12’ by 14’ sills. It had two entrances and three rows of pews with doors.
79. The Salvation Army came to Springhill on Jan. 20, 1886, led by Capt. Armstrong and Captain Dale. The first meeting was held in Pioneer Hall.
80. The Parish Hall was opened Christmas Eve 1891.