My Genealogy and History Page of


Utility Coals Ltd
Boundary Mine


 NO Reproduction in Whole or in Part, on ANY, and ALL of my Pages,
 Including Text and Pictures,
 May be made, without the express Written Permission
 of Web Editor, Doug Gent

As early as 1937 Fred Mannix & Co. Ltd. out of Calgary AB,
had contracts for stripping work in the Estevan area.
Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SPC), started
exploring coal reserves in the late summer of 1952,
in the area of what is now, Boundary Dam.
So named, due to the close proximity to the American border.
In the fall of 1956, SPC called for tenders
to supply coal to the new Boundary Dam Power Station.

Alberta Coal Ltd,
 formed and owned by the Mannix family,
bid on the job, and were successful.
Sheldon (Si) A. Fraser was appointed President.
Utility Coals Ltd, a wholly owned Subsidiary,
was formed in early 1957,
 with C.F. (Chuck) Doerr (General Manager)
With Si Fraser, Chuck Doerr, W.J. (Bill) Blackstock,
(the Chief Engineer) and Homer Bish (Mine Manager),
they started from the beginning.
They started production in 1958
In 1959:
Head Office was 340-7th Ave., Calgary AB
with an Estevan, Saskatchewan Office, ph# MErcury 4-3433
In 1967:
PO Box 760 Estevan Saskatchewan
Louie H. Carriere, Mine Manager
In 1973:
Shown as Manalta Coal Ltd,
Utility Mine Office- Estevan Sask
Head Office 300-9th Ave. SW Calgary AB
Klimax mine is now listed with Utility Mine
under Manalta Coal Ltd.
under the Loram Group of Companies

At Boundary Mine, Utility Coals Ltd, in 1970
they were using the 70 ton coal Haulers,
which can carry an entire rail car load at a time.
These were loaded with a
 170B shovel, with a 10 cubic yd bucket,
a 100B 5 cubic yd shovel,
and a 120B 6 cubic yd shovel
maintaining a stockpile of coal
 of approx 125,000 tons
at the Boundary Dam plant
In 1970 they had 6 of the 70 ton Euclid Coal haulers

Mannix had a long term contract to work this mine,
which was owned by SPC.
The Klimax Mine they owned outright.

View of the Utility Coals Ltd. Maintenance shop
 in March 1957,
shortly after the shop was built.
In the background is the
Boundary Dam Power Plant
operated by SPC.

Proof my dad actually worked at the mine
this picture was taken Aug 1959.
L-R- Bob Lamy, (Groundhog)
Reg Matthias (Driver)
Cliff Tisdale (Carpenter)
Merv Enmark (Driver)
Bob Leslie (Welder)
Phil Gent (Flagman) (and my Dad)
Morrell Ewaski (Machine Shop Foreman)

After many years as flagman,
my Dad became the Watchman Janitor
in the shop pictured above, until he retired, Feb 29,1977
I was only in that shop a few times, many years ago
as a small boy, but I remember that door and that clock
like it was yesterday.  funny how a picture will trigger
a long lost memory.

My Dad, Phil Gent, leaving the Utility Coals Ltd office in 1963
That Utility Coal sign would have been painted by him.
He hand painted many signs for the mine.

Dave James, Homer Bish, Dick Wilsey
inside the 20 Cu Yd Bucket of the 750B shovel

Homer Bish in the center of this picture
was the Mine Manager, who hired my dad.
Him and his wife Lenore, were renting my Mom and Dad's
new house at 837 Isabelle St in Hillside
from 1957 to July 1958,
when we moved into the same house.
He was a very good boss, and a kind man.
Our family stayed friends with the Bish family
up until their passing.
on the left edge you can see his station wagon
which appears in many of these photos
Wished I had that today!
Homer was one of the 4 Bish Brothers
who operated a coal mine in the
Forestburg, Galahad area of Flagstaff County,  Alberta.
Bish Brothers and LeGear mine at one point.
Tipple of the Bish mine was on NW 6- 41- 15
It was sold to Luscar Company in 1949
There is still members of the Bish family living in this area.

Homer Bish
b- Feb 15, 1917
d- ?
First child of Fred Bish and Emma Bish, nee Smith
who were married Mar 18, 1916

Mildred (Mrs. J. M. Whyte),
Twins: Grant Bish and Barbara Bish,
Denver Bish,
Walter Bish
Twins: Bill Bish and Mabel Bish (Mrs. Don Black),
 Austia Bish (Mrs. Bruce Palmer)

Homer worked in Trail BC in 1937
He met and married Lenore there.
Lenore Bish, nee ?
b- ? , possibly in Trail BC
d- 1995 in Alberta

Homer and Lenore had 3 daughters:
1. Marilyn Bish
b- ? , Trail BC

2. Carol Ann Bish
b- ca 1942 in Galahad AB,
d- June 2005, age 63
living in in Peace River AB, when she passed away
 Carol attended ECI, married Larry Rohatyn

3. Susan Bish
b- ?, Galahad AB

1939 Homer moved back to Alberta
 to work on his father's coal mine
1952 became Manager at Forestburg Colleries.
1957 moved to Estevan, Manager of Utility Coals.
1962 moved to Alberta as Manager of Manalta Coal's Wabamum mine.
1974 left Manalta Coal
 joined Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SPC) as manager of mining,
where he retired Feb 28, 1982.
Homer and Lenore lived in Stony Plain AB

Homer's Grandfather Austin Bish
Grandmother- Amelia Louise Bish
Grandparents came to Alberta  in 1905 from Ashland Oregon, USA

Utility Mine Manager, 1979, Mr. W. F. Kelly

My Da's 1958 and 1971 time card
My Dad was there in 1958
For the first load of Coal
to Boundary Dam,
and in 1971
 when they last used this style of time card.
$1.55/ hr in 1958  and $3.45/hr in 1971

Wide Brim Aluminum hat
my Dad wore at Utility Coals
as a Watchman Janitor
in the 1960's
These are still used today by 
Oil workers etc.
see photo above



My Dad's Final Hard Hat

Manalta Coal Ltd
and his name P.Gent
in red dymo tape.
worn when he retired
and noted on front
with his retirement date
of Feb 28, 1977


Utility Coals (1978) Ltd.
My Dad's Hat




Return to Main Estevan Index Page Return To Top Of  Page Go to Utility coals next page


No Reproduction in Whole or in Part may be made
without the express Written Permission
 of Doug Gent

Page created by Doug Gent 2016
Revised June 16, 2008

Quick Links
Personal Family Pages
SE Sask. Web Pages / Dad's 1927 Map of SE Sask. / Hillside Public School
Estevan Collegiate Institute / Nor-West 1904 Newspaper / Terrace BC
BC Tel Terrace District History / Contact page