William (Bill) Jones was born in Lancashire, England, in 1906. One of seven children; three boys and four girls, born to Thomas Jones.
Bill started working in the coal mines at age fourteen. His eldest brother came to Canada in 1911, to work in the mine at Steller ton, Nova Scotia. His father and second brother came to the same mine in 1912. Thomas Jones returned to England when the war broke out and remained until 1919. Bill came out to Nova Scotia in the spring of 1923. By August of that same year, he was in Drumheller, Alberta.
Bill was a soccer player. He started playing in England and has played on teams in Drumheller, Edmonton, Calgary and, finally, Kimberley. Mentioned in other stories on these pages, Kimberley had three soccer teams, Top Mine, Tunnel and Chapman Camp. There was also a Town team for one year.
Joe Shaw was on the Top Mine team and he encouraged Bill to come and play for them. This was what brought Bill to Kimberley. Years later he remembers playing his last game for his team at age fifty, in Trail. He has acted as coach for junior teams over the years.
Bill once entered a boxing match to help raise funds for the teams. This was in Warren Hall at the Top Mine. The proceeds were deposited in the Company Office safe for the night. Unfortunately, the office burned down and the money was lost.
Bill was also active in First Aid and Mine' Rescue teams. He started curling in 1932 and still enj oys the sport.
He recalls his first day in town. He had to walk to the Top Mine to see the assistant superintendent, Frank Fortier. He remembers his words very well, "You are here to work in a mine, not to play football." Bill started at the Top Mine as a mucker, then went mining and worked as a barman as well. He became a shift boss in 1939 and retired from the Company in 1965.
Bill met Doreen Roskilly shortly after his arrival in 1927. He lived in the bunkhouse until their marriage in June of 1932. Their first home was in Happy Valley on the Townsite.
Bill and Doreen have two children; a son, Garfield, and a daughter, Cynthia. Garfield still resides in Kimberley and is a maintenance supervisor for the Company. He married a Saskatoon girl and they have two children, Brian and Janice. Brian is now an apprentice carpenter at Elkford. Cynthia lives in Maple Ridge, is married and has two sons, Doug and Dean.
Bill and Doreen reside in a lovely apartment on the road to the ski hill.