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Kimberley Families

The Lindsay Family

as told by daughter Eleanor, plus excerpts from Cominco Magazine

William (Bill) Lindsay was born in Gaspe, Quebec in 1894. He received his schooling in that town and then worked as a clerk until he was encouraged to come west by his cousing, Mr. S. G. Blaylock.

In September of 1906, his first job for the Company was in the Assay office in Trail until being transferred to Rossland in November of 1907, where he was employed at the War Eagle and Centre Star Mines until 1913. From there, he went to the Silver King Mine near Nelson where he was a shift boss for two years.

In 1915, he came to Kimberley as Mine Foreman and in 1937, when Bruce Ritchie was killed in a mine accident, he became General Superintendent of the Sullivan Operations.

Bill Lindsay, affectionately called "Roarin Bill", spent over thirty-three years in Kimberley and is remembered by almost everyone. His out-standing characteristic was his intense loyalty and in his words, "Never has there been a finer mine than the Sullivan or a better hockey team than the Dynamiters". Those were his feelings about any project in the community.

On his retirement in September of 1945, friends and acquaintances of the popular superintendent came from many outside points. This gave evidence of the high esteem in which he was held by his many friends and fellow of-ficials. He was often referred to as a "Diamond in the Rough". He has been described as a keen hunter, a rabid hockey fan, an enthusiastic gardener, an excellent curler, a live bond campaigner during the war, and a dynamic personality as an Executive.

Bill married Jessie Kennedy, a well remembered school teacher in Kimberley in the early days. She was the daughter of George and Mary Kennedy of Cranbrook. George was a blacksmith, and worked in Kimberley at Taylor's Mill in the early days before it closed down.

William Lindsay, 'Roarin Bill'

When Bill was courting, he spent much time travelling to Cranbrook and often used an old hand-car on the railway for transportation, taking others with him, and at other times he rode a motorcycle.

They were married in 1916 and Eleanor's earliest memories of their first home on Howard St., in one of the Company houses by the General Office, were the Burdetts on one side and the Montgomerys on the other, chickens in the backyard and a huge swing near the old front hill.

They had five children: Eleanor, Mary, George, Robert and Edgar. Robert died at age five.

During the 1919 fire, Mrs. Lindsay drove their Overland car to Cranbrook with her two young daughters, along with Mrs. Burdett and her three children.

When Bill became superintendent, a special house was built near the McDougall Hall. It was in a beautiful setting of trees and boasted a lovely garden. Bill has been described as a tremendous family man. He was a home-loving person and took a great interest in his family and all their friends. The Mine and his home were his whole life.

Eleanor recalls a very happy childhood. Kimberley was a great community-spirited town with good schools, churches and recreation centres, and with lots of opportunities for summer and winter sports.

Eleanor met Lisle Gatenby when he was a geologist for the Company and working in British Guiana. Eleanor left Kimberley with her wedding cake in her arms and they were married in Burmuda in 1944. She began her married life in British Guiana. They returned to Canada in 1951 and Lisle has been on many more exploration jobs in B.C. At present they spend the summer months in the Yukon, where he works at Placer mining, and the rest of the time they live in their home in West Vancouver. They have four children; one daughter and three sons.

Mary trained as a nurse in Montreal and began nursing in Vancouver. She married Doug Cowen and remained in Vancouver. They had one son, John. Mary passed away in 1974.

George was killed in High River while training to be a pilot for the R.C.A.F. Edgar worked for a heavy equipment firm in Cranbrook for a time. He married Francis (Gelling) Muir and they have two children: Joy and Bill. Francis and the children still reside in Cranbrook.

Bill and Jessie Lindsay retired to Vancouver in 1947. Bill was on a hunting trip in the Kimberley area a year later when he died suddenly. Jessie remained in Vancouver near Eleanor and Mary and passed away in 1976 at age eighty-one.

"Roarin' Bill" will long be remembered by Kimberley residents for his contribution to the Community and the Mine in the formative years.

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