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Robert C. Lothian and
Ivy Robinson Lothian

Our Treasured Heritage
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 406-407
by Hannah Lehnert

Robert C. Lothian arrived in Lethbridge (at the time, known as Coalhurst) Alberta in 1910. He left Chesterhill, Scotland, as life was hard, working in coal mines, which he did from the age of twelve years.

He began working for the C.P.R. laying tracks for the railroad. He could tell many stories of the hard work, inclement weather, and problems with rattlesnakes. Soon after, he worked as a postman in Lethbridge. However, the lure of the mines took him back to the Coalhurst mine.

As with many young men, World War I sparked his patriotism for his country, and he enlisted in the army in 1915. He served with the 39th Battery C.EA., and spent the next years in the trenches in France. He was left with fond memories of the comradeship of the men who had served in the 39th.

After Armistice Day, he returned to Coalhurst and married Ivy Robinson in 1920. She was the daughter of William and Mary Anne Robinson, who had come to Coalhurst in 1913 from Crofton, England, to farm in the area.

Bob and Ivy Lothian settled in the "Wigan" district, and spent happy years working at the mine, and raising a family. All the kids remember going to school, facing the west wind with red ashes blowing in their faces. Water was hauled from taps in the back lanes of the town houses. A barrel of drinking water was a precious commodity. Of course, every evening had a wood-chopping and coal-carrying session for the old kitchen range. In the mornings, ashes had to be cleared away.

Soon the mine began having problems, and a nine month strike by the miners had a real effect on the town. After the settlement the men would spend their time in the Union Hall, hoping to be called in for a shift. Many times, that would happen too seldom, and the economy was tough.

Then of course, a real disaster happened in 1935 when there was an explosion in the mine. Due to the fact that Bob was not called in for shift, his life was spared.

As the mine did not re-open, we were forced to move the house to Shaughnessy, and gain employment - again in the mine.

When World War 11 broke out, Bob again enlisted to serve his country. He served with the Veteran's Guard from 1939-1945. He returned to Shaughnessy, and the mine, until his death in 1950.

Ivy Lothian moved to Lethbridge where she has enjoyed an easier life, and will celebrate her 81st birthday this year, living in Halmrast Manor.

Ivy and Bob had seven children, of which there are six survivors. Their oldest daughter, Jessie, married and lived in Macleod and Pincher Creek, until she died in 1974.

Two daughters are residing in Lethbridge. Their youngest daughterrecently moved to Calgary, after spending many years in Lethbridge.

One son is employed with Greyhound in Lethbridge; and another son resides here, employed with A.G.T. Another son has been employed with the Gas Co. in Taber for many years.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup