By Jensen, Randy on May 2, 2020.
A special flagraising in honour of Lethbridge’s coalmining past took place at city hall on Friday.
Retired miner Mike Stefancsik helped raise the new flag, depicting the statue of a coalminer which used to stand outside the Lethbridge Miners Library and is currently on display at the Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre.
Stefancsik said he raised the flag in while remembering his old friend, the late Frank Toth, a Lethbridge miner and historian, who passed away before he could see the new flag flying in front of city hall. Toth’s two daughters were on hand to watch the flag raising in his stead. Stefancsik said if things could have been different Toth should have been present to raise the flag himself, but he would do his best to stand in for him.
“I was a miner for two years in East Coulee by Drumheller,” Stefancsik said. “We don’t have too many miners. We had a couple pass away again (recently).”
Stefancsik took it upon himself to design the new flag and organize its manufacture with the help of the Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre.
“This is a flag representing the coalminers,” he explained, “from the present and the past.”
“Mr. Toth always taught that Lethbridge was made by the coalminers. At one time Lethbridge had over 100 mines here. It was a mining town.”
The distinctive image of the coalminer’s statue on a field on brilliant blue, raised on International Worker’s Day, will hang in front of city hall for the next week.
– with files from Ian Martens
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