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From Underground to Over the Top

Bill Roberts

I have always had deep admiration for miners. It’s a hard, dirty, often dangerous way to earn a living. Just ask Bill Roberts of Kimberley, British Columbia. Bill spent 36 years working underground as a hard rock miner in the Sullivan Mine until it closed in 2001. My wife, Aline, and I met Bill and his wife Sandra while on a ten day Baltic Sea cruise. It was our good fortune to be seated at their table throughout the cruise. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Bill briefly attended Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Saskatchewan. He tried out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders but says "I was too short and too slow."

He heard they were hiring miners in Kimberley and that’s where this story really begins. By his own admission he was not consumed with a passion to achieve. His one underlying interest was in capturing the stories of his fellow miners. How did they get there? He searched for insights into their lives. He was like a curious sponge.

Over the years he tape recorded interviews with these unknown, yet most interesting people. Bill felt he had to someday share their unique stories with the public.

He decided to write a book of their experiences for posterity, a contemporary document for present and future generations to read and learn from.

Bill soon experienced the cold shoulder of rejection from publishers across Canada. "Nobody cares about miners" was their collective response. So he did what good achievers do. He and Sandra pooled their resources and self published "The Best Miners in The World", 330 pages of interesting stories and pictures. How did he feel seeing his dream become a reality? "It was a dream come true to see these everlasting personal stories in print. It was not so much for me, but for all of the miners that went before."

His advice for others facing rejection "Don't be daunted by the reaction of others. Follow your heart."

And that is why Bill Roberts is a Canadian Achiever

Learn more about Bill Roberts at

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Next week enjoy the story of the worlds greatest blind athlete.  He is another Canadian Achiever.
Additional information:  
Bill Roberts book “The Best Miners In the World, Stories from Canada’s Sullivan Mine” available through better book stores or

Contact Bill Roberts by email

Another miners site to visit is


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