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
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