The first third of our teaching careers, my husband and I taught in an isolated mining town at the end of its mining life. While the ore was depleted, the spirit of the people wasn't. They depended on each other underground and in the mill, so they forged a strong bond. Also, the company town had facilities which few Newfoundland towns had in those days, such as a stadium, a curling club, a theatre, and bowling alley. It was a great place to live and raise a family.
I saw a video recently of a fly-over of the town just after the mine closed. Many of the facilities were still in place, though closed. One of the sights which made us smile was the school where we worked those early years. Lots of great memories came flooding back, of students, colleagues, friends, and our daughter's early life in a place that she loved.
Our province had denominational education in those days and we were hired to work in the Roman Catholic system. The school had a nun as principal and other nuns were on staff. The Church, school, convent and rectory were all in the same block which was the epicenter of our lives. These facilities were paid for by the Catholic families, who had deductions taken from their salaries to cover the cost. The facilities were long paid for by the time we arrived in the community.
Church-lower left, convent behind church, school-behind the cars, rectory to the left
Some young families did leave the community when the mine closed, including ours. We moved an hour away, to a paper mill town which was larger and on the Trans Canada highway. Today, in Buchans, only the church is left on the block where the school, convent and rectory had been. But the community lives on, smaller but spirited and strong.
Note: the photo is taken from the video and is blurred as a result.