Involvement in the Oil Industry
Bernard’s recollections of the oil industry go back to 1928-29 when their neighbor, Jack Brown, worked as a tooldresser/roughneck. Bernard’s father was interested in oil and Bernard became interested. He remembers going down to visit Jack on the job. He believes Jack worked with Charlie Mills.
Bernard got involved in the oil business through Ralph Conlon. Ralph Conlon was an independent pumper who pumped for independent syndicates. In 1948, Bernard started pumping with Ralph and also hauled oil with a trucking company called Crude Cruisers. From the fall of 1951 to the spring of 1960, Bernard pumped with Charlie Fisher.
In the fall of 1966, Bernard went to work for the Lloydminster Gas Company. He was with the company until his retirement in 1984. When he retired the Lloydminster Gas Company was still using Colony #1.
Bernard remembers when Lloydminster No. 1 came in. His father came home from church and told the family that the well had come in and they went out to see it. There were lots of people around watching. Bernard remembers O. C. Yates running around and telling people not to smoke.
It sounded like a train blowing oft steam. He believes Charlie Mills had to go to Ribstone or Dina to get the control they needed to bring it under control.
He recalls that Lloydminster No. 2 was a duster - a dry well.
Bernard also recalls watching a wooden derrick being moved from one site to another. In those days the derricks were most often dismantled and rebuilt at the next site.
At one time the Lloydminster Gas Company had prepay meters. People used to put quarters into the meter to get heat. The meters also measured consumption. There was an incident at one time when rather than using quarters or the slugs that were available from the company, someone made ice cubes the size of the slugs and inserted them into the meter. At the end of the month someone went around and gathered the money. They counted the money in each and if someone had overpaid, the collector would disconnect the meter for a certain length of time until the value of what was overpaid was used.