Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

Sense and Nonsense: The Endako Mine Strike- 1979

Once upon a time Mother Goose laid an egg
On a hill, near a tiny hamlet which nestled
Beside a beautiful lake. The egg was not golden,
(In fact it was a dirty grey in colour) but the people
Were happy because the egg was valuable,
And this meant prosperity throughout the land.

The hamlet grew until it became known
As an “Instant Town.” The people drove daily
To the hill, to mine the molybdenum
Which was what the egg was made of. They
Worked for a company that knew a good egg
When it saw one. It already had a basket of eggs
From all parts of the world.

One day the workers decided that their share
Of the company egg was too small.
On Valentine’s Day, instead of sending out cards,
They set up pickets.

Jack and Jill worked on the hill,
They’ve not been there for ages,
Jack left town, but Jill’s around,
On strike for higher wages.

The strike which was really a non-strike
Because the company continued to operate,
Went on…..

Placer, Placer, moly reaper,
Had a crew, but couldn’t keep ‘er
It stayed within its pumpkin shell,
And mined its moly very well

The people in the town were no longer happy,
Even those who continued to work were unhappy,
There was bitterness and frustration
Throughout the land.
The small “piece of the egg” still being shipped
Became very valuable.

Little Jack Horner sat in his corner,
Eating his Co-op food pie,
He sat on his bum and felt rather dumb,
As the trucks filled with moly rolled by.

The winter snow melted, spring and summer passed,
And now it was autumn,
Soon it would be winter again,
The people gathered in the town,
Everyone agreed that, “Something should be done.”

Cries of “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,”
Were heard throughout the land
The M.L.A. valiantly jumped over the candlestick,
But the strike went on and on.

And now children, since this is a fairytale,
It MUST have a happy ending,
Therefore I shall invent one and hope it comes true….

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of pie,
Four hundred, eighty miners comin’ through the rye,
Now the strike was over, folks began to sing,
Relatives and neighbors are happy once again!

Note: the strike ended in October 1979




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