Frank Dyrgas

Written by Canmore Museum

Born April 10, 1891. Died October 21, 1961. 

Frank came to Canada from Poland in 1914. He worked at the coal mines in Blairmore, Frank and Coleman, before moving to Bankhead. Later, he came to Canmore and worked in the coal mine for forty years. He met Rose Gilowski (a coal miner’s daughter) and they married June 25, 1923.

Frank and Rose had ten children, all of whom were born in Canmore (Prospect): Mary, Mike, Tony, Elsie, Frances, Caroline, Pauline, Frank, Leon and Joe. All of the Dyrgas boys worked for Canmore Mines, plus sons-in-law Al Love, John Armstrong (he was killed in the mine in 1976) and Henry Ullrich. Also, before the mine closed in 1979, three grandsons of Frank were  employed there. They were Bart Ullrich, Greg Love and Darrell Dyrgas.

Including the Gilowski and Dyrgas families, the men contributed a total of 283 years at the Mines #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Wilson Mine. The entire Dyrgas family were very hard working, very community spirited and always volunteered their help towards any project. Frank Dyrgas was very talented, not only as a hard working miner but as a super gardener (he had the largest garden in Canmore), a great shoe repairman, sharpened any saw and knives for co-workers, and when he had time, helped many people to build their homes, sheds and outhouses. 

Frank was a great father, generous with everyone, strict with his children and a very caring and clean man. He gave his heart to Canmore Mines and his soul to the “Company Store”.

Dyrgas 283 years of service

from left Mike, Tony, Frank, Carol, Leon, Pauline, Joe, sitting Frances, Elsie

Frank Sr. and Rose Dyrgas, June 1923

Dyrgas girls from left back Elsie, Frances, Mary, Carol; front Rose (mother), Pauline

Dyrgas boys from left Mike, Tony, Joe, Leon, Frank

In Canmore Seniors at the Summit, ed. Canmore Seniors Association, 2000, p. 62-63.

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