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April 2nd, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 13
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Music for the Mine gala a hit
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
The members of MetroBeat pose before performing at the Music for the Mine fundraiser. In front are bass player John Clark, vocalist Shari Chaskin and guitarist Sid Reisner. In back are drummer Eric Brolund, keyboardist Blaine Marshall and sound technician Michael (Bilko) Bilkoski. Frank Slide, slightly shrouded in clouds, can be seen in the background.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
A bit of Crowsnest History was being played out at the 3rd annual Music for the Mine fundraising gala on Saturday.

The crowd at the M.D. McEachern Community Centre was raising money to preserve the historic legacy of the Bellevue Underground Mine.

MetroBeat, a corporate party dance band out of Calgary, was supplying live entertainment for the evening.

It turns out John Clark, the bassist for MetroBeat, has an underground legacy of his own because he says his great grandfather and namesake John W. Clark, is buried under Frank Slide.

According to Clark, his great grandfather J.W. moved to Southern Alberta during the late 1800s. He says J.W. was a miner and farmer who made the fateful decision to come out to Frank looking for work at the mine.

“He and his brother Charles came out to Frank the day before the slide,” says Clark of his great grandfather. “They wanted to meet with the manager of the mine so they could get work because they heard there were jobs available.

“They were told the manager had gone home for the day but they were welcome to spend the night in the bunkhouse. Well my great grandfather Jonathan said, “sure, yeah, we’ll do that,” and my great grand uncle Charles said “no I’ve got a bad feeling about this, I’m going to head back to the farm,” which was near Lethbridge.”

“And then at four in the morning, I guess Charles’ premonition was correct because my great grandfather Jonathan was killed and Charles was back at the farm. And now great grandpa Jonathan W. Clark is buried under 90 feet of rock somewhere near the northwest corner of the slide. They still haven’t found his body; he was one of the 12 they couldn’t find.”

“Every time I come down here, it hits home. It sends a shiver up my spine thinking about it. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Like I should go whistling through here because it’s a graveyard.”

According to a Cranbrook Herald story ‘Looks Better At Frank’, published May 7, 1903, one of the deceased was named J.W. Clark.

Clark’s group, MetroBeat is a six-piece dance band. They cover a variety of material from the music of the 50s to current hits. Their influences include The Beetles, The Beach Boys, The Eagles, The Cars, Fleetwood Mac, Chuck Berry, The Police, Elvis and the Rolling Stones.
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April 2nd ~ Vol. 84 No. 13
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