an appreciation for mike mancinis memories of tramline and no cash

Harvey Burian evidently really enjoyed Mike Mancini's interesting and unique stories of growing up and living in a silver camp.

Harvey Burian evidently really enjoyed Mike Mancini’s interesting and unique stories of growing up and living in a silver camp.

Harvey appreciated the opportunity of being able to “share his memories of an era and location which I had the privilege of being a part.”

Thanks for this Harvey.

His letter follows:

Hi Jim (and Mike),

I really appreciated Mike Mancini’s sharing of his childhood memories of No Cash and the tramline.

My father, Renny Burian, worked for United Keno Hill Mines (UKHM) at Elsa in the machine shop as a master mechanic for more than 15 years.

We lived in Mayo, 30 miles (as the distance measurement in use in those times!) to the South, and dad drove everyday on the gravel-surfaced road to Elsa and back.

I had the privilege of also working at Elsa during the summers of 1964, 1965 and 1966, while I was a student at UBC.

I first worked as a tradesman’s helper and then as a 2nd class plumber and worked out of the same machine shop.

My dad worked under Jim McLaren and then Tony (Tramline Tony) Sgorsgelski when Jim left.

For two of the summers I worked out of the plumbing shop which was attached to the machine shop.

Two of the men I worked with were John (Plumber John) Bradko and John Ponekker.

While Mike’s father, Pete Mancini, worked on the tramline, as Mike has described, he usually ate his lunch with my dad and me in the machine shop.

I remember Pete telling us about his family and how excited he was that his wife and son had recently come from Italy.

As a young fellow, I was intrigued by Mike’s father as he would bring for lunch, what to him were probably normal lunch items, but for me were quite unique.

He usually had in his lunch bag a long loaf of bread and a long sausage, both of which he would casually cut pieces from with a long sharp kitchen knife and, much to my amazement, would then pop them directly together into his mouth to munch on.

Certainly Pete’s lunches were freshly prepared and ungarnished!

Attached to the machine shop was also the welding shop and the person I well remember from that shop was Gerry Berube who, with his wife Pat (who also worked at Elsa in the office), now lives in Whitehorse and was good friends of my parents.

Mike mentions Louis Tjemsland, who I also knew and enjoyed listing to his hunting stories.

Thanks for inviting Mike to share his memories of an era and location which I had the privilege of being a part, though on a limited basis, with many resulting pleasant memories.

Harvey Burian

Parksville, BC

Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook – Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or email through the News website,

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