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A golden legacy: The Con Employees Benevolent Fund

For over 60 years, Yellowknife was synonymous with gold. From the initial discovery of the precious metal in 1934 to the last gold brick in 2003, Con Mine would play a vital role in the growth and development of the City.

“From its earliest days the mine fostered a dynamic and vibrant community for mine employees and the fledgling city.”

“Con Mine played an important role in generations of families in the North,” said Robert Tumchewics, the last president of the Con Employees Benevolent Society. “Three generations of the Tumchewics family worked at Con Mine.”

“Con Mine welcomed members of the Royal Family three times, including Queen Elizabeth II.  Most importantly Con Mine and its employees continuously contributed to the growth of the City of Yellowknife.”

“We established the Con Employees’ Benevolent Society in 1955 as a wage replacement plan to provide benefits to our members for non-work-related sickness or accidents. It was funded and administered by the owners of Con Mine and employees,” said Robert of the Society.

As the Society evolved, joint funding continued, but the employees took over full responsibility for administration. To help ensure the sufficient funding of the Society, the employees added a separate employee funded Sick Plan.

A board of directors made up of employees from both surface and underground, simple rules and very low administration costs kept the Society in good financial condition. As new owners took over Con Mine they found the Benevolent Society to be an attractive alternative to more conventional insurance plans and the Society was always able to provide consistent benefits to its members until the last were laid off in the fall of 2006 when final operations ceased and Con Mine closed.

“With the closing of the mine and winding up the affairs of the Con Mine Employees Benevolent Society, the directors looked for a way to continue the legacy of contributing to the community.”

“In 2011 we worked with the Yellowknife Community Foundation to establish the Con Employees’ Benevolent Fund to provide scholarships to students looking at studying a trade or professional career in the mining industry.”

“What attracted us to working with the Community Foundation was knowing that the fund would last for generations and help maintain what Con Mine started.”

Learn more about the Con Employees Benevolent Fund.

About the Yellowknife Community Foundation

The Yellowknife Community Foundation was formed in 1993 to provide interested individuals and organizations with a means of supporting projects in our community for the enduring future. The Foundation is not singularly dedicated to any specific area of support. It embodies a simple concept – that people working together can make a difference for all. For more information: https://www.ykcf.ca/

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