A Kamsack man with extensive experience in pipeline work, environmental and biological engineering and teaching, began work last week as the superintendent of public works at Kamsack.
Mike Robey began work as the person with overall responsibility of operations of public works and utilities on July 6. Succeeding Brian Earl in the job, Robey is involved in the planning process, facilities replacement and personnel while the public works and utilities foremen are occupied with the day-today supervision.
“I work with the foremen to manage good communications between them and provide scope for upcoming projects,” Robey said.
A resident of Kamsack for three years, Robey was born in Toronto and raised in the Newmarket area about 60 kilometres north of the city. After graduating from the Newmarket High School in 1974, he spent the next 10 years working as a welder’s helper for an inter-provincial oil pipeline extending from Alberta to Montreal, eventually getting his “welder’s ticket.”
He then moved to Edmonton where he worked in manufacturing for a year before returning to Ontario to work as a management trainee in the steel industry in Hamilton. He moved again to work for the next three years as the project co-ordinator with EB Eddy Forest Products in Espanola, Ont. where he was responsible for upgrades. That job led to his obtaining work with a company in Russell, Man., which had him working in Eston building twin eight-inch pipelines from Lake Diefenbaker to Eston to supply Kindersley with potable water. During that time he was living in Langenburg.
By 1983, when he was about to begin work on an upgrader at Lloydminster, a downturn in the oil industry forced the rescheduling of that work so Robey decided to enrol at Guelph University where he had wanted to study environmental engineering. Because the full degree course was not yet available, he decided to study biological engineering with a minor in environmental engineering.
In 1987, he began a career of about four years in the manufacturing of plastics in Mississauga, Ont. where the company for which he was working was making polyethylene pipes measuring in diameter from two inches to 63 inches.
During the late 1980s, he obtained a six-month contract with the County of Wellington to co-ordinate landfills.
Eleven of 13 landfi lls were being shut down and Robey was employed to do the preliminary design of recycling and waste plants, receiving experience in working with solid waste management.
Robey then moved back to Alberta where he became a systems planning engineer with Nova Gas Transmission of Calgary, which was later purchased by Trans Canada Pipelines.
After about 10 years, Robey, who already had a bachelor of science in engineering degree from Guelph University, decided to fulfi ll a lifelong ambition, and enrolled at the University of Western Ontario in London to obtain his bachelor of education degree.
Certified to teach in Alberta and Saskatchewan, be began by spending five years with the Wild Rose and High Prairie school divisions in Alberta, teaching mathematics and science to high school students. Discovering that he had preferred living in rural areas as opposed to cities, he took jobs teaching First Nation students at Buffalo Narrows and Pelican Lake. He had come to Kamsack while teaching college level courses to students at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, which he had been doing until the end of June.
Single, Robey has one son, Eric who lives in Hamilton with one child and a wife who is expecting to deliver Robey with a second grandchild in October.
“I like the outdoors,” Robey said when asked about his non-work interests, and said that among the reasons he has found Kamsack to be an ideal rural home are the wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“I enjoy singing and hope to involve myself in drama,” he said, adding that he has done mechanical work at home and is resolved to soon begin to concentrate on gardening.
“I like to read and I play some guitar,” he said, explaining that his instrument of choice would have been the violin, but he soon learned that if he had wished to play the violin, he
should have picked up a bow as soon as he was born otherwise he discovered that it was much too difficult.
“I want to participate in the community,” he said, adding that he had once played hockey and enjoys cross-country skiing.
“Golfing is on my list of things to improve upon.”
“I like to learn,” he said. “The town staff is talented and credible and my goal is to assure a safe and efficient process for the community and I look forward to building good relationships in the community.”