Interviewee ID: 990113
Parent's name: Damdinsüren
Year of Birth: 1942
Occupations: engineer, retired
Notes on education:
Born in: Bayan-Uul sum, Govi-Altai aimag
Lives in: Nalaih sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: trade worker
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Baldorj please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090205A with Baldorj by Ariun-Undrah
Baldorj was born in 1942 in Bayan Uul sum in Gobi-Altai aimag. He was Damdinsüren's eldest son. His childhood was spent studying in elementary and secondary school. Graduating from the Vocational School of Telecommunications in 1960, he arrived as a senior technician at the Telecommunication Office of Bayanhongor aimag. He worked there for 2-3 years, and received a call to study at university, and then went to Ulaanbaatar. But he could not study in university due to his family’s demands and circumstances. He started working as a head for the mining communication office at the Nalaih mine in 1963. Meanwhile, he became a miner, because he wanted to become one. Completing his study in mining, he held a position called norm organizer in the mining salary sector for 2 years. During that time, the Nalaih coal industry was extended and increased its capacity, and transformed to Nalaih mine. This mine was the first hearth, in other words, the only center that supplied fuel, electricity, and warmth to the capital city, Ulaanbaatar.
A big section that was called the united repair-shop, a main point of all work in mining, was established and Baldorj was appointed as director there. It began with 40 Soviet professionals and over 200 Mongolian workers. Baldorj worked there for 6 years and then went to study in the Karaganda Institute in what is now Kazakhstan that trained mining directors. Moreover, he went many times to take refresher or follow-up courses in several mines in the Soviet Union, Poland, and Germany. After that he became a vice director for industry at the mine and retired in 1990 when democratic revolution occurred. After retiring he was invited to meet Jigjid who was a State-Honored worker of industry and Minister of Fuel and Electricity at that time and was asked to help to set up a surface mine in Arhangai aimag because only two aimags did not have coal mining, namely, Zavhan and Arhangai. Then he went to Arhangai together with 30 skilled and knowledgeable people, worked for 3 years and opened the Arhangai mine in Ih Tamir sum.
Summary of Interview 090205B with Baldorj by Ariun-Undrah
Before Nalaih coal mine was established in 1922, there was plain steppe there that had no animals except marmots. At that time a Chinese man called Bayansan, a person called Barnei, and an old man enclosed a piece of land together and settled down there. It is said that since that time, many people with their family from every corner of Mongolia moved to there in order to work in mining, consequently, a big village called Nalaih was established.
Baldorj got married in 1970 and raised a family. His wife worked for the education sector her entire life. They have 3 children. His wife was mainly responsible for all the household affairs because Baldorj had no time to shuffle around the home making it cozy for his family when he was working for the mine. Sometimes he was away for 20-30 days, and his little children asked their mother about their father, and he missed his children a lot. Difficulties like this occurred many times in his life.
For him, the most difficult thing was that a variety of accidents happened in mining. Baldorj went to the accident sites in person because he was mining industry director. Working deep in a mine is hard. Miners used a self-contained air respirator because there was no air deep in the mine. Igniting fire in such environment was strictly prohibited. If there is a spark, it will mix with the air and cause an explosition. One of other difficulties is water. If water pours into the shaft of mine when miners are working underground, miners are at risk of death in the flooded mine. Generally, water and fire are the most dangerous factors. Miners who worked in such condition became brave hearted and patient men.
An accident that occurred when he worked there left an unforgettable trace in his life. Once he was called after a collapse at the coal mine and several miners were trapped there. He entered into the depths of the mine and it was not possible to have light. It was dangerous. But one of people who went together with him used a light occasionally and his one eye lost sight forever because he was looking directly at the light. Even though he was injured in such a way, he liked his work and the mine, and he kept working there until he retired in 1990.