Flash Back Fridays


I worked up at the Lodge first in 1973 and had to leave to go back to Swe- den. You offered me a job and I was able to immigrate in March 1974. I worked mostly through that year and parts of the next two. I took off to go on the First Whale Voyage with Greenpeace, and again to work on the United Nations Conference on Human Habitat.

One of the things I remember best was going out to the West Coast to do a Survival Trip with Jim. We were accompanying some graduate students from SFU. It was around Easter and we ate shellfish, seaweed, and nettles. But the students lived mostly on schnapps and other sweet booze. It was stormy and we had to get the 24 foot boat into the kelp line. Jim and I had a good time watching the kids get wasted and stand around under a tarp, while we went out and collected enough food to have something to eat. I was running the Zodiac and had one ofthe best times of my life. Another time Jim went down tothe Comox Air Base to join a protest against the nuclear weapons that the Americans had stored there. Rosemary Brown was the featured speaker and we must have had two hundred in the crowd. Rosemary was an articulate black woman and for years a member of the B.C. legislature as a New Democrat. Like Eileen Dailly, she was ahead of her time and the strongest advocate in government for women. The military stood on their side of the fence and threw eggs and tomatoes at us, and Rosemary did not break stride in her talk. Jim didn’t get mad. On the way back Jim and I had some good talks – peace and ecology and all that. My kind of thing.

Doug Dobyns and his son Guy (now Richard)

Doug Dobyns and his son Guy (now Richard)

One story I would tell about Jim was that I found a Cowichan wool sweater that was made for a real giant. It would have fit an eight-foot tackle on a professional football team. I got it from some place like a Salvation Army store, but it had not been worn — must have been way to0 big for whoever it was made for. I intended to shrink it 95in hot water before giving it to Jim for Christmas but did not get around to it, so gave it to him at the Christmas Party. It was way too big and he was joking about how he would have to grow some. I said it was big enough for his ego anyway. I do not know if he ever got around to shrinking it in hot water.

My life at Strathcona was great! When I found out that Linda was pregnant I kind of started trying to make a life with her as a couple.

Things I enjoyed there: getting up early to help with breakfast, cutting fire- wood for a lot of cabins, winter trips, and the way that the crews seemed to be like a family.

Doug lived at the lodge with Linda and his children. We built them a small room but it did not have a bathroom so was not suitable for this small family. Linda had gone to high school with Margaret Sinclair, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s future wife.