Flash Back Fridays
ANNE FIDDICK 1973
The day of the SPL fire, my brother Earl was working at the Gold River Pulp Mill when he fell off the top of a super tanker and broke his ankle in several places. He was taken in the ambulance, which was a station wagon type vehicle, to the Campbell River Hospital. They stopped along the way because the Lodge was on fire. The driver stopped to see if anyone was hurt or
needed help. Earl said he could feel the heat of the fire on the windows beside him as he lay in the back of the station wagon parked on the highway. It was a fearsome thing. By the time I had heard of his accident and I had set off to see him in the Campbell River hospital all I saw was wisps of smoke and the burning embers, as I drove by. The bear statue was the remaining sentinel over the disaster. It was seriously singed. My thoughts were for the safety of everyone, and then when learning nobody was hurt, that all those beautiful Indian baskets and carvings were gone in the smoke and ash, I felt badly.
An earlier memory was when Jim Boulding and others, including Tom Feely (Myrna’s cousin who used to live in Gold River) went heli-skiing on Roger’s Ridge for the exorbitant rate of $50 for the day, while Roberta Feely and I skied on the rope tow on the hill behind the Lodge. My kids were little and they had a blast and went on to love skiing. In those days in Gold River it snowed so much that the big D-8 Cat had to be used to take away the shoveled piles of snow from people’s driveways. My children went on school trips to SPL to learn outdoor skills. I accompanied some of those trips and learned a lot on the bog walk and some canoeing skills. The girls are in their 40s now and still talk about some of those trips. Even after having been mayor ofGold River for 18 years, I still found my time as Office Manager at the Lodge to be a test of my skills, enjoyable though it was. The best part was the people, those who worked there and those who visited. We had such a variety of people and skills in that ‘village’. You are the Queen of the place and Jamie the crown prince. The Boulding family was wonderful even if I did have huge debates with David!!! (Jim’s nephew, a lawyer.) It all added to the ambience of the place and the underlying feeling that it was run by good people with the best of intentions and ideals. Yes, I think that is the only reason I worked there was because the atmosphere proved that that life could be good, kind and healthy.