Flash Back Fridays

BRUCE BAIKIE early 1960s

 Dan Matthews and Bruce Baikie

Dan Matthews and Bruce Baikie

My brother Bruce was in grade twelve in the same school where Jim and I first came to teach in Campbell River. In 1958 and 1959 Bruce had worked with B.C. Hydro doing survey work and remembers the crew stayed near the Lodge, but had yet to work for his brother-in-law Jim. One of Bruce’s first encounters with the Lodge was with Jim’s boat, the Fair Isle, an attractive 24 ft. oak and mahogany Turner- built boat with an inboard Ford industrial engine. Bruce arrived at the Lodge with his friend Barry Ross and some girls to go for a boat ride only to find the boat underwater after a heavy snowfall. It was tied to the Lodge boat dock and was able to be re-floated. Another time Bruce was heading out on a fishing trip on Muchalat Inlet with two dentists, Roger Mielke and his brother.

By then, Jim had Bruce guiding on fishing trips. He also had a young staff person from the Lodge on board. The young man was sitting at the back of the boat near the transom. Some hours later, Bruce found the young man unconscious from the exhaust. Fortunately he came around with fresh air. We were lucky that he had not fallen off the boat and drowned. The dentists camped overnight, only to have the higher than normal tide come during the night and flood everything in their campsite .

There was a dry land adventure in the early 60s when Bruce tried to hike to Gold River with Jim and his friend, Dan Matthews. They traveled along the logging road on the west side of the Lake as that was all that there was. They came to a gate that was made of railway ties and was cemented in. Jim proceeded to dig it out, a challenging job. They were able to drive another 10 miles but never made it down to the logging camp in Gold River.

Years later Bruce was a guide for Jack Berman, an American friend who wanted to catch salmon. They were on Tlupana Inlet on the West Coast when one of the two gas lines feeding the engine broke. The motor was still running causing large quantities of gas to be pumped into the bilge. It is fortunate that they did not blow the boat up because Jack smoked big cigars almost continuously. They were rescued by a Fisheries boat.

Eventually Jim had Bob Hunter, who had a boat yard in Campbell River, make changes to the Fair Isle so that it would take an outboard motor, both for safety reasons and because Jim wanted to be able to carry more people to the West Coast.