Flash Back Fridays


Jim had electric lines, water lines, septic pipes and propane all in the same trenches. One day Patrick came upon an outdoor electric socket with water pouring out of the plug. He found out that a join in a nearby water line had separated. Because the electric line had been threaded through cheap pipe, the water got into that pipe. The circuit breaker had shut the power off and the plug coming out of the ground was done properly. Patrick repaired the leaking water line and all was well

The main office building in the foreground the Outdoor Centre in the background.

The main office building in the foreground the Outdoor Centre in the background.

A more serious event happened and Patrick almost got electrocuted. The furnace in the Annex had frozen pipes. He walked up the hill with a propane torch to thaw the pipes. Because he didn’t want to go back down to get the sparker which he had forgotten, Patrick decided to use the big spark plug belonging to the furnace as a lighter. What he didn’t know was that the flame from the spark plug is ionized gas which conducts electricity. The moment that the flame caught the spark, the electricity moved into Patrick throwing him across the room. His heart was not beating regularly and his breathing was abnormal for a period of time but he eventually was able to walk back down the hill.

He remembers being up to his knees in mud underneath the Outdoor Centre when Nancy Brown, who was the chief cook, sent a message saying that she desperately needed his help in the kitchen. After cleaning up as fast as he could he found himself learning how to make pastry. He still knows how, apparently.

He remembers the Lodge as being a rather Spartan operation. Nothing was thrown out. He was paid minimum wage plus room and board. He lived in a box-like cabin on the water (since removed) and he loved it at the Lodge. He was officially hired to work in the maintenance department. He came to the Lodge because he had been hitchhiking and Pauline Landsdale, the Lodge gardener had given him a ride. She talked him into coming to the Lodge. He started as a volunteer gardener in “85 and soon moved on to maintenance. He was here when Jim died in “86. He now has a home on Gabriola.