Tag Archives: Construction

Flash Back Fridays


In 1972 you and Jim hired my father Ean, my brother Colin, and me as carpenters to work on a renovation of one of the guest cabins at Strathcona Lodge.  We brought our schooner to the fisherman’s wharf in Campbell River and lived there, driving to the Lodge each day with Ron Woodcox who was a faller but had the summer off for some reason.  Perhaps the woods were closed because of the fire danger – I do remember the summer as very hot and that we used to cool off in the lake in the mid-afternoon.


My father’s story was that you had hired two carpenters to do some work on the little cabin and then went somewhere for a month.  While you were away they framed a second storey on the cabin, a four bedroom addition on its south wall, and 60 feet of two storey extension to the north.  He claimed this was a surprise to you.  I don’t know if the original crew snuck away in disgrace or if you fired them.  If they were fired for incompetence they are unique in the early history of the Lodge where knowledge and ability were not necessary for most jobs – I speak as one who taught cross-country skiing to a Capilano College class the first time he wore cross-country skis. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


1977 A story by David Boulding

The barn was built for the same reason the Haig Brown and the outdoor centre were built. Jim wanted a maintenance shop. His plans for a shop on the far northern side of the property were changed by the fire in May 1973 and the Haig Brown building soon after construction began morphed in an accommodation building.

The barn was going to be different.

It began as a residence for Adrian Koeleman the mechanic. Originally there were to be eight-foot foundation walls as the building’s basement was to be Adrian’s residence, but when Jim found out the cost of cement it was decided they would be much shorter.

The government had a program called NEEDS which was designed to give employment to those workers had had no more UIC (Unemployment Insurance, now referred to as EI) eligibility. Local Campbell River businesses could apply for various NEED grants, and get work at UIC rates and the weeks on the program were counted as “insurable weeks” for purposes of claiming more UIC. Jim applied for a grant and employed over 75 people through this program, a few of which were Vietnamese fishermen.
Jim had a vague plan to create his own hydro power. He wanted to take the water from Baikie ‘s swamp up beside Percy Dewar’s land and run it over the hill down 900 feet to the lake and install a pelton wheel and make his own electricity.

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