Saturday, November 26, 2016


    The challenges I've described in previous posts all happened within 10 days. However, they got me to the location where I was going to teach.

    I had to face one more challenge but this one took a little longer. I looked forward to my first paycheck. It didn't come. I was sure I'd get a paycheck in October. Nothing doing. I got my first paycheck at the end of November. I forget if I got all three months at once or if it was messed up and I got back pay. I didn't really need money except at that time I smoked. 

    Now there had to be an explanation for all the problems we faced. I was not the only one who had problems. All the new teachers experienced the same challenges. Some of them got checks in Sept. Some got checks in early Dec.

    At the time the Northwest Territories were governed by a council of 15 members. They operated out of Ottawa . Most members of the council had never been in the territories and some could have cared less . These councillors were political appointees. Ottawa is 4107 miles from Inuvik. There were no telephone lines out of the territories to the "outside". There were no roads. Govt. administration staff was very small. There were no scheduled flights to anywhere. All flights were charters. As you can see there was a formidable challenge for the administration to get their work done. There was some intermittent radio contact especially to the more isolated staff. Staff in smaller settlements were dropped off in Sept. and there usually was only one or two flights in during the year. So they got mail a couple of times a year.

    Inuvik had an all weather airstrip and a modern terminal. Pacific Western Airline started scheduled flights the first year I was there. There were to be two flights a week. However we went two weeks without flights several times. Transportation and communication improved rapidly after I got there. A telephone line was constructed to the outside world. I could phone home to mother!

   The council that governed us was changed from Ottawa to Yellowknife which was in the Territories. Six members of the council had to be northern residents. 

    Changes came rapidly with improved transportation and communication. It was a rough ride at the beginning but improvements were made.

    My teacher followers are wondering about the school so that comes next.