Thursday, September 9, 2021


                    PART III

  • why did you opt to go to the Arctic?  do you ever wish you went back to live/work or visit?  why didn't you?

                  I had been teaching for four years and I seemed to be  at a point where I was unsatisfied with teaching and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I had to get back to university and finish a degree or get  into something else.

                   I was at loose ends. I didn't have anything else in my mind. I knew that if I resigned and didn't teach I would end up back on the farm. I didn't want to go back to the farm. I guess I really wanted to stay teaching but didn't know it.

     So here's my first class in late September 63

            I got proper clothing and was ice fishing in November

                    I wanted to leave the little town I was teaching in. I'd been there three years and that was enough. The people were nice and they were supportive. 

                   At that time the papers were full of advertisements for teachers. I always kept my eye on the ads. An ad that was in the paper every year was teach in Canada's North Lands. So on a whim I wrote and asked for application forms. I was not really sure that I really wanted to go. When the application came I thought well I'll fill this out and send it away. what have I got to lose. Surprise , surprise they wanted to interview me. I'd never heard if interviews for teachers before. So I thought let's check this interview thing out. I went to Regina for the interview. You guessed it. They hired me. They didn't give me the locations I asked for. They knew better and put me in Inuvik.

               So there I was off to Inuvik. I had to really do some research quickly to get ready to live in the Arctic. Clothing is what concerned me most. So over the summer I made preparations. They put me in contact with a teacher who was in summer school and he was a great help. Grandma and Grandpa were pretty worried about me. 

               I had no intention of staying in Red Deer. I didn't get the transfer I wanted so I decided to go to Red Deer and apply for a transfer the next year. Well, we adopted Brian so that ended northern travels. By that time Red Deer started to look pretty good. After the first year in Red Deer I lost all interest in going back. It was challenging enough as a couple but with small kids it wouldn't have been enjoyable. Things change very rapidly so it would not be the same if I went back to work or visit. I kept up with some of my friends for a few years. 

              What you ask brings back good memories and I'm sure I never showed you these photos.