Ah Friday, where have you been all my life? We made it through another week and that means it’s time for another Friday Find from Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation hot off the press, as they say.
Although I was supposed to go back to a brand selection this week I decided to switch gears because the man himself was around when I arrived at Stockmen’s Library, Mr. Mac Elder.
On July 22, 1928, the world would welcome a wonderful individual known as Mac Elder. Born in Bassano, Alberta, Elder was the youngest of four brothers. His father passed away when he was only three or four months old leaving the heavy duty of raising four sons to his darling mother.
At 19 years old Elder would make his way to the mountainous regions and work as a licensed Alberta trail guide with various big game outfitters.
Being referred to as “Trail Men,” many days became weeks and even months being out in the wilderness. His days were filled with scenic fishing trips, big game hunting trips and some lengthy geographical survey packhorse trips.
After 10 years of working as a guide he would join the National Parks Service at 29-years-old and serve as a park warden. In the following years Elder would work in four different locations eventually landing at the Pacific Rim National Park near Vancouver Island. It was here where he established one of Canada’s most well known trails.
“I worked on the development and the construction of the West Coast Trail,” said Elder.
Finally deciding to stow away his packhorse and hang up his park warden and guide hats, Elder retired in 1991 and moved to Cochrane. He is currently a director of the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation.
Mac Elder’s hat was one of the first hung up in the rafters. He said if he remembers correctly he purchased his tan hat in the early 40’s.
At 91 years young, Elder looks not a day over 60. He credits this to his mothers “great genes.”
His personality is a bright one and he carries many stories under his hat, always willing to share. It can be said that Elder has a funny bone in him too, or at least I think he does.