Was it a big change coming into town?

(0:49:02) Oh no. Of course, Jasper wasn’t quite the place it is now. It was just another move. It was a little bit better. I didn’t have to drive the kids to school every day. Or when I was working I didn’t have to quit work and get them and find something for them to do until I got off…I worked for Parks at the fire hall on the switchboard for a while. And I am a lab and x-ray technician so I worked one year at the hospital.

Did you enjoy the move to Pacific Rim?

(0:50:15) Yes, it was very different. We just took it in stride. It was the thing to do. Actually, I was kind of glad to get out of Jasper in a way…I don’t know as far as the high school was concerned, or as far as our son was concerned if it was any better or worse. It was about the same size of school. The kids, they took it all in their stride. That was just the way it was. Dad has to go, we all got to go. They did just fine with it. They rode the school bus into Ucluelet for the first, well almost a year of school when we were out there. We lived at Wickaninnish Beach from September until May I think…it was almost the whole school year. Then we moved into town, into Ucluelet.

Was there government housing there?

Yes,. Our old house is gone now…it’s been years since I’ve been there. Gordon was going out fishing all the time, but that was my holiday too! So, I would stay home and get something else done for a change. I know that it (Ucluelet.) has changed an awful lot since we were there. But the kids made friends and they got along fine. We all did.

Did you enjoy the warden life?

(0:53:22) Oh yeah! I was pretty much prepared for anything. I tried to think ahead and get prepared for anything that might come up. There were things, like the time our youngest daughter pulled a bowl of hot soup down on her and stuff like that. That was a little scary for a little while. We were in Jacques Lake then. Gordon was just getting ready to take the horses in for the winter and what do you do? Do you take her into the hospital? I had a bunch of stuff and I said, “No, I am going to look after her myself.” I had stuff to put on and I had to keep her all covered up because she was burnt under her chin and right below it. But it healed up and you would never know it. There was no way that I was going to send her out with him. She wasn’t a year old yet. When he came back, he would be walking. So no. I tried to think of all these things when we were up there and be prepared for them. That was the only major thing that ever went wrong.

(0:55:10) When we used to go with Gordon on horseback I had figured out a way to make it easier. To carry Shawna, I made kind of a pillow to put around the saddle horn that she could sit on and then we took a piece of fire hose and made a thing that would go around me and around her. So both my hands were free then. I didn’t have to be hanging onto her because she was tied to me, more or less. That worked great. She was comfortable and I was comfortable.

Did your other two children ride on their own horses?

Mony was. Karen didn’t really ride by herself yet. She usually rode with him or behind her dad or something at that age because she was only about three years old, not quite. She couldn’t go on her own at that point, but she was on her own fairly soon afterwards, the next summer. When she was four she could ride by herself. They did good you know! Mony went with Gordon, up country when he was seven years old and they were gone, I can’t remember now for how long, but it was quite a while.

(0:57:13) I taught him correspondence the first year that we were out in the bush. For grade one, he went to my parents because we were living out at the east gate, at Pocahontas and I was pregnant with our youngest and due the first of November and they were doing the highway. Redoing the highway into Jasper from there and the drive was a pain with an old international pickup and me out to kingdom come! And I didn’t like the idea of changing schools with him for grade one. He went to mom and dad’s in Wetaskiwin. He went to school there for grade one and we only saw him twice, at Christmas time and at Easter…In those days it was different with train travel and whatnot. My aunt came with him at Christmas time. They came on the train because her husband used to work for the CN, so it didn’t cost her anything. Then when he came home in June, mom talked to some guy when they were waiting at the train station and found that he was reliable. So they put him on the train and this guy kept an eye on him and he got off the train when he got to Jasper. The kids were more independent, they grew up faster in a way and it didn’t seem to bother them or make any difference to them. They just seemed more responsible or something. It just came kind of naturally to them because that’s the way the life was you know. They had to learn to depend on themselves for fun and everything else because there wasn’t other kids around all the time except at school.

Wardens’ wives seem like a special breed. To be a successful warden it sounded like you needed a supportive wife?

(1:00:17) Yeah, there was the odd one who wasn’t quite up to the lifestyle and it showed with the marriage and the family and everything. But most of us were fine, there were quite a few who did the same thing. Like you say, you had to be a different type of person. Not a city kid, that’s for sure! We did have a couple of those too and it wasn’t that great for them.

Was being part of the warden service family important to you?

(1:01:20) Oh, yeah, we are like one big family or were like that. The ones that are still around we keep in contact. Like you say, it is like one big family…We all looked out for each other.