(0:31:07) Back then they (the wardens) were all characters! They all did their job, but they had a good time. But I am talking back right from day one eh. There are so many stories that I forgot about. And I am sure they could write them about me, because I was right there with them! I have lots of Jim Rimmer stories if we could find someone who wanted to write a book about him…He had his moments too because he was so stubborn. You didn’t want to cross him because you didn’t know (what he would do) no matter who you were.

(0:32:36) Not really (there were no challenges with Parks bureaucracy). Mostly because I put in to be a park warden and I didn’t want the chief warden job or anything like that. So no. There were lots of things that I didn’t agree with but they hired me on to do them. Actually my father-in-law, before I was married, Jim Raby, he set me straight. Before Jane and I were married, I used to take all the VIP’s out on backcountry trips and that included him. So one time Dave Donnelly got a manager job. None of us agreed with (that decision) and we all appealed it. It didn’t get anywhere. So he (Jim Raby) asked me one time what I thought about Dave Donnelly getting the job and I said, “Oh boy, now’s my chance.” It was my future father-in-law and I could really tell him. He told me, “Well Larry there is one thing that you could do if you don’t like it.” I said “What?” He says, “Quit.” I could quit and I wasn’t about to do that! But no I have a hard time criticizing anything about the job because if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have been there for 35 years. I had my ups and downs, but I got out happy and enjoyed everything and that is what I want to remember.

(0:34:55) I did (miss being a warden) at the start. I am going to say maybe the first ten years. But as things changed I didn’t miss it at all. And I am really glad that I am not there today. I am not saying that today isn’t the way to go. It might be totally right, but it wasn’t the way I was brought up through the service. Today there are lots of things that I don’t like about it, but I would never criticize them because I don’t know enough about it. If I want to squawk about it, I do it to my wife, who has to listen! And it goes in one ear and out the other!

Andy Anderson and Larry Gilmar at the 2009 Warden Service Centennial.

(0:36:09) My best memories are of the 13 districts and my early years. But after centralization they were all good too. I worked with an excellent bunch of guys the whole time. I worked with so many different guys during my career. The only thing I regret in my 35 years was not moving to any other park. I spent my whole career in Banff, but in the early years if they wanted you and trained you they wouldn’t let you head to another park. But after when they started (to allow) that you could go anywhere, I was married with kids and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. In later years I regret it because even places like Jasper I have never been off the highway there.

(0:38:07) The warden service back then – to us and in your dad’s time – when you joined…you wanted a career. Where I think the big change came was not with centralization, but after, when they wanted all this education. So, these guys went to school (and) got this big education (and) they weren’t using it because the job didn’t really require it. So, they were doing what we were doing, but they had this great education so it became just a job to them and as they could step up the ladder (and go) somewhere else they left. I would say the last 10-15 years it’s just a (job). There are a few there today like Frank Burstrom and that who wanted a career…He’s there, but he is not a warden anymore. I guess, only through rumors, I heard they weren’t going to send him out into the backcountry anymore so he went with a Park’s outfit out of Winnipeg that restores the cabins, more like carpentry stuff so he will still get into the backcountry in Banff… but I just heard that through rumors…

Ross Gilmar passed away in Banff February 18, 2011.