Ken Roberts was born February 9, 1928. He worked initially as a fishing guide in Manitoba then worked on Lake Winnipeg. He first travelled to Hay River in 1950 as a summer student with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Ken moved to Hay River in 1956 with his wife Ruth to work for the Fisheries Research Board, later transitioning to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans where he spent part of his work visiting fishing camps on Great Slave Lake. He was involved in the Great Slave Lake fishing industry for over 40 years. He died March 3, 2010.
Arthur George Boutilier was born in 1946 to Jack and E. Claire Boutilier in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had three sisters, Catherine, Daphne, and Barbara.
Arthur attended Gorsebrook and Tower Road Schools in Halifax and Kings College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He received additional education at Dalhousie University (1963-1965), the Nova Scotia Technical School of Architecture (1965-1969), and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1969-1971), earning an engineering diploma, Bachelor of Architecture, and Masters of Landscape Architecture. He worked for architectural and urban design consulting firms in the United States, including Llewlyn-Davies Associates, William L. Pereira Associates, and Ben-Ami Friedman, AIP. In 1975, Arthur discovered R. Buckminster Fuller’s book “Synergetics”, which influenced and altered his design thinking.
In 1976, Arthur joined Parks Canada with a job in national park planning. He became involved in an investigation of the Torngat Mountains and Mealy Mountains in Labrador as proposed National Parks, which touched him deeply and ignited a passion for the North. He was also involved with developing a park management plan for Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.
In 1981, Arthur moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and was employed as a Senior Planner and Urban Designer for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Local Government, doing community-based town planning. From 1984 until his retirement in 2011, he worked for the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, becoming involved with the Northwest Territories Land Use Planning Commission (1984-1986), Lancaster Sound Regional Land Use Planning Commission (1984-1991), and Nunavut Planning Commission (1989-1991) in regional land use planning for various areas including Lancaster Sound, Keewatin, Sahtu, and Deh Cho. Later job titles included Special Advisory, Head Projects & Planning, Nunavut Land Use Planning Coordinator, and Mackenzie Valley Land Use Planning Coordinator. Following retirement, he served as a board member of the Gwich’in Land Use Planning Board from 2017-2020.
Arthur’s father was a photographer and Arthur’s own interest in photography stems from his experience at Expo’67 in Montreal. He has steadily cultivated it since then, taking thousands of images and showing his work in several exhibits.
In 1983, Arthur applied to the Canadian Astronaut Program, making the first cut. He was also involved with the northern SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Program chapter.
Arthur struggled with alcoholism throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, finally accessing treatment in 1991 and becoming involved with Alcoholics Anonymous. He met Dale Murphy in 1992, the love of his life, and the two were married on July 10, 1994. Arthur and Dale continue to live in Yellowknife.
Alexander Halley Low was born March 29,1892 in Kensington, London, England, the son of Alexander Graham Low and Annie Halley. He received a Master of Arts degree from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and studied geology at the Royal School of Mines, London. He served in World War I, mostly in Ireland.
Around 1914, Alexander went on an oil prospecting trip in the Northwest Territories with Dr. T. O. Bosworth. Following the War, he returned to the Northwest Territories as an oil prospector in the Great Slave Slake region for the Imperial Oil Company. While there, he was approached by Bishop James R. Lucas to teach at the St. Peter's Mission (Residential) School in Hay River ca. 1918-19. In the early 1920s he continued oil exploration in the Fort Norman (now Tulita) area of the Northwest Territories with Mackenzie River Oil Ltd.
Alexander also did some oil prospecting in Peru and was a member of the Royal Geographical Society. He married Dorothy Lindesay Gregory in 1933 and had two children, Jean Mary Lindesay Low and Alexander John Stewart Low. Alexander Halley Low died July 2, 1974 in Ferring, Sussex, England.
Claire Barnabe was born on November 13, 1940 in Eastview (now Vanier), Ontario. She attended Our Lady of the Presentation in Overbrook for elementary school and Eastview High School in Vanier for secondary school. Claire was a member of the religious order of Holy Cross for four years. She attended Ottawa Teachers' College and obtained a permanent Ontario Teachers' Certificate. She taught at an elementary school in Alexandria, Ontario, Iona Academy in St. Raphael’s West, Ontario, for the Catholic School Board in Montreal, and for the Separate School Board in Ottawa before moving north.
In 1965, she accepted a teaching position at Fort Franklin (now Deline), where she worked until 1967. During her time in Deline, she was also Secretary of the Community Club. In 1968, after spending a year in the south and touring Europe, Claire returned to the north to work as a teacher in Fort Providence. She was also President of the Community Club there and Chairman of the NWT Centennial Planning Committee for Fort Providence.
In 1969, she left her teaching position in Fort Providence and moved to Norman Wells where she worked at the Mackenzie Mountain Lodge. She moved back to Fort Providence later that year to work for Alex Arychuk, also in the hotel business. In the 1970 Territorial election, she ran as a candidate for the Lower Mackenzie riding. Following her defeat in the election, she applied to work as a Settlement Manager.
In May 1971, she accepted the position of settlement manager in Port Burwell on Killinek Island, where she remained until May 1973. After a very brief time as Settlement Manager at Large for the Baffin Region, she became the Settlement Manager at Repulse Bay (now Naujaat, Nunavut). Also in 1973, she was appointed to be a member of the NWT Historical Advisory Board. In 1974, Claire returned to Norman Wells as Settlement Manager there. She ran in the 1975 Territorial election and the 1976 by-election for the riding of Mackenzie Great Bear, but was defeated both times.
She took leave from the GNWT in 1976 to work on a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Carleton University, Ottawa. In 1978, she joined Bud Drury’s office as a policy analyst. She ran again in the 1979 Territorial election for the riding of Yellowknife Centre and was again defeated. Claire remained in the north for many more years, before retiring to the south.
John Turquand (Turq) McCollum was born May 12, 1923, in Toronto, Ontario. In 1953, he married Joan (nee Watson), and they had four children: Peter, Jenny, Kathy, and Maggie.
From 1954-1963, the McCollums lived in Fort Smith, where John was an Anglican minister of the Diocese of the Arctic. In 1963, the family moved to Beaverlodge, Alberta, where they lived until 1970. In 1970, the McCollums returned to the north and lived in Hay River. In 1975, John McCollum became Archdeacon of the Diocese of the Arctic. The McCollums continued to live in Hay River until their retirement to Calgary, Alberta, in 1988.
John McCollum died June 14, 2020, in Calgary, Alberta. He was buried with his wife Joan in Hay River.
Gordon Beattie Pritchard was born in Galt, Ontario on March 17, 1909. In 1935, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Architecture and then served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He joined the Building Construction Division of the Department of Public Works in Ottawa in 1948. He was appointed the first chief of the federal Northern Construction Division, Department of Public Works, in 1956. In this capacity, he toured widely throughout the north supervising the construction of federal projects. One of his major responsibilities was to oversee the construction of Inuvik, which was completed in 1961. He wrote a number of articles on building projects he had been involved with, particularly those in Inuvik. He died in Ottawa on November 1, 1964.
Timothy (Tim) Garrish was born on January 4, 1950, in Oliver, British Columbia (BC). His parents were Arthur Ross Garrish (1915-1996) and Elizabeth Nancy Garrish (nee Grimsditch, 1921-1984). Garrish grew up on an orchard in Oliver, on land that his father had first purchased in 1934. As a child, he spent time doing farm work on the orchard. From age 16 onwards, he worked in fruit packinghouses and sawmills. Garrish graduated from Southern Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver in 1968, then attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU). During his summer breaks while in university, Garrish held jobs in mining exploration in northern BC.
At age 22, Garrish earned his Commercial Pilot’s License. His first job in aviation was flying for Superior Airways/Severn Enterprises Ltd in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, starting in May 1972. Garrish then moved to Fort Simpson in September 1973 to fly for Arctic Air Ltd. In 1974, Garrish returned to Langley, BC, to earn his Flight Instructor Rating, followed by a stint as a flight instructor on weekends while back at university between January 1975 and December 1976. Garrish graduated from SFU with a Bachelor of General Studies (Economics and Geography) in December 1976.
In 1977, Garrish began doing seasonal (summer) fire suppression work. He started in 1977 working for Wolverine Air Ltd (WAL) in Fort Simpson. Garrish then spent more than four decades doing fire suppression work in the summers, including working for Avalon Aviation (1978-1980) and Conair (1983-2022).
In 1978, Garrish flew for Wolverine Air Ltd (WAL) once again. Flying for WAL in the winters became a constant in his life. In 1988, Garrish became part owner of WAL with Les Dvorak, who had started the firm in 1972. Garrish and Dvorak were co-owners of Wolverine Air until 1993, when they sold the operation to Chris Yarrow. He lived in Fort Simpson until 1995, at which point he relocated first to Canmore, Alberta then back to his home base in Oliver, BC. Garrish’s duties at Wolverine Air included both Chief Pilot and Operations Manager at various times. He continued to work for WAL as a relief Operations Manager/Pilot in Fort Simpson during winters as required until 2010.
In 1981-1982 and 1987-1988, Garrish worked with Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) flying the L-100 Hercules and the Boeing 737. He was based in Edmonton and flew for PWA’s high Arctic operations.
In 1988, Garrish became the Managing Director of Airports North Ltd in Fort Simpson. Airports North Ltd became responsible for the management and operation of the Fort Simpson Island Airport in 1988 and operated it on a ‘user pay’ model. It was one of only a few airports in Canada to be financially self-sustaining, operating without any form of government assistance.
From 1994-2010, Garrish also worked as an aviation consultant with Hemlock Aviation Services.
Tim Garrish continued to fly fire suppression in the summers for Conair until 2022 when he retired after 39 years with them. In total Garrish did 51 years of accident-free commercial flying during his career, including 44 seasons doing aerial fire suppression (16 in Yellowknife). He lives in Oliver, BC, and is currently writing his memoirs of his flying adventures.
Sven Borje Johansson was born in Saffle Sweden on August 29,1924. He served in the neutral Swedish army in WWII. After the war he moved to Lappland in northern Sweden, spending 12 years working with Laplanders managing reindeer herds. During that time he married and had a daughter.
In 1962, he immigrated with his family to Canada and worked from 1963 to 1968 as the manager of the Reindeer Station, for the Canadian Reindeer Project. His wife and daughter returned to Sweden and they divorced. In December 1967 he remarried to Norma Buchanan. They built a cabin named Arctic Mountain House to serve as a big game hunting lodge, and Johansson earned a pilot's license. Between 1967 and 1972, he spent summers chartering out his boat "North Star" for work in the Beaufort area and winters trapping near Arctic Red River. He also worked for the Geological Survey of Canada to study the Polar Continental Shelf.
In 1973 the family sailed from Inuvik bound for Vancouver. A year later, delayed by weather they arrived. In 1982 Johansson outfitted the cutter Belvedere for John Bockstoce for northern expeditions. In 1988 after several attempts Sven captained the Belvedere as the first private yacht to complete the Northwest Passage from west to east.
Sven Johansson was also an accomplished choreographer and theatrical inventor. He incorporated the Discovery Dance Society in Victoria in 1989 and won several awards nationally and internationally. Sven Johansson was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 1994 and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. He died in Victoria on October 17, 2019.
Joan Ryan was born in 1932 in Montreal. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Carleton University in 1957 and a Master of Education in Psychology in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1959.
Ryan spent her early career employed as a Northern Service Officer and teacher with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. She taught in Whatì (Lac La Martre) from 1957 to 1959 and George River (northern Quebec) from 1959 to 1960. In 1964 she left government service and enrolled as a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. In 1967 she accepted a professorship at the University of Calgary in anthropology, a position she held until retirement in 1987.
Upon retirement she was affiliated with the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) for many years, pioneering participatory action research (PAR) projects. She was involved in several NWT projects including working as a trainer, coordinator, and researcher for community development projects in Fort McPherson from 1988 to 1990. She returned to Whatì (Lac La Martre) from 1990-1993, publishing 'Doing things the right way: Dene traditional justice in Lac La Martre N.W.T.' (1995). She later worked with the Deline Uranium Team. Joan Ryan died October 29, 2005, in Calgary. She was survived by two adopted daughters.
D'Arcy Arden was born in England, but came to Canada as a young man. He was educated at Ridley College, and trained to enter the Royal Navy; however, he was only five feet tall and was denied entry to the service. He decided to join a large survey in Labrador, where he learned to drive dogs. After a period of doing office work in Ottawa, he was sent to the Yukon (ca. 1911), to Herschel Island. In the winter of 1913-1914, Arden met John Hornby. In 1914, Arden settled at Dease Bay, although he had originally planned to travel to the arctic coast. He married Marie Adele (Arimo) Neitia and had one daughter, Catherine (Kay), and three sons (D'Arcy Jr. "Sonny", Hugh, and James) . In 1925, he was working in the Peace River area watching over the bison at Wood Buffalo National Park. Sometime in the 1930s, he returned to the Great Bear Lake area, and in 1933, he discovered and staked pitchblende claims at Hottah Lake. In 1938, he moved to Yellowknife where he and D'Arcy Jr. ("Sonny") set up a mink farming operation. He died December 26, 1959.
William (Bill) David Addison was born April 27, 1939 to Peter Addison and Ottelyn (Robinson) Addison, the oldest of 3 children, in Toronto, Ontario.
His father, a forester, moved with the family to Port Arthur Ontario by the time Bill was 5 years old, where he spent his formative years. His mother Ottelyn inspired his love and knowledge of nature and his intense curiosity as she took Bill and his brothers exploring nature, canoeing, identifying flora and fauna. She in turn developed her love and knowledge of the natural world in Algonquin Park under the tutelage of her father, Mark Robinson, a Park Ranger.
The family moved to Richmond Hill in the early ‘50’s where teenage Bill developed his love of photography. He and his mother built a dark room in which they could develop their photos. Bill was particularly drawn to nature with its abundant wildlife and landscape opportunities. Like his father, he studied forestry at the University of Toronto, followed by a Masters’ degree in Fisheries in the mid 1960’s. It was at University that he met Wendy Livingston who he married in 1966.
Bill’s reading tastes and interests varied greatly, leading to him being conversant on almost any topic. The book ‘Dangerous River’ by R.M. Patterson made such a strong impression on him that he led Wendy on a honeymoon trip into the Nahanni River country where they spent a month traveling the river and its environs by foot and canoe in 1966 despite the fears of relatives that they would never return. He was always adventurous. The collection of fish for the Royal Ontario Museum and the search for lemmings helped finance the trip as did scuba diving for an engineering company. This trip was to be instrumental in many of Bill’s later endeavours.
In 1966, Bill started working with fisheries biology in Maple for ‘Lands and Forests’. Much to his delight, the unit moved north to Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) a year later. He was happy to have returned ‘home’. An article Bill wrote about the Nahanni trip appeared in Weekend Magazine that year as well. A few years later, Bill changed careers to join Wendy as a high school teacher which provided opportunities to camp and canoe together during the summers.
Bill promoted the Nahanni River area as natural place to create a park, and when this occurred in the early 1970’s, he proposed that old-timers in the area be interviewed to provide a history of the area while they were still able to do so. Due to his enthusiasm for the project along with his extensive interests and ability to connect to people, he was a natural choice. The proposal was accepted along with a request that he carry out those interviews. During this time, two daughters, Michelle and Kirsten were born, so the family stayed home while Bill travelled on his interviewing trips. He was always teased about having missed Kirsten’s birth because he was carrying out interviews at the time. Although the scope of the project was limited due to funding constraints, knowing that the interviewees were all aging, Bill continued the interviews after funding ran out, travelling from the Maritimes to California to the Northwest Territories. This was a task that he enjoyed thoroughly, and which resulted in a lifelong passion.
Bill returned to Nahanni River in 1978 and 1979, travelling the length of the river, but also carrying out many hikes in the surrounding areas. He loved exploring Canada which led to many car and canoe camping trips both locally and throughout the country with the family once the girls were old enough for this type of travel. Memorable trips to Dawson City, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, the Broken Islands and the Milk River provided a greater understanding of Canada for all.
After retirement in 1998, Bill had more time available to participate in his many interests. Winter and spring months often took Bill and Wendy on camping trips in the Southern US and west, particularly during rainy years in which flowers were present in the deserts or oceans were stormy and snowpack was high. Bill was a prodigious writer, and his ‘epistles’ and digital photos of our many travels in Canada and the US along with several international extended trips were greatly anticipated by the many friends and relatives who received them. His interesting talks and slideshows were greatly appreciated and very well received by a variety of organizations and friends. Retirement also allowed time to enjoy the growing family, which by 2013 included 2 sons-in-law and 4 grandchildren.
Bill’s variety of interests led him, along with a Thunder Bay friend, Greg, to the exploration of local geological formations which they were able to identify as ejecta from the Sudbury (Ontario) meteorite impact in the early 2000’s. This discovery led to work still being carried out on this discovery by geologists and mining companies. Bill and Greg produced several publications on this discovery and for this work they were awarded the Goldich Medal from the Institute on Lake Superior Geology. This interest led Bill and Wendy to a trip to South Africa to take part in a Geology Conference on meteorite impacts as well as a geology cruise to Antarctica. A large piece of ejecta from Thunder Bay now resides in a museum in South Africa.
As geologists expanded on the ejecta studies that Bill and Greg started, Bill returned to intensive work on the Nahanni ‘Old timers’ project, transcribing interviews that hadn’t been transcribed as part of the original project. During their trip to Alaska and NWT in 2017, Bill was still searching archives and talking to people associated with the Nahanni area. Sadly, Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer soon after his return from this trip and died October 25, 2017.
Horace Herbert (Mac) Smee was born on April 22, 1922 in Edmonton, Alberta. He married Joan Eilleen Smee (also of Edmonton) in Fairview, Alberta. They had two sons, Barry Smee and Martin Smee.
In 1941, he began working for the Northern Transportation Company as a chief steward and was sent to the Northwest Territories. His first job was to paint the S.S. "Mackenzie River" in Fort Smith, which he then rode up the Mackenzie River as far as the Mackenzie Delta. On his return to Fort Smith, he was transferred to the S.S. "Distributor" and made two trips on this vessel. The first trip he acted as steward to Margaret White. After his service with the Northern Transportation Company, he returned to Edmonton and joined the Air Force, which he left in 1943.
The Smees moved to Prince George, British Columbia, where Mac Smee operated two independent theatres, before moving to Vancouver in 1947. In Vancouver, Smee managed movie theatres including the Strand, Orpheum, Victoria Road Theatre, and the Regent. He served as the Secretary of the Famous Players Theatre Managers Association of BC.
Around 1954, the Smees moved back to Edmonton. Mac Smee joined the Hudson Bay Company, where he worked until retiring in 1982. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Mac, Joan and Martin Smee operated a family business, The Plate Connection, an award-winning collectors’ plate and doll supplier.
Smee died on August 6th, 1995 in Edmonton.