FOR AULD LANG SYNE
Returning from Kinahan Island sister Carole and I did not fully realize that this meant that we would be soon moving to New Westminster. Our float house was put up for sale and was bought by Bernie Rae, the father of Norm Rae. He was going to use it for his coastal logging operation. Can you imagine that some 50 years later one of our sons would be playing minor league hockey with Dwayne Rae, Bernie Rae’s grandson!
Once again Charlie Currie was attaching his tow line to our float house. Bernie Rae was on board. I still see him sitting cross-legged on our living room floor pouring himself a glass of whiskey to celebrate the purchase of our home. My parents, being teetotalers, did not join him but were happy to share in the moment.
As we were pulling away I went and looked out the back bedroom window for a glimpse of our beloved Chick-A-Dee By The Sea homestead growing smaller and smaller in the distance. I did not know then that our enchanted young childhood and homestead were slipping away in our wake and disappearing into the mists of the Skeena River.
A sunny day.
The entrance to our homestead near Phelan. Beyond the gateway lay a footbridge leading to our float house home.
Inverness days - a happy time.
Sitting in our ‘back yard’ with our Aunt Mary, our dad’s sister.
Playing in our front yard.
Sister Carole and I enjoying our chocolate Easter chickens. Note our galvanized bath tub, here serving to capture the vital rainwater.
Atop our rain barrel stand. These barrels contained our sole source of fresh water.
Part of our adventure playground. We also had stumps to climb, salmon berries to eat and the seashore to explore.
Two miles down the tracks lay Port Edward. A special part of our day was when the train would rumble by and the engineer would blow his steam whistle and wave to us. On some occasions we got to ride on the railroad workers speeder, a very special treat.
Nearing the end of another exhilarating but exhausting day.
Inverness Slough at high tide. The mouth of the Skeena River is in the background and Inverness Cannery lay just around the corner to the left.
Kitson Island with two Inverness gillnetters in the background.
Phelan Railway Station, just up the tracks from our home.
Our float house.
“Port Edward is that way.”
We did indeed felt like we were living on top of the world!
CHICK-A-DEE-BY THE SEA, a whimsical, fanciful name, perfect in describing the home of our wonderful early childhood.