Dick Hunt's Blog

March 23, 2013

Houseboats At Williams Lake.

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 12:27 pm

Houseboats At Williams Lake.
by Dick Hunt, March 23rd, 2013.

When we were living at Williams Lake, Ruth was working flat out at various jobs. I was fully employed in my Vocation as a Minister, often working up to 60 or 70 hours a week. One year, Ruth was able to have a vacation for two weeks which didn’t coincide with my holiday (30 days) and so we couldn’t travel until her vacation began. A man called Walter operated a business which was engaged in building House Boats for use on the Shuswap Lakes and he was desperate for craftsmen to get some units ready for delivery. He was told by a friend that I was both able and available to provide the help he needed. I reported for work at 7 AM on a Monday morning and asked him what he wanted me to do. He lead me up a ladder to the top of a Houseboat, with tools and hardware and instructed me to install metal moulding all around the forty foot by ten foot roof with 2 screws every four inches. Then he told me to mount standards every six feet all around the perimeter to hold a sturdy chain safety barrier for Sun Bathers all around. At ten o’clock the buzzer sounded for coffee break and I went down the ladder with my tools; the job was finished.

After coffee break I asked Walter what he wanted me to do next. He said, “just finish the job on the roof”. When I said I had finished, he said, “you can’t be finished, it normally takes a whole day to do it”. He led me back to the roof, inspected the job, and said, I had done a better job than any other worker and in much less time.
I stayed the two weeks I had agreed to work including the two Saturdays and he wanted me to continue to help. I spent the rest of my time doing finishing work on the interiors of the big boats. He was the kind of man I liked to work with as he was a stickler for doing the best possible job.

My Father was that kind of man too, so I had been schooled in the morality of ‘Do your best’. My Dad always set the pattern for us Children and for the crew (of which we were a part), that worked on the Ranch He was out in front, setting the standard and the pace. He never expected any of us to do any task he would not do himself. Our Mother too was a fine example of what we were expected to do as part of the very active family in our home. We children were all taught to wash dishes, clean floors, help with the laundry (in those days, to crank the early washing machines and wringers), hang out the clothes. And Worship God, especially on Sunday.

When I joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940, trained in Radio Technology for a year in Calgary and Montreal and went to Active Service on a Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron off the Coast of B.C. I was told to report to a Staff Sgt. in one of the Hangars, which I did. I introduced myself to him and he asked where I was from. I said I had just arrived from Montreal. He said, “no, I mean where were you born and raised?”. I said, “on a Cattle Ranch in Alberta”. He said, “Thank God we’ve got someone around here who can do something”. We got along fine together. I have never been troubled by being expected to work to high standards. I am energized by that.

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