Dick Hunt's Blog

February 2, 2014

Canoes

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:46 pm

by Dick Hunt, Saturday, January 25th, 2014.

As far as I can learn, my Mother, Florence Elizabeth Foreman , born in Port Carling, Ontario on November 16th in 1895 was the earliest Canoeist in my family. Port Carling is a town in the Muskoka Lakes District with few roads and lots of waterways. In winter she used to skate to school on the River after freeze up and in warm weather she canoed to school. Her Mother died when she was was four years of age and she was raised by my only surviving Grandparent, the other three having passed away in England before I was born.. She had a sister,16 years her senior, three older brothers who served in Europe during the first World War and one younger brother who suffered from a back injury caused by a friend who was careless with his 22 rifle. He was a brilliant wood carver and I have a number of his carvings.

Mother came to Alberta with her Father, William Foreman at the age of Nine and they founded the Village of Endiang (which means, “Our Home” in Algonquin Indian). Grandpa was the Postman and used to carry the Mail on his back from the town of Halkirk, 25 miles to the north, “(on a toboggan in winter) while Mother looked after the store and Post Office. Talk about responsibilities!!! I am sure her canoeing days were over. She met my Father in that little store when she was a young woman and they were married on February 3rd 1913 in St.George’s Anglican Church in Stettler Alberta. I became the Minister in Charge of that Parish in June of 1957, by direction of the God who called me to the Christian Ministry. I was born August 4th 1920, the third of five children in the Ranch House in which I and my 4 Siblings grew up and we learned many useful skills, were schooled by my parents in the Faith and Morals of the Christian Church, with the help of the early Ministers. and a little school.
In a conversation with a dear friend this morning, I learned a lot about his experience in working with a School for young boys in St. John’s Boys School in the Selkirk region of Manitoba, a good many years ago. He is now the Father in Law of my youngest Son, Timothy. He used to take his pupils out on the waterways in Manitoba and teach them the skills of traveling by canoe in wilderness travel and survival. His stories are still awesome. He spent a good deal of his life in the Royal Canadian Navy and later in service with B.C. Ferries.

My experience with Canoes is mild compared with his. I was given a large Freighting Canoe with a small Outboard Motor on a small flat mount on the stern, by an Oil Company which had been used in their search for Oil in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, since they no longer had a use for it. I loaned it one day to two large men to fish on a local lake. They took along the six year old son of one of them. The outboard moter was hard to start and both men were standing up near the stern. The boy was also sitting in the stern. They had the throttle wide open and suddenly it started and took off at full speed, The front of the canoe rose quickly into the air, the two men flew into the water, the canoe flipped in the air and came down upside down.

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