Radio Crew Stories

North-West, British Columbia, Canada

At least 2 black bears have had to be killed at the Meziadin Radio site.
One by Pat Coulter with Ken Rowe, outside the radio room door, prior to the living quarters being built.

The other by Birke Brookbank and Ron Strumecki, as the bear was climbing into the living-quarters building, through the window.
One night while they were sleeping, they heard some noises, coming from the one window in the cabin.
Suddenly they realized it was a black bear, and it's paw was already inside the window,
Now in the dark they both scrambled for the rifle, that lucky enough they had with them.
While they struggled with the rifle, the box of shells had to be found, and in the process of taking a shell out of the box,
all the shells fell on the floor of the cabin. So now here they are on their hands and knees, scraping up shells to load the gun.
Meanwhile the bear is half inside now, and clawing his way into the cabin.
The claw marks were visible inside the window frame, until renovations were done in the late 70’s.
Finally able to load a shell, the bear was stopped with one shot.
Being the honest and proper thing to do, they reported the bear to the conservation officer in Stewart, thinking they would at least get to keep it after all that.
Nope, it was confiscated and they got nothing but laundry to do, for their night of excitement!

The infamous window, note the metal screen, bolted to the outside the window after the incident.
Ron Strumecki and Chuck Lequereux hard at work doing dishes in this photo.

A 6’ cedar fence was built around the site, to try and keep the bears at bay, so trips outside could be safely done at night, in the closed compound area.
The fence rotted away in early 90’s, and now is gone.
It created a problem for access in the winter time with the snow in this area.
Photos courtesy Brian Wolfe, Ladysmith BC

Murray Worobey's Meziadin Lake Story

Murray Worobey decided to go get water at Meziadin Lake, one evening, with the Thiokol Snow machine.
He did the same as me, and took the machine for a dip in a lake.

Thiokol Spryte machine used in this story

The whole front of the machine was submerged after it broke thru the ice. After a walk to a nearby logging camp, they found a Cat Skinner, who happened to be just a wee bit drunk, who happened to have a huge International Cat, running outside. He said “No problem” and volunteered to come down, and pull the machine out. Stories abound how the snow was flying off the road, as this guy put the blade down and wound the machine up, as fast as it would go to the lake. 3-4 feet of snow on the road (gravel at the time) was gone! Fastest snow plowing job ever. Guiness book entry for sure!
In a “normal” crew, that would be the end of the story, but not in the Terrace Radio Crew…..
Don Parr asked the 2nd line at that time, for money to buy this gentleman a case of whiskey, to thank him for his time and energy to save our snow machine.
They took this case of booze back up to Meziadin the next week, and wouldn't you know it, the fellow moved his cat out of the area,
and not knowing his name, the case of booze was now stranded.
What to do????
You guessed it, it became the newest addition to our Christmas Party Fund!
Heck we couldn't return it, or throw it away!!!

Meziadin became the site for farewells over the years.
Owen Jamieson had his going away party there, as well as Don Parr and others.

Ron Strumecki, Bob Pegg, and Ray Homeniuk, enjoying a good joke at Meziadin

I still remember Ray Homeniuk blessing us all, at Don Parr's Retirement Party, and passing around “Holy Water” (Putin calls it that too!) We had many fun nights at this site, saying goodbye, and reliving thousands of stories.
I even remember calling Birke Brookbank, on the radio phone, from a pickup one night, and chatting with him, until someone (mechanic named “Art” I think) fired off a Handgun in my ear. Haven’t been the same since!
Or how about the “arrow” through the window, of the pickup canopy??? Yes, a real Arrow! Ask Brian Wolfe about that one!

During the summer there was the Van Dyke Camp, the Forestry Camp, Anderson Construction Camp (during the highway const) and a few other civilization spots. Most of these we had base stations installed, and they would provide our nightly entertainment, listening to the boys call home on the radio phone, and talk about everything from love life to divorce! It was our Soap Opera, since we had no TV or radio, at any of the sites in the 60’s or early 70’s. I remember it was a big deal when we bought a shortband Receiver for Meziadin site. Wow, nothing like the BBC to get you going! We used to phone up the operators in Terrace just for conversation. If we were lucky enough to pick up a Vancouver radio station, especially in the winter, with the snow, we would phone in requests for songs. They couldn't believe where we were! They couldn't pronounce Meziadin, never mind know where it was! Remember one night Chuck ordered some old hit, about an old log house, just his style!

It was taboo to hunt or even carry a gun in company vehicles, but I do think it happened once or twice!
I remember one day we were cruising along by the Cranberry Junction and Ron Strumecki was driving.
Ron mentioned that there was an old cabin, he wanted to check out nearby, so we stopped and snooped around.
Laying in the bush was a set of old beaten up moose antlers.
So Ron took the antlers and tied them to the winch, in the front of the truck. Ok, I might have helped him!!
Hey, we looked like a couple Yankee hunters heading home! Anyway we carried on, and headed back to the Barn on Keith.
There to “greet” us was Don Parr, well was he surprised to see the horns out front.
When Don got mad, he turned this nice shade of RED, and he was very near that deep RED, by this point, when we were told to get the horns off, and never to do that again! We didn’t!

  • Last modified: 2018/02/18 19:05
  • by dlgent