Lab West Pioneers

Clarence Doyle.

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY GARY SHAW

Clarence Doyle has 52 years punched as a Labrador West res­i­dent. Clarence ar­rived in Labrador West in Au­gust of 1966 from Grates Cove, just out­side of St. John’s at age 20, like so many oth­ers seek­ing out the work that was in Labrador West in the min­ing sec­tor.

He be­gan his work­ing ca­reer at IOC as a labourer in the mill. He did his time in trade school, came out as an elec­tri­cian and punched 33 years in­side the IOC gate.

In the be­gin­ning, his home was Bunkhouse Num­ber 3 across from the prop­erty ad­ja­cent to the present day lo­ca­tion of CRRSTV. Meals were served at the cafe­te­ria, break­fast, and a packed lunch for noon and sup­per back at the cafe­te­ria. He worked a swing shift, a week of days, a week of evenings, a week of nights and then start all over again.

A week’s work con­sisted of 48 hours, six days a week. He said with a smile, that you might as well be work­ing; there were no roads out, in ei­ther di­rec­tion. It wasn’t like you could go any­where.

Dur­ing these early years, the town was just be­ing built. Homes and busi­ness and ser­vice build­ings were all un­der con­struc­tion and were all brand new. It was an ex­cit­ing time both in­side the gate and out in the com­mu­nity as well.

Clarence and his wife Cather­ine spent their time, like many oth­ers in our com­mu­nity dur­ing those early years, rais­ing their fam­ily. They have three chil­dren, one boy and two girls. Their son and one daugh­ter are now adults and se­cond-gen­er­a­tion IOC em­ploy­ees. Their son is an elec­tri­cian and their daugh­ter works in the chem­i­cal lab. Their other daugh­ter is a nurse in Fred­er­ic­ton, New Brunswick.

Clarence has en­joyed his years of re­tire­ment with very lit­tle time spent sit­ting around and get­ting old.

He is “on the go” all the time. Clarence is a man of the woods and the wa­ter, he al­ways has been. Ev­ery time I bump into him, the con­ver­sa­tion quickly grav­i­tates to our com­mon in­ter­ests.

If we aren’t hav­ing a chat about fish­ing we are shar­ing the lat­est sto­ries on the hunt at hand. Ev­ery sea­son has the short list of what you should be do­ing and Clarence’s pas­sion for the coun­try and the wa­ter and what it holds has that list in his front pocket all the time.

Clarence is a cabin guy, his camp is down on the South East Arm of Shabog­amo Lake and he spends a lot of time there. When the sea­son is right, Speck­les, Lak­ers and Oua­naniche are all on his list.

He is a life long hunter as well. Small game is a given. He hunts moose when­ever he has a suc­cess­ful draw for a tag. Labrador moose tags are harder to get than is­land tags be­cause of the num­bers al­lo­cated. Clarence was lucky enough to have a tag for a Labrador moose last fall.

Lucky for him, not so lucky for the moose, Clarence had the roaster full. Clarence also has as yet, an un­writ­ten book, cover-to-cover filled with sto­ries of the glory years of the cari­bou hunt in Labrador West that spans all the coun­try and all the years that we had the bounty of so many an­i­mals.

Clarence has given the Cana­dian Rangers 25 years of ser­vice and the Labrador West Ground Search and Res­cue 30 years in Labrador. He re­mains an ac­tive and val­ued mem­ber to both or­ga­ni­za­tions to this day.

If any of us was down and out any­where, un­der any con­di­tions on the Labrador, in the coun­try or on the wa­ter, there would be some com­fort in know­ing that Clarence was part of the team that was look­ing for you. A true Labrador Pi­o­neer.

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