One big fam­ily

The Pilot - - Focus - Kyle.green­ham@north­ern­pen.ca

now but to take what we need and leave the rest of it.”

With her sons ar­riv­ing in town on their long­liner, Ros­alind and her husband will spend these fi­nal days gath­er­ing what they can as they leave be­hind a home and their way of mak­ing a liv­ing.

The fu­ture of Wil­liam’s Har­bour

De­spite the aban­doned ve­hi­cles and with­er­ing build­ings now so prom­i­nent, Wil­liam’s Har­bour is not des­tined to be just an­other ghost town. Fu­elled largely by a love for the area, the town will re­main in use in the warmer months. Like Howard, Louise and Ge­orge plan to re­turn each sum­mer, and have al­ready be­gun re­ar­rang­ing for a sum­mer home.

“We’ll be back in the sum­mer, that’s what keeps us go­ing,” said Ge­orge.

Howard has plans to bar off his base­ment and bring in a wood fur­nace to make his Wil­liam’s Har­bour prop­erty more cabin-like and suit­able for the off-the-grid life­style.

It will be a dif­fer­ent time for the com­mu­nity, with a greater de­pen­dence on gen­er­a­tors, wood fur­naces and gath­er­ing wa­ter from Wil­liam’s Har­bour’s nat­u­ral spring. Al­though, for fam­i­lies like the Rus­sells who grew up in the area, in many ways it will be like re­turn­ing to child­hood.

“We lived like that for years and years,” Howard rem­i­nisced. “We’ll miss the run­ning wa­ter and that only be­cause we let our­selves get use to it.”

Af­ter the power and run­ning wa­ter are shut off on Nov. 10, the airstrip will be torn apart and its phone ser­vice tower taken down. These es­sen­tials of the mod­ern world will be gone, but for those who cher­ish the self-suf­fi­cient and older ways of liv­ing, the re­set­tle­ment by no means will be the end of Wil­liam’s Har­bour.

“I wish it could all be left for peo­ple who want to stay. But to tell the truth we were get­ting nowhere, we had no young peo­ple,” said Howard. “But I know I’ll be back here, and my grand­kids love to come out here. So, they’ll be back, they al­ways come back.”

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