Labrador West Pioneer: Jack McCarthy

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page -

Jack McCarthy is a long-time res­i­dent of Wabush and is yet an­other rep­re­sen­ta­tion of who a true Labrador West Pioneer is.

Jack came to Labrador West in 1964 from Cor­ner Brook. He came to Wabush with the en­cour­age­ment of his aunt who was al­ready here. Al­though he had no other con­tacts or job pos­si­bil­i­ties, at age 18, he threw cau­tion to the wind and headed to Labrador. He had left home with $30, which he man­aged to lose on his way to Labrador West in his search for work.

Thank­fully, Jack ar­rived and stayed with his aunt in the be­gin­ning and quickly started his search for the work that drew so many young folks to Labrador West. It would be Jack’s op­por­tu­nity to find a good pay­ing job and the se­cu­rity that went with it. Jack McCarthy

His first stop was at Wabush Mines. He went on site, searched out the right place to be, and the right peo­ple to talk to and af­ter a five-minute in­ter­view with the job re­cruiter he had a job with Wabush Mines. It was three weeks be­fore he started work. He needed the sig­na­ture of the gen­eral man­ager on his pa­per work. The man­ager was out of town, so Jack had to wait.

At the end of the three weeks, he had com­pleted his med­i­cal and went to work in the ac­count­ing depart­ment of the mine. He started out work­ing 60 hours a week for a monthly salary of $353.

The rest was his­tory. Jack com­pleted a 31-year ca­reer in the min­ing sec­tor at Wabush Mines. All the years spent liv­ing and work­ing through the good times and the bad times that ex­ist in the nor­mal run of a min­ing ca­reer was worth it all.

Jack de­scribed the early years in Wabush as a time of op­ti­mism and growth for the mine and the peo­ple who were em­ployed there. The mine grew, the town of Wabush grew and the fam­i­lies of the peo­ple who worked ev­ery day to make it all grow, grew as well.

In­fra­struc­ture, homes, streets and sup­ply and ser­vice in­dus­tries and all the stores car­ry­ing the needs of the peo­ple, all grew to­gether with ev­ery­one in all sec­tors work­ing hard and be­ing ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in the growth of a typ­i­cal north­ern min­ing town, with en­ergy and op­ti­mism be­ing the driv­ing force.

Af­ter Jack did his time in the bunkhouses and cafe­te­ria liv­ing, he was mar­ried to his wife Elaine from Baie Verte, New­found­land in 1970 and set up house­keep­ing to­gether. Jack is most proud of his wife and fam­ily. He and Elaine raised four chil­dren, three boys and one girl who are now adults, liv­ing suc­cess­ful lives and have given Jack and Elaine four grand­chil­dren.

He and Elaine are proud of their chil­dren, the ed­u­ca­tion that they were able to pro­vide them with and the suc­cesses that they have achieved thanks to Mom and Dad’s hard work and the many valu­able life’s lessons Labrador West has pro­vided them with, as a fam­ily.

He and Elaine have given a great amount of time back to their com­mu­nity. Jack has served in the Kins­men Club as a mem­ber for many years, in­clud­ing a stint as pres­i­dent. Mi­nor hockey with three boys all play­ing in dif­fer­ent leagues at dif­fer­ent times also saw them in­volved in help­ing with the well­ness of the young peo­ple of our com­mu­nity.

Jack and Elaine have also been con­trib­u­tors to their church for many years in­clud­ing the Catholic Church Coun­cil and on­go­ing sup­port­ers of the many vol­un­teer ef­forts at­tached to the work of the church.

Fi­nal ques­tion as al­ways asked, any re­grets on the life cho­sen by them, in Labrador West. As al­ways the same an­swer.

“Not one, Labrador West has been noth­ing but good to us for all th­ese years,” Jack said. “We have tried our best to be good back.”

GARY SHAW – SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

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