Labrador West Pi­o­neer: Ken Pafford

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

Ken Pafford is yet an­other great ex­am­ple of a true Labrador West Pi­o­neer.

Fate and cir­cum­stances saw Ken’s ar­rival in Labrador West in 1967. He was 16 years old and came to Labrador West from Cor­ner Brook to visit his brother who was al­ready here. Ken wanted to have a look around to see what this Labrador was all about.

He and his brother spent a bit of time fish­ing and hunt­ing and it be­came clear that Ken was go­ing to stick around Labrador West for a bit more than just “a look around.”

It didn’t take long for Ken to find a job pack­ing gro­ceries at the lo­cal Do­min­ion Gro­cery Store which was a pretty good fit for a 16-year-old.

Af­ter a time spent there, Ken went to work for Handy Andy’s in the parts and ser­vice de­part­ment of their Snow Jet Snow­mo­bile deal­er­ship.

The com­mu­nity was full of young peo­ple who all worked and so­cial­ized to­gether. There were no roads in or out and ev­ery­one had to make their own fun. The only travel was ei­ther by train or plane and there was cer­tainly long pe­ri­ods of time be­tween trips out. Ken’s time when he wasn’t at work was spent fish­ing, hunt­ing, play­ing darts and so­cial­iz­ing.

As the com­mu­nity was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pe­riod of rapid growth there was a much­needed de­mand for peo­ple to work for the con­tract­ing com­pa­nies in all of the trades re­quired to build the houses. These home were needed by all of the new folks com­ing into the com­mu­nity to fill the po­si­tions within the min­ing and ser­vice sec­tors. That in turn fueled the rapid growth of the min­ing sec­tor in Labrador West.

Ken even­tu­ally went to work for a con­tract­ing com­pany that was pro­vid­ing all of the plumb­ing ser­vices on the new hous­ing con­struc­tion.

Af­ter his time with the con­tract­ing com­pany, Ken went to work for a 10-year stint at the Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada (IOC) where, dur­ing this time, he went to trade school to com­plete his plumb­ing trade re­quire­ments.

Dur­ing these years Ken was very ac­tive in the Cari­bou Club. This or­ga­ni­za­tion was formed to rep­re­sent the needs and fel­low­ship of those folks who were anx­ious to take full ad­van­tage of the bounty that the cari­bou herd of the day pro­vided to the res­i­dents of Labrador West.

Ken sat on the ex­ec­u­tive of the Cari­bou Club. He gave his time to the con­struc­tion and set up in the coun­try of the pre­fab camps that pro­vided a home base and shel­ter for the club’s mem­bers dur­ing their hunt­ing ad­ven­tures in the coun­try.

Af­ter a decade at IOC Ken stepped out on his own. He started his own plumb­ing busi­ness, one which has grown through his hard work into a very im­por­tant and needed ser­vice to the en­tire com­mu­nity.

In 2000 Ken built his dream home on the shore of Du­ley Lake. He was the first full-time res­i­dent on the lake. Since then it has grown from the gen­er­a­tor power and wa­ter buck­ets to an area with many new “dream homes” with power lines and drilled wells. Du­ley Lake has be­come a com­mu­nity of like­minded good folks and neigh­bors with Ken be­ing one of its found­ing fa­thers.

Ken and his part­ner Elaine have a beau­ti­ful place on the lake. They are look­ing for­ward to their re­tire­ment years com­ing soon with their beau­ti­ful view and their pon­toon boat, all well-de­served.

It’s al­ways nice to ask a ques­tion that you feel you al­ready know the an­swer to. Any re­grets that fate and life have given you, and the life you have had in Labrador West? In uni­son, Ken and Elaine an­swered, not one.


Ken Pafford

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