Harold McCulloch reminisces about his life in the Alberni Valley. He still owns a boat and tends his own garden while living at Heritage Place. ORLANDO DELANO PHOTO

VALLEY SENIORS: Longtime Alberni resident still enjoying life at 91 years old

Harold McCulloch loves living at Heritage Place

ORLANDO DELANO

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Born in Terrace, B.C. almost 91 years ago, Harold McCulloch is currently a second-year tenant of Heritage Place in Port Alberni. He continues being actively involved in the day to day activities of this seniors home.

“I enjoy this place very much. We have good food and lots to do here, also, a nice accommodation,” says McCulloch. “For example, this morning we had a good exercise session with weightlifting included. And I still have two boats that I keep in Beaver Creek during the winter months. When possible, I go fishing as far as Bamfield.”

McCulloch’s father came to Canada as a young man in the 1920s from North Dakota. He worked in the shipyard as a machinist and carpenter in Vancouver. “That man could do so many things, and as they say, he was a jack of all trades!”

Harold McCulloch got his primary education in Vancouver. There, as a young man, he later attended a technical school where he specialized in cutting heavy duty metal in machine shops After two years in the Lower Mainland, he decided to follow his older brother to Vancouver Island in 1949 to work in Stamp Falls for a while.

He then got a job at McMillan Bloedel Camp in Great Central Lake where he worked for one year while living in Beaver Creek.

Followed that, he joined the Alberni Plywood plant crew and worked there for the next 27 years until retirement. As a mill worker, he did a variety of jobs, including spreading, oiling, press operator, among others. He got an early retirement due to the closure of the mill. He now likes to share memories of many of his years at the mill and his co-workers.

“There are still many of them in town that I knew from those days: machinists, electricians, carpenters, etc., lots of good people.”

Married in the 1960s, he became father of three children, two girls and a boy. He proudly speaks of them and how well they have done professionally: “My boy works at the APD in town; one of my girls is a nurse in Calgary and the other works in a big office in Aspen, Colorado,” he said. “Look at this cap! My daughter from Aspen sent it to me!”

Although he had a busy working life, McCulloch also enjoyed travelling to many places around the world. Among them he recalls trips to Disneyland in California; Kingston, Jamaica; France; Germany; Holland, etc.

When home, during his time off from work, he always enjoyed one of his favourite pastimes: fishing. In fact, for years he went fishing down the Alberni Canal (his boats are 27 feet and 28 feet, respectively) with friends and son-in-law. But unlike his son-in-law, he never took part in the Salmon Festival.

“He did. One year I believe he caught a 41-pounder and won the contest,” he says.

He then goes on to show us his suite at Heritage Place, and proudly pointing at family photos displaying memories of people and events.

He also shows us his garden area and the outside view from his unit. “This is a great place to live. Look outside, that’s my own little garden. Last year I grew lots of tomatoes. And thanks to my brother-in-law, I got very good soil for the garden.

“I am looking forward to go back fishing soon!”

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