THE FOREST AROUND US
I remember Jeppy
ed at such a sale, telling Jeppy he needn’t
pay such a sum at this time as it would take several weeks to deliver
the tractor. But Jeppy paid cash and that’s how it would be; he
didn’t believe in that fancy credit business, sick or well.
was a boy and a man of the forest around us in coastal British Columbia.
His life spanned a too quick forty years and in those years he had been
a fisherman, a wireless lineman, a whaler, a trapper, a sort of tide flat
rancher and of course a logger. He called his outfit the “Adventure
Logging Company Ltd.” and his name was Jepetha Hole of coal Harbour
situated on Quatsino sound at the northern end of Vancouver Island. He
was quite a man and I’d like to tell you a bit about him now that
the cold of winter has set in on us.
skids and know-how and somehow moved the big building down onto a
large log float—perfectly intact. A day or so later he towed the
structure out to the west coast and we made the trade for our A-frame.
It was a good swap for both of us. And then I rem-ember as a young lad,
Jeppy and his brother Doug once gathered up a whole shipload of empty
beer bottles at Coal Harbour and had a freighter stop in at their dock
and loaded the ship with their gatherings. The event was marveled at
for years after.
British Columbia Lumberman, December, 1972
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job of towing whales from the whaling fleet that was working the waters
off the north end of Vancouver Island. He had a good sized tug and it
was his job to go out each day and gather from the fleet the dead floating
whales and tow them to the Whaling Station at Coal Harbour. It so happened
that a threatened loggers strike was imminent and I was worried about
getting our logs towed to the pulp mill, a distance of 50 miles, before
the deadline. We had to tow the logs, about a half million board feet
of them, in two large bag booms through the first 10 miles of open Pacific
waters, making the job impossible unless we had a tug. Jeppy heard of
our plight and knowing that no log tugs were available arrived at our
camp one morning at six o’clock and said he was there to help
them. We loaded Jep in the back of an old pickup truck to take him to his resting place about a mile and a half from the church. There were only about five vehicles of any type in Quatsino then as its narrow road was not connected to outside roads. With the five strange old pickups and trucks in procession we wound our way along the road—hardly seeing because the snow gale was so fierce. Looking back now I think Jep must have been amused at the scene, for with his wonderful sense of humor he could never find sadness as he found that day. It’s as if he would say: “What the heck are all you folks doing out here on a day like this, don’tcha know it’s snowing and blowing?”
....There are people in the forest around us—and with a pardon to the Yellow Tractor Company et al—I find
them more interesting than the great machines of the forest. They are interesting because they gave of themselves to an industry that has grown up the hard way. It’s been an industry that needed strong leaders, tough character, daring-do, and people who could do without the comforts of city life and cope with and enjoy their forests. Jepetha Hole of the Adventure Logging Company was such a man. He grew up, lived and worked and died on the waterways of Quatsino Sound, and the people of the forest around that sound shall never forget the boy and the man of the forest.
Keep out of the bight,
|British Columbia Lumberman, December, 1972||