............THE FOREST






“Salt Water Mainstreet Re-visited”

....A way, way back in April 1971 I wrote an article in this here nice journal about B.C.’s number one Salt Water Mainstreet – the waterways from Vancouver to Alaska.
....First of all, how did those nice years go by in a few months, and for seconds, how does the forest around us in B.C. relate to this Mainstreet?
....I’m glad you asked, because I’d like to tell you again about the vital importance of this sea-going highway, and a few notes about some of the people who live along its salttop.
....When a chap gets an invite to the Queen Charlotte Islands on a nice weekend in early May, he should not just accept, he should say, “thank you kindly.” And when the invite includes such diverse events as: being with safety committees from nearly all logging operations in the Charlottes, flying in the Crown Zellerbach Goose with the best pilot on our coast, being invited to a sumptuous Sunday feast, playing cribbage with some of the world’s greatest crib players and beating them, and meeting one of the all time great boxing champions, Archie Moore, well, dear reader, I said “Thank you kindly. I’m your lad!”
Now this is a lot of action for a country boy to handle in two days, and because of all this action you might like to share a bit of it.
....The invitation to attend the 22nd Annual Queen Charlotte Island Logging Safety Conference was offered by this year’s host, Crown Zellerbach. A fine little company that is bound to make good one day! The scene of the event was the CZ camp and operations at Sandspit, one of the logging industry’s finest setups for a campsite.
....Gerry Young is the manager of this 125-man operation and when we arrived he had us out in the woods right away to see the main part of their logging works.
....Five high-lead sides were working in an area of broken ground and the whole scene looked well laid out and operating the way a good outfit should.


....In attendance for the woods tour were Crown’s Elmer Boc, manager of industrial relations, Frank Lucci and Ed Burton, top managers of their coast wood supply and Jim Rainer, V.P. of logging and manufacturing. It shows CZ’s continual concern for logging safety when the top chaps forego their weekends to attend an important industry function. Other large company chaps take note!
....About 70 safety committee members from nearly all the logging operations on the Queen Charlottes attended the Sunday gathering at Sandspit. The day was a beauty and only tended to emphasize how people can come to love the Charlottes with a passion
....I had been invited to speak to the group at the morning session. I have always enjoyed being with safety committees, for amongst them you find


the dedicated people of a plant or operation who give of their time for the benefit of others. I reminded the chaps (and one lady member) of the dedicated work in the field of logging safety that John T. Atkinson and Andy Smith had performed for the I.W.A. in their lifetime.
....Both these men were the I.W.A.’s safety directors and they were out-standing in such a seminar as we were attending. I recalled similar confer-ences, the Englewood safety confer-ences, held years ago on Vancouver Island. Here also were gathered on Sunday, in May, the safety committees of all the logging operations then logging from Campbell River north. They were highly enjoyed and I hope they will be reinstituted some day.
....Well now, back to my story ( note to Editor – it’s spring and one tends to wander off a bit, old chap. Sorry).

....These gatherings are not meant to be serious, in-depth safety meetings, but rather they are put on to thank the various committees for their year’s efforts and to give the group an elegant meal.
....And that is where the other Moore came in. Archie Moore had been brought in by CZ to be an after luncheon speaker. That he was – and what a gentleman and story teller.
....It seems as though this former World’s Light Heavyweight Cham-pion, 1952 – 1961, has been working with young Indian children in the Terrace-Prince Rupert-Masset area under a youth program called ABC – “Any Boy Can.” Archie brought with him four young lads to show us how well disciplined and sportsminded they are under this program.
....Archie Moore, along with some other retired champion athletes, has put this program on in Africa and on Canada’s east coast. His dedication to seeing young boys get a chance at an early age to learn the values of self discipline, and helpful and courteous manners is self evident. The world could use much more sincere and thoughtful men such as Archie Moore.
....After telling the safety committees of his ABC program, and watching the young lads (7 – 10) do some excellent shadow boxing and footwork, the Champ took on questions from the crowd, “Who gave you the toughest fights?” – Marciano, Patterson, Yvon Durell.” “How old are you – Ha Ha!” and on he went. He talked of his great Rocky Marciano fight when he nearly had the Rock in the second round and the referee interfered.
....All in all it was a great day for the folks who could be there. I thought at the time how nice that these people on the safety committees would be rewarded in such a fine manner for their efforts. It was not always thus in the communities of the forest around us – no man!
....I titled this article the “Salt Water Mainstreet.” Sandspit is certainly one of the central areas of the Queen Charlotte Islands that depends on this

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British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1980

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water freeway. Aircraft bring nearly all the people to the islands. Pacific Western has a daily 737 flight there from Vancouver, but all freight and groceries come by water from Prince Rupert or Vancouver.
....It is not just the Queen Charlottes that depend on this waterway. Flying up to Sandspit from Vancouver on a clear day in May one is amazed at the ship, barge, tug, and cruise traffic underneath. In good weather the ships can ply a straight course up the waterway. In storms or poor weather there are inland channels that offer real protection to shipping. Possibly nowhere else in North or South America are there such protected passages for such long distances.

....In thinking of the relationship of this Saltwater Mainstreet to our forest industry, one has to see the loaded log

barges moving logs to mills. Sawdust barges, chips and hog fuel barges and supply barges are evident at all times. Because of the tremendous indentations of inlets on the B.C. coast, there will never be a coastal highway to compete with this waterway. Remember too, the Americans use it extensively to service Alaska from their southern ports.
....I suppose, because it is there, we take this Mainstreet for granted. We don’t have to pave it or repair it or build bridges on it or even put signs up on it. What a bargain when you compare it to, say, the western United States’ heavily exposed shoreline or the shorelines of western or eastern south America.
....I like to think of the Salt Water Mainstreet as it must have been hundreds of years ago when the powerful Haida Indians brought their giant cedar war canoes down its waters

to make war on the southern tribes. It has a long history of usefulness to our people, this toll free highway. So, it was a nice weekend and there was lots of action – oh, the crib players! Now, I’ve played a lot of crib in a lot of logging camps, but I’ve yet to see three skunks in a row (four hundred) until my trip up the Salt Water Mainstreet with the nice CZ people. Thanks, chaps, you were delightful hosts and I’ll give you a chance one day to get even. In the meantime, Ed -
.........................Keep out of the bight,

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British Columbia Lumberman, June, 1980