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Frontier farewell.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In May of 1946, Alan Yuill got a job with the Hudson's Bay Company. The seventeen-year-old began his fur-trade apprenticeship at Portage La Loche, Saskatchewan, under Chief Factor John Blackhall. Blackhall had worked with the HBC for more than forty years by the time Yuill joined the company.

"I spent many a Saturday night during the long winters at the kitchen table with a kerosene lamp glowing, listening to the fascinating tales of the eastern Arctic and Labrador where Mr. Blackhall served," says Yuill, who found Portage La Loche to be an excellent, yet isolated, starting point.

Employees awaited their daily radio communication from Fort McMurray and their once-a-month mail delivery. Yuill took this photo of residents outside of the store in Portage La Loche. "'The chap at the far left (is) Willy, our interpreter."

Yuill, who today lives in Scarborough, Ontario, spent two "'wonderful" years at this post, until he was promoted to the position of HBC fur trade manager, serving in Northern Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. After ten years, Man Yuill left the HBC and moved to southern Ontario. But he says he still thinks fondly of his time in "frontier country."

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Title Annotation:ALBUM
Publication:Canada's History
Date:Apr 1, 2010
Words:301
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