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One Country.
One Community.
One Day.

November 29, 2006
Testing the Waters
Taq the dog (centre) will mediate any disputes on a long Canada-wide canoe trip powered by Pam Harrison MacDonald and husband Geoff MacDonald—who test their oars on a dry but snowy, frozen ground. ©Provost News Photo.
Cross Country Canoe Trip
• Will be 4 Year Adventure
Two people are testing their tent and equipment and are studying maps north of Provost as they prepare for a cross country canoe trip that will see the husband and wife team travel on salt water, rivers and other waterways beginning next month.

Pam Harrison MacDonald and her husband Geoff MacDonald plan to paddle and portage with their canoe and dog from Victoria B.C. on Canada’s Pacific Ocean to St. John’s, Newfoundland on the Atlantic Ocean.

The pair, who were married at Pak and Allyson Wong’s farm home in June are both 31 years old.

Some of the major waterways they will paddle across will be, in addition to the major salt oceans: the Fraser River, the Albany River, (Ontario), South Saskatchewan River, Meleze River (in Quebec), James Bay, the Labrador Sea, and Lake Winnipeg.

When they approach the Rocky Mountains they will have to carry the canoe on their backs through a pass.
The newlyweds are estimating that they will spend three or four years on the trip but do plan to return home on occasion a couple of times each year to see family and friends.

The pair told The News in an interview that during this first winter they will be paddling down the coast of B.C. but next winter when they are travelling inland, when the rivers are frozen they expect to be camped somewhere near the Bow River west of Calgary and will spend time snowshoeing and exploring. When they eventually reach northern Ontario and Quebec during another winter they will have their dog, an Alaskan malamute, now one year old and named Taq, help pull them via sled.

The couple say they don’t know anyone who has completed this trip from coast to coast, (but there could be) adding that others have done pieces of such a cross country expedition.

Geoff, who has done geology work for EnCana Corp. was asked why he’s doing this. “I don’t know” he answered—but Pam, who had been a senior operations analyst for Coral Energy (a division of Shell) says she wants to do it to get a good experience of Canada and “all aspects of its geography. It’s amazing . . . the adventure.”

Both have worked hard over the last two and one half years in Calgary to save money for the trip and will embark next month, likely taking a truck to the West Coast with their equipment.

They have been mulling such an adventure over for about a decade and have been friends for nine years.

Provost News: What is this going to cost, or how much will be spent on the trip?

Pam and Geoff: We don’t really want to say how much but just for the topographical maps alone, we spent between $7,000 to $9,000.

PN: What will be your main challenge or concern?
P & G: Bears, the weather, injuries.

PN: Will you carry a cell phone?
P & G: We’ll have a satellite phone for emergencies and to keep in touch with family. It’s expensive to run, though.

PN: Can you tell us what main equipment you’ll need?
P & G: The new canoe and tent, a very light titanium wood stove, dry suits for cold weather and sleeping, a shotgun for protection and fishing gear.

PN: Will you see many people on the trip?
P & G: On portions of it we may but sometimes we will see no one else for weeks . . . maybe up to three, six or eight weeks at a time.

PN: Do you speak any languages other than English?
P & G: We both speak a little French.

PN: Do you have some experience outside?
Pam: I lived outside in the woods for a year in New Jersey and built shelter with my own hands and gathered food. Geoff: I’ve done canoeing expeditions and conducted guiding for others.

PN: Will you still be friends when this is all over?
P & G: During the trip our dog Taq will be the mediator. We are both pretty good at doing our own thing.
Pam’s mother Allyson Wong walks through her kitchen during the interview. PN: What do you think of this? Allyson: “If you have the chance, more power to you (she then looks at the couple) . . . be well and safe—and if not — come home.”

Outside, the interview winds down and Pak Wong drives into the yard. PN: Are you going too? Pak: “I’m not going. There’s no room for me.”

Print version in November 29 edition of The Provost News.
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Legion Branch Disbands
Dwindling veterans triggered the decision to disband the Provost Branch No. 85 of the Royal Canadian Legion to disband last month.

President of the local branch for the last five years, Cal Fulmore, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday told The News in an interview at Hillcrest Lodge that the branch was closed on October 12.

He was visiting with fellow WWII veteran Ab Burton at the
time of the interview and they both said that remaining funds will be divided up to local groups in the community.

The groups that will receive a portion of the remaining funds will be the local nursing home, Hillcrest Lodge, the Provost Cemetery and the Provost and District Ministerial Association.

There were seven local veterans left who were Provost Legion members as well as some associate and other members who do not live here.

Fulmore says that the Town of Provost will be entrusted with books or other property and they will be put in a box and locked up in storage in case the legion is revived later.

The Legion Hall is now owned and operated by the Town of Provost.

A few highlights of the local branch’s history include:

The most members the Legion enjoyed over the years was 124.

In 1930 president of the local branch was A. W. Fiske and serving with him at that time were other WWI veterans Bill Holtsbaum, Harry Frizzell, Elmer Larson as well as Boer War veterans Jack Burton and Thomas D. Morrell.
These men kept the Legion active until veterans returned in 1945-46.

Legion members met in the Elks Hall until the old Hurstbourne School was moved to town in 1950 and used as a clubhouse. Records of the Legion were stored in the basement, which became flooded and old records were lost.
The new Legion hall was built in 1963 and the mortgage was paid off in 1978.

Rest of story in November 29 edition of The Provost News.
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Local Teams 5th, 7th at Provincial Volleyball Play
Full story in November 29 edition of The Provost News.
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Fewest Alberta Voters Here in PC Contest
Full story in November 29 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask : "Is There Something New You Want for Christmas?"
. . . and we heard opinions from Parker Large, Rachel Bouma, Nicholas Kemp, Jordan Greaves, and Maverick Johnson.
Check out the November 29 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
Want to Subscribe to The Provost News? Click here.
This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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