Two local veterans of the forestry industry, Don Gordon and Wayne Nolan, have committed themselves to preserving the industry’s history at Cowichan Lake.
The two can be found every Thursday at the Kaatza Station Museum, volunteering in various capacities; mainly in building and repairing buildings and equipment.
Gordon started his forestry career at the Hillcrest Lumber Company in Mesachie Lake.
“It was a real sort of family affair. A lot of the fellas who worked there, their fathers worked there,” Gordon said.
After the mill shut down, Gordon went on to work in Youbou and Honeymoon Bay, where he’d spend 14 years as part of the Bull Gang; an odd job crew. He’d later move to the Chemainus mill, following various mills as they closed down.
“A lot of guys that worked at Honeymoon Bay were there,” he said, of the Chemainus mill.
“They were all good outfits to work with,” he said.
Now, along with Nolan, a fellow retired forestry worker, Gordon spends his Thursdays preserving the history he was a part of.
“It’s not just history,” Gordon said. “It’s the story of the people that were here.”
“I grew up with this equipment, and a lot of this history,” Nolan said, motioning around him, in the museum’s old Mesachie Schoolhouse.
“The area has changed drastically,” Gordon said. “Some the better, some the worse. The forestry industry has moved on.”