AUDIO INTERVIEW : JOE IRVING

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Boat Encampment

"When I was working at Mica, Lou Lassard who became the erection superintendent for Dominion Bridge, came to Mica to see me and asked me if I would go to Boat Encampment and come up with a dismantling plan for the bridge at the bend there. So I went up and I looked it all over, and I wrote up a sequence to take to bridge down, but the loggers were bringing the timber across from the east side, and they wanted the bridge left in. So nobody ever got to do anything about taking the bridge down. And then they realized, 'Oh. We've got to hurry up now and get it out of here 'cause the water's coming up. So what they did, they took some truckloads of logs and put them in the river and made a big raft out of them. But, I guess it wasn't very well organised and when the water came up they cut the anchor bolts loose and the bridge came up with the logs coming up with the water but it wasn't even, went down to the bottom of the lake, and that is where it still is."

Kootenay Lake Span

"Well, it was while we were stringing one of the cables across the lake, and - when you string a cable across a lake, cause naturally you have to have the cable supported so that it doesn't sink down into the lake, we had seventeen pontoons put the cable on the … These were special pontoons that had a clamp on them that you could tighten it down to hold the cable in place, and the pontoons were scattered across the lake at roughly five hundred foot intervals. We had this radio equipment rented from the B.C. Forest Service. Something went wrong with the radios, and we couldn't get any communication to anybody and time was running on and we had to get the crew off the water before dark. And I went to the engineer, that was Don Jamieson. So I went to Don and I said: 'Are we going to have luck with this?' He said: 'Jo', he said, 'I couldn't tell you anything. You go and talk to those fellows.' So I did. They said they had no idea when we'd get communication again. So I went back to Don. I said: ' They don't know anything but I've got to get those men off the water.' He said how are you going to do it? I said: 'Just watch!' And I went out to the edge of the beach there, and I put my hands up to my mouth and I hollered: ' Come on in!' You could just see all the boats on the lake turn around and we had to leave the job for that day. And they all came in 'cause they had to catch the ferry to get across. Fellow were working on the west side. Johnny Kelly was in charge of that crew. And one of the fellows said: 'What was all that noise?' He said: 'That's Joe on the other side calling them in'. 'My God! What a voice that man has'. (laughter)

Nelson's Power Plant

"It's quite a thing you know. Nelson has it's own power plant and that was one the early day plants in North America. Nelson's never been a big industrial town but it's a town that's always made it's way and… The railway was one of the big things here in the first place, 'cause we didn't have highways. And then in the early days, there was sawmills and of course, always the power. So - Nelson's had it's ups and downs but it's always survived."