John Caldwell: An Adventurer

Essay by FastEddy93College, UndergraduateA+, April 2005

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It was in the year 1970 that a man named John Caldwell with a sense for adventure left his family and friends behind and went to work in the Arctic. He was 19 at the time. He ended up staying 3 months, the months of February, March and April to be exact. Thanks to his uncle who had provided the hook up since he'd already been working there for a number of years, he got a job with the Asbestos Corporation. This was located in the most northern point of Quebec, closest to the village of Ivugivik, which overlooks the Hudson straight across from Baffin Island.

John spoke to me about his journey. "I was flown out of Montreal and stopped at Fort Chimo to re-fuel then went on to Asbestos Hill and landed there. It was -65F". From the plane he said he was bused 30 miles to the mill where he would be working and living.

He then told me that it cost $25, 000 per day to run the mill. "I worked a total of 12 hours per day, 7 days a week, getting paid $3.50 per hour to do maintenance jobs in the mill", he said. The organization provided him and the other workers with 3 hot meals per day. At the time that he was there, they had just finished building the mill. They would take the asbestos ore from the mines and process it, then put it into trucks where they would take it to the coast for storage. In the months when the port was clear of ice, the ships would come in to load the ore and bring it to Europe and other places for further refining and manufacturing. I then asked John what he would do for amusement and he replied...