In 1963 I as 23 years old and had been teaching for 4 years. I was at a crossroads. I had to either go back to school or leave the territory. I couldn't make up my mind. I didn't want to leave teaching but I didn't have any other option that jumped out at me.
I had noticed an ad in the paper to teach in canada's northland. I thought maybe I should try this and if it's exciting I can continue and go back to school or just leave. A package of information came with an application form. I thought I might as well apply and see what happens. Since it was a government position the application was detailed.
A few weeks later I got a letter asking me to come for an interview. I'd never been interviewed before. However, I thought what have a got to lose, I'll go to the interview. A few weeks after the interview I was offered a position. Now what do I do? Well, I thought it sounded exciting and what have I got to lose. The pay was very good! I accepted the position to teach gr. 8 in Inuvik NWT. This was a large school with 50 teachers. I was excited but nervous.
More information was sent about what I needed for living in that location. They also sent instructions as to travel. I was to got to Edmonton Alberta on Aug 23, check in with the airline and fly north the next day. They assured me that my ticket would be there.I phoned the airline. They had never heard of me and claimed the government had made no plans for my transportation. However, they said come down tomorrow and we'll see what we can do.
I went to the airport and checked in. They definitely told me there was no seat for me. I was told to come back tomorrow so back to the hotel I went.
I went out the next day and they said they didn't have a seat. I was very discouraged by this time. Before I picked up my bag to go back to the hotel I asked what happens next. They said wait a minute. Well ten minutes later they said there's one seat, give us your baggage and go out to the plane. Wow!
Now I had never flown before. After all this I was a little stressed out. I had seen pictures of people in passenger airplanes and they were dressed up. I had my best jacket on. But when I looked around not many people were dressed like I was. Most of them looked like construction workers. What was going on?
The airplane was a very elderly DC4 which is an aircraft from the 1940's. they were used in WW II. The airline I flew on was Pacific Western and they maybe had 2 or 3 DC 4's so I could well have flown on this one.
Off we went. About half way we ran into some violent thunder storms. The plane was tossed around. So this wasn't quite the thrill I had bargained for. After about 20 minutes a leak started right over me. Well, I was sure I was a goner. This old bird was falling apart and my adventure would be over. They moved me to a seat where there wasn't a leak. We got out of the thunderstorm and soon landed.
I really hadn't thought that there would be this much adventure to get to my northern teaching position. I was only halfway there so I lots more flying was ahead of me.