LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
There is little doubt that Percy and Gloria Dumaresque are on the list of Labrador West Pioneers. They have steadfastly given their lives and their efforts to the community.
Percy took the longer road to Labrador West when he left his home as a young man. He went to work on the base in Goose Bay when he first left home in Lanse Au Clair on the south coast of Labrador.
Percy went to work on the American base and after a stint there, Percy thought he would give the Army a try. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and learned a great deal. His best memory of his time in the Army was a tour of duty that included a trip to Norway.
After his time in the Army, Percy decided that he would come and take a look at the opportunities in Labrador West.
It was 1970 and work and opportunity was in Labrador West and he has called it home every since. His first job was with Hussey Engineering that turned out to be a three-year run. He then went to work for Canadian Industries Limited for four years.
In 1978 he married Gloria. She had arrived in Labrador West in 1970 to initially live with her sisters who were already here. She arrived looking for work as well, and found work, and her and Percy set out on living life in Labrador West.
They had two children and have two grandchildren. Life in the early years was the same for all of the Pioneers that have been profiled on these pages. There were no roads in or out and folks made due with what they had and made their own fun. Percy and Gloria were no different.
Percy settled into a 25-year run with the Iron Ore Company of Canada, which he retired from. Gloria was busy with two children and also worked outside of the home. She worked at the Wabush Recreation Centre in the canteen for a time and then went to the local hospital as a cook giving 28 years of service.
Their lives over all of these years were not spent at just work and home. They have from the beginning, been solid supporters of their church as active members of the Parish as well as all of the volunteer efforts that were a steady part of the church’s service to the community.
Back in the 1970’s, long before the White Wolf Snowmobile Club, there was a small but active group of local folks who had the Snow Cart Club. Percy was a very active member of this Club and spoke of how proud he was when he pulled up to the gang with his new 12 Horsepower Elan Snowmobile.
Long before Cain’s Quest was even a dream in anyone’s thoughts, in 1993, Percy and his Buddies, George Meadus, Scott Hodge and Manuel Butt packed up their gear with machines from that era and went on a little ride themselves.
A 15-day excursion that took them from Havre St. Pierre, Quebec on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River To Blanc Sablon, all the way up the coast of Labrador arriving in Goose Bay and then on to Churchill Falls and then home to Labrador West. They had 15 days in the country, no support teams and snowmobiles from an era that would have been tested like the boys, perhaps a bit over the limit. They were truly Pioneers.
Percy had the third cabin built at Blueberry and Hill and loved to be hunting ptarmigan from there in all of those early years.
Both he and Gloria were quick to say that they had no regrets in where life had taken them as they found their way to Labrador West. Percy went on to say that Labrador West has been real good to them. There was always work, a group of friends and neighbours and a community that was always there during not only the best of times, but also the worst of times. We are all lucky to have the community that we have, it’s because we have friends and neighbours among us like Percy and Gloria.