Andy Dyment

Posted on April 15th, 2013

Retired Teacher - Brooklin, ON
Kettle Lakes Ontario Ranger, 1957
Fifty-six years ago, I was an Ontario Ranger near Timmins, in Northeastern Ontario. Back in the 50's, probably lacking a little direction as a 17 year old, my father was able to convince me I would be a good candidate for this program. I'm so glad he did.
I lived in Barrie at the time, so I was quite familiar with the outdoors, but did not realize the isolation that would happen that summer. We were the initial group to develop this park. From cutting trees for the parking posts, clearing the land for that parking area, digging and building stone drinking wells, preparing the sand beaches (there are 22 spring fed lakes in the park) and myriad other tasks, we made a major impact. A small forest fire started close by that summer, and we helped clear a fire break for a few days.

The visuals of that summer keep flooding back as if it were yesterday. The camaraderie was incredible, our "cookie" was the best (especially the pies) and the direction given to us by our foreman Roy Wildman was outstanding. Unfortunately Roy broke 4 fingers while on a portage we were doing and had to head to hospital during our final canoe trip.
My confidence and self-awareness increased substantially during this great opportunity. I became an educator and retired after 35 years, but continue to give back to youth.
For our work at Kettle Lakes, I believe we were paid $8 per day. It is not about the money. Can this government not see that, for a minimal cost, they have been able to accomplish so much with the youth of Ontario?  They should continue to do so!  I have spoken today with members of parliament, and only hope they will open their eyes to this travesty.
… and by the way for all those people availing themselves of trips to the Kettle Lakes Park … you're welcome!

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