“CFS HOLBERG BLUES”

Rationale: After reading that there is a strong possibility that the excellent Pinetreeline.org website will be closing down in 2009, I rather anxiously downloaded as many CFS Holberg pictures as possible. We had already lost the base itself, so I was dreading the prospect of losing the last remaining and best online source of CFS Holberg memorabilia.

I then decided to gather the best images and use some video editing software and blues music (which is always eternally timeless) to generate a four minute multimedia slide show experience out of them. The result was better than expected, so here it is….

By the way, the song is actually called “Coffee Shop Girl”  from a great blues-rock album called “Driving Blues” by an excellent artist from Dallas, known as Texas Slim (shown performing it on the left). To download your own flash video (flv) copy of the “CFS Holberg Blues” slideshow, just click here. To download a free flash player, just click here.

CFS Holberg in November, 2006

More historical photos of the site in its prime can be accessed by tapping/clicking on the "Pinetreeline" button
Pinetreeline
This is the approximate location of the CFS Holberg main gate. (2 different angles) I got to know some really wonderful Commissionaires here. The name Frank McKinley is one name that rings a bell, and there were several other great retired veterans who manned the gate.
Looking towards Camp Rayonier from the main gate. I’m not sure how many hundred times I drove this stretch on my way home from an event at the base. Sometimes I was actually sober, too!
A piece of wire or cable sticking out of the ground–that appears to be all that remains of the gate, I think. How depressing!

CFS Holberg / San Josef (1954 - 1991)

The following images were originally posted at the excellent Pinetreeline.org website that closed down in 2009.
holbergbase

The Town Site

The Recreation Centre

Headquarters

Holberg Elementary School with some apartments in the background.

While working as a casual labourer on the CE (Construction Engineering, for you civilians) crew, I got to clean ditches and dig post-holes near this school. I also learned how to smoke and discovered my fear of heights when I tried working on the roofing crew for all the new roofs that were being put on the apartments

I don’t think I worked on this roof – its condition is too good!

Another view of more lovely apartments

The Base Trailerpark — but there was no “white trash” here. Just good, decent people.

The Elephant Crossing Sign

My friends in the Military always thought this sign was so amusing. As the son of a logger, I have to admit that I never saw much humour in it at the time. Now that it’s gone, I must admit that I feel a pang of remorse. (By the way, the elephants were symbolic of the rather large logging trucks that crossed the road several times every day.)

The Trail to San Josef Bay (1 of 2)

My friends and I never walked this trail sober. I guess we didn’t really appreciate nature much.

Similar to the warning at The Elephant Crossing, this one is actually on the road to Port Hardy.

Same log and car — different decade.

Special Acknowledgement: Many of the above images were originally posted on the excellent Pinetreeline.org website.  Had it not been for the contributions to that site–by members of the Canadian Forces (who have already made huge contributions to Canada)–this page would not have been possible.  I wish I could have identified each of the DND/CF photographers/contributors by name, but to do so accurately would have required a lot more time than I had available. I’m just one aging “Holberg survivor” who is still working full-time and a very long way from retirement.  I built this non-commercial, not-for-profit memorabilia site simply because I wanted to give some recognition to a little known place where I and many other good people once lived.  As my wife would verify, I barely had enough time to do this in the first place, but I did it anyway because Holberg, the people who once lived there, and the good folks who are still residing there deserve to be recognized.

10 Comments

  1. Jim savoy

    I was stationed at RCAF base I arrived april 54 to dec 1, 1955,my job was to maintain the road from alaska pines dock and floating camp My name is LAC james or jim Savoy my trade was operator mechanic mobile equipment I maintained and rebuilt the mountain road and widend all the switch-backs for the first 6 months as i was the only qualified heavey equipment operator that the air force sent there ; a civilian cougar hunter who was also a crane operator assited me till some qualified operators were sent to holberg I operated a TD14 overhead loader a F W D Tandem dump truck aTD14 dozer a alice chalmers Grader And the crane all by my self a one man operation; I also drove the passenger bus to the alaska pine camp in the evenings to go to the movies .I would like to connect with any one who was there at that time who wold remember me ,I also played guitar and accompanied a fellow who played mouth organ and sang some great songs Like ACE DOWN IN THE HOLE if anyone recalls this mans name please contact me @

    Reply
    • Gary

      Hi Jim! It’s great to hear from a true Holberg pioneer like you!!
      I actually replied to your email two times, but I guess the replies got blocked somehow. I also tried to text message you on Skype, but Skype told me that the “SMS failed” each time. I don’t know about Skype, but I think the reason my emails didn’t reach you is because I had sent them with file attachments and your Outlook program may be set to block email with attachments. I will reply again with no attachments. By the way, I should mention that I’m in Korea, so I have been sleeping when your Skype calls came in. 🙂 Thankfully, I did at least get your voicemail messages and I am happy to report that I have found a number of CFS Holberg pictures that I will share with you asap.

      Gary

      Reply
  2. Dan

    I grew up in Holberg from April 1976 till Sept 1989. it was a great place too live and attend School at! I had new friends every year with the base transferring their employees every 3 years lol. I miss the camp and its people dearly my father (Ernie Cunningham) and my Mother (Dorothy Cunningham) always called Holberg Home!!!

    Reply
    • Vince

      You are marks little brother thats cool i remember you

      Reply
  3. Deborah Klatt

    I would really like to thank the people whom I had learnt so much from my weekend training.I was a officer in the Royal Canadian Sea cadet Corp. out of Port hardy.I did 15 yrs with them up there,I also did a lot of heli rescue when our Govt decided to scrap our Mother Ship out on the Pac.Ocean. when many fish boats were caught is the 1st awful storm off the tip of the Island.Many survival courses on the tip of the Island” Cape Scott “and many hours spent on the ocean bringing the training ships around the cape into hardy waters .My hats goes out to all whom taught me and many whom had learnt from me.I was there from hmm? lets see 1975-1990.I had received an high honor from the Queen and from the Governor general on a lifesaving exercise at which there was an accident on the MV Wildwood.I was the officer on board with my Sea Cadets and administered the first aid.At which she lived through such awful trauma.Salute to all involved there.

    Reply
  4. Grant

    My parents were at CFS Holberg in the 1970s (before my time, I’m an 86 model). I’ve been up that way a few times, hiking to Cape Scott, camping at Winter Harbour, and always stopping at the Scarlet Ibis on my way through. There’s nothing left from the old base except a few km of pavement. Certainly an odd feeling though, driving on smooth pavement with tree branches scraping both sides of your vehicle. Thanks for sharing these photos, it’s certainly interesting to see how things used to be.

    Reply
  5. Neil

    Was posted 77 to 79 .loved it up there. Haven’t been up for long time. Did the Cape Scott trail. And lots of drunken bay times

    Reply
  6. Frank Lotocki

    I remember as a kid living in holberg. My father was stationed there from 1982 to 1987, one of the best places I’ve lived. It was always fun going up to the water tower with my good friends Dean and his brother Darryl Glenn as well as Scott. We would go up there to go salamander hunting. Our parents just told us to watch out for bears but we always had fun. Another past time favourite was to go to the dump to watch the bears. Would love to go back someday. Thanks for the video and pictures on this site. It brought back lots of memories.

    Reply
  7. Marcie

    I remember many a summer spent visiting my Uncle Reggie Mollard (aka Shorty) who worked there and had served in WW2. I remember dirt roads, CB radios etc… He passed away many years ago. Good memories. Thanks for creating this site.

    Reply
  8. Larry Sawyer

    I was there from 75-79

    Reply

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