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
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.

The Town Site

The Recreation Centre


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.


  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 @

    • 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.


  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!!!

    • Vince

      You are marks little brother thats cool i remember you

    • Kelly

      Omg! I have such wonderful memories of your folks.
      Kelly Newman, Dick and Anne Newman’s daughter

    • Sandra Saunders

      Hi Dan this is Sandra Saunders, we were still in Holberg at this time in 1976, I would have been 12 years old, my brothers name is Stephen Saunders, my Dad was the Chef on base his name is Skip Saunders I’m sure your parents knew my parents as everyone knew each other in Holberg. We possible could have gone to school together, it would be great to find out. Holberg was my most favorite place we ever lived, we made so many friends there, I did get the chance to go back when I was 18 so it would have been in 1982, the base was closed down at this time but all the buildings still remained at this point in time. I wish they still had kept the base open for people to live there, as I would have gone back to raise my family there, it was an amazing place to live and so grateful I had the chance to live there, as I’m sure many other people are. We also had a cat named Peter, everyone knew him especially the kids and the RCMP because he use to go to the school to find me or my brother and walk around the whole school inside untill he found us Lol, and every time he went, the school called the RCMP to drive him back home to make sure he got home safely, he was such a sweetheart and will always remember him, everyone loved him so much. And 11 years ago my cat Emma had 5 kittens and one look just like Peter, I kept him because he bonded with me and was a very trimmed cat so he stayed with me, I’ll send you a picture of him, I named him Peter also as he reminds me of Peter in Holberg so much and looks exactly like him, and acts just like him also, its amazing, I truly believe he was reincarnated, and he’s just as smart as him also, so you may remember him if you ever saw him in school when you see his picture. You may have known the Drolet family also, they were like my second parents, Ron Drolet was my second Dad, Elaine Drolet was my second Mom, and then Dan and Susanne Drolet are their kids who are two of my most favorite people in the world, along with their parents who I love dearly, and we still keep in touch on Facebook. If you’d like to talk more my email address is
      or SS1964CA@YAHOO.COM please address to both email addresses as I get alot of junk in my main email which is Sandra1964ca@gmail.com
      I would love to chat and know if you have any pictures you’d like to share as mine were all stolen, but I know my parents still have many. If you remember the Klondike days, my parents do have some pictures and my Dad was dressed up like Klinger in a dress Lol like on MASH, so much fun and such a great memories to have. I did have the flag from Klondike Days but unfortunately that was stolen also, it was green with a big Happy Face on it, I’m hoping my parents have a picture of it, I’d love to share with you and others from Holberg. If you’d like to chat you have my email address and I’m also on Facebook under Sandra Saunders Heil, there’s a picture of me dressed in a black vest and jeans standing in the forest if you’d like to add me. I’m so happy I found this page as I had saved it many years ago in my collections and just found it while I was searching to bookmark a page because I had just switched to use Samsung, and my whole file of collections came up.
      Take Care Sandra, hope to hear from you

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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.

    • Rick Atha

      I remember Shorty Mollard. As I remember he worked at CE. My recollection was Shorty, red hard hat, and so many tools in his tool belt it looked like his pants were going to fall down. Nice guy. Loved to talk.

  8. Larry Sawyer

    I was there from 75-79

    • Rick Atha

      I remember you Larry. Wish I could have stayed longer

  9. Brian Walker

    I was there from 1982-1984.

    Can someone tell me if the radar is still there. in remote or mothballed?

    • Mike Pierce

      I was part of “The Final Tour”. I got there in 1992. Our 2 crews of 16 (1 Radio Tech, 1 CO or DCO, 6 RADAR Techs, 1 RM Tech, 1 Supply and 1 Admin, 5 AD Techs on each) maintained and operated the site. We lived in Comox and rotated out on Tuesdays. When I got there, the site had recently switched to commercial power so the powerplant was shut down. We removed non-essential equipment from the site. The GATR site was still operational. In the Spring of 1992, we shut down the 508 RADAR and removed it. Once all equipment was gone, most of us got posted. Some of the RADAR Techs got posted to Comox and set up the CCR (Canadian Copastal RADAR) section. The TPS117 was installed and is operated remotely. Comox Techs maintain it. As far as I know it is still operational.

  10. Connie

    It is hard to imagine why our government would just raze something down like that. When there are so many (veterans? elderly?) who would love to spend their time there. Could have been a lovely community for some group of people. I am absolutely sure it would have worked very well. I lived in Holberg for a couple years in the early to mid-sixties. My dad was a civilian radar tech, and we lived in a little house on the road to the dump. I remember going to the pool on the base all the time to swim. Loved it! We moved there from Port Hardy, where we had lived while waiting for something to come up in Holberg. And here is a really fond memory – along with the house we lived in, there was a tiny little car called an Isetta. Sure wish I had that car today! Anyway, just my thoughts.

  11. Marc Dalton

    Dad was stationed at CFS Holberg between 1968 and 1972. There were 4 kids in the family when we moved there and 6 by the time he was transfered to Chibougamau, Quebec. I have wonderful childhood memories of Holberg – the treks to San Josef’s Bay (8 miles or 13 km when I first went. Now it’s a 30 minute stroll.),clam digging at Winter Harbour, crabbing on Holberg Inlet. I mainly wore rubber boots as a kid because of all the rain. The the base was isolated there were so many activities to do. We moved in 1972 just before Grade 7. That was the grade students started to be bussed to Port Hardy. Thx for posting the pics

    • Les Acton

      Greetings old classmate from Grade 2 & 3!!!! I have been lucky to find a few of you over the years. Have contact for Bernie MacInnis, found Tim Flath, worked with Mary Jean Sooley (Edens), and the Butler family (Ed, Carole, Dawn, Dale) were in Cold Lake when I got posted here, to name a few. The memories of those days are still strong, especially the layout of the base, some of the trails in the bush, but mostly the people. The fellow that set up this page had it good if he only remembered taking the Kelsey Bay to Beaver Cove ferry, because I never got to take a ferry….it was always a night time drive all the way up the logging roads.

    • Rick Atha

      Marc. If you still have your high top Holberg golf boots they might be worth something.

  12. dwight kramer

    I was born in Holberg on dec 31 1955 My father was stationed there his name was sigfred kramer and his wife Helen he had to other two other children I left when I was only one or so. Would like to here from anyone who would remember them and what it was like there at that time My father pass away when I was I15 and my mom when when I was 29. Did not have time to ask them about the place when back there about 5 yeas ago but nothing left of the base and no answers thanks dwight

  13. dwight kramer

    hi Dwight what I really would like to know is the time of my brith and what kind of building I was born in I recently had a grandchild born on my birthday I don’t know if there are any records keep anywhere of birthed there thanks

    • Mark Terrell

      Hi Dwight, I was born in Holberg in 1956. My Dad’s name was David Terrell, now deceased unfortunately as I would have liked to ask him if he knew your Dad.

  14. donald f smith

    hey there my dad was stationed in Holberg from 82-84 my dad last name was robinson my 1st name is donald

    • Andre B

      Can you tell me ifyour father was also station in St Hubert in 1964.I was there also in64.l was station in holberg in 62 to 64 working in the power plant.Andre B

  15. Ron Kirlew

    Ah the fond memories of my tour at CFS Holberg from 1969 to 1973. It seems like only yesterday and Its hard to believe that it was almost 50 years ago now. I am till in contact to this day with friends I made there and I will never forget the good times we had back then. We never had TV and I phones but we did have Winter Carnival and Loggers Days and hiking to San Jo Bay and Cape Scott and fishing and other activities to keep us occupied. I send my best wishes to you all….

    • Wes Neilly

      Hi Ron, Hope you’re OK.
      So many never mention
      CFHG our Radio Station.
      I put in many hours there
      71 – 74 with my Golden
      Oldies & my Country Tunes
      shows. Base Transport.
      Wes Neilly
      BDF Instructor / Range Officer

  16. Eliane Caron Menzie

    Would anyone be able to help me obtain my son’s baptism certificate. He was baptized in Holberg by Father/Padre Leonard Murphy in October 1960. Do you know where the records would be now.

    This certificate is needed so he can enroll his son in Catholic school in Toronto.

    To anyone who can help, thank you.

    We were stationed in Holberg from 1959 to 1961. My husband’s name was Douglas R. Menzie. He was a driver/mechanic. My name is Eliane. We lived in one of the apartment buildings after living off base halfway between the base and the lumber camp. The owner of that house was Fred Fields, his wife was Marge and he had a daughter named Suzie.

  17. LAC Eric (Rick) Sproule - Crew 3

    I was there from 61 to 65. It was one of the best postings my family and I spent time at. We even had our own radio station “CFHG” and I got to be program director for a spell. There was no TV during my time there. Wonderful memories.

    • Dan Drolet

      I ended up with boxes of the CFHG 45 records. Still have them. I was in Holberg as a kid around 75-77. Great posting!!

      • Rick Atha

        Hey Dan. Your dad was the worst fisherman in the history of Holberg. Hell of a guy though.

    • Bill McArthur

      Hey Rick; it’s Bill McArthur
      My first posting was at Grand Prairie and then to Holberg. I remember your name well. I was offered promotion to cpl. to sign on for second term but left
      to get married. Big Mistake!!!

    • Marcel

      Salut Mr. Sproule.

  18. Art Cardinal, (Ret) Lieutenant

    I use to play in the band called ADC Four Skins (lol) and the other band’s name was The Big Apple with Pete Garland, Eddie Mottershead and Bill Ryan back in 1964 to 1968. I was the lead singer and our band was terrific. We had such a great time. We played in the Officer’s Mess, the Sergeant’s Mess and Junior Ranks Mess every weekend. We made a lot of money for those days. I worked in the base orderly room and up the Golf Ball factory otherwise known DMCC Orderly Room. Thank you for the memories. My wife and I are planning a trip next summer and looking forward to visiting the old Base and surrounding area. P.S. Love the old pictures and video. Brings back such fond memories. Stay healthy and happy.

    Art Cardinal

    • Fran (Ryan) Richardson

      I remember you….you lived in Frontenac around the hall from us…you had a denatured skunk named Richard Burton …great days, good times. Too bad there are no recordings of that band.

  19. Dreena Davis

    I am looking for information on Northolm Steamer which sank in 1943. A distant cousin, Bernt Ronning rescue the captain. My great grandmother was Bernt’s Aunt.

    I also looking for pictures of Bernt and a copy of the deed. I noticed that his death date is wrong in the literature. He died January 10, 1965 in Vancouver, BC. I have significant more details on him as to where he was born, parents names etc.

  20. Rick Atha

    What an amazing find! I was posted to Holberg from 74 to 76. Base Transport. Cant count the amount of times I drove the shift change up the hill. See Ron Drolets post. Remember him in the H hut. .Had some great times at CFHG with Robbie Robertson. Cherry wiskey shooters went down pretty good at the club. Would give my right arm to go out on the Nimkish again. Great bunch of people had some crazy times. Saw some of the funniest water craft at races on the Goodspeed. Mr Brass and the boys at CE clever bunch of fellows. George you borrowed my 30-30 and never gave it back. Dont worry never called the cops. If you read this would appreciate it back. Oh man Holberg Days. Not sure if the record books have a prize for beer drinking. WOW Rhinestone Cowboy hope you got another record. That same song for months was driving me nuts. Boulder park Base ball Field lol I made the score board. Sonny McLean what an arm;. .Brian Salter on Dozer and Nick Williams at transport. Search team trips and romantic hikes out to San Joe bay. Oh well the past is the past…It was fantastic!

  21. Ron Kirlew

    Well here it is2021. I was so happy to find a photo of the ground Search and Rescue Team taken in 1973.
    I remember them all well. I know that sadly Reg Richardson, Brian Pilon, Dick Price have all passed away now
    and I miss them all dearly. I left there 48 years ago but I still remember it as if it were yesterday and I will always have so many fond memories of Holberg. I send my best wishes to you all of you…..

    • Gord Vader

      Hi Ron, I enjoyed seeing that GSR photo as was part of the team along with Rod Stewart also from CE. Good friends of the Richardsons as I worked with Madge in CE. Great memories!

  22. Bob Strangwayes

    I was stationed In Holberg from May 1984 till May 1988. With out a doubt the best 4 years of my life. Loved the fishing and just being out in the wild. I was with Vehicle Maintenance

  23. marcel simard

    Anyone heard of Elizabeth McCarthy? Ty.

  24. marcel simard

    Oh, news from : Brian London, Carl Rudolphi, Brenda Broderick ? Would be nice to hear from them. Bye

  25. Babs Hamilton

    My husband (Hammy) and I (Babs) were in Holberg from 1987 till 1990 with our two small sons. What a great place!!! Hubby worked in the CE section and I worked for Roads & Grounds, CMTT (Quality Control/F&E), ran the Wagon Wheel (great times there!) and did a stint at the Junior Ranks mess.

    I don’t miss living in the “trailers” though LOL.

    I’d move back there in a flash. Sorry to see it all gone.

  26. Bernie (Butch) Blair

    We were in Holberg October 57 – July 59. Names that come to mind – Penner, Wilder, Chambers, Charles, Muss, Vaillencourt,
    Ullyot, Peter Hopkins M.D., Austman, Tupper, Blair (that’s us !)
    Civilians – Dick Burke, Mike , Fields,

    • Scott Wilder

      Hi Bernie,
      Where are you and Helen located now ?
      I am Don Wilder’s son (Scott) .. Helen had sent me a couple of photos over 20 years ago when I was stationed in Kingston.

  27. Joe Fyvie

    Our family spent a few years in Holberg. My father was George Fyvie. My mother Jean Fyvie. We were stationed there for a few years around 1964. The images brought back a lot of childhood memories. Thanks for creating the site.


  28. James Bowlby

    I taught at San Josef Elementary 1967-1969, Grades 5 – 9 English, Social Studies Drama. Lots of memories of the rain, the trail to S. Jo. Bay.


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