Comox resident Armand Aden has published a book about his time building the electric infrastructure for the province of Saskatchewan.
Aden began working at SaskPower at the age of 17 and maintained employment with the crown corporation right up to his retirement, in 2000.
It was only after retirement that the thought of chronicling his career entered his mind – with the encouragement from friends. And so came to be the book, Powerneer.
“I went through that whole 40-plus-year career with SaskPower without really knowing what significance my career had, until I retired and started telling these stories,” said Aden. “About 10 of these stories were life-changing events… So I would tell these stories and friends and relatives said ‘gee, why don’t you write about those?’ So I started writing about them… I call them the longest days of my life at SaskPower.”
One such event was the rescue of his partner from a pole-top electrocution, without climbing gear, and no ladder, ultimately saving his partner’s life.
Another chapter surrounds the story of his wife, Marlene, being involved in a head-on collision as she was coming to pick him up from work.
“I was walking down the road with my gear, and this guy comes driving up, my wife was in the back compartment, severely wounded. We got her to medical aid in Flin Flon… that’s just one of those life-changing things that occurred to me during this whole course of bringing power to the entire province.”
Aden says the book surrounds his involvement and witnessing “the change of Saskatchewan… from a ‘have not’ province to a ‘have’ province during the latter part of the 20th century, as told by a lineman who lived it, survived it.”
He said the book is intended for anybody who is interested in learning how infrastructure was developed across the country.
“In the early days, it was rough and tough – we didn’t have the kind of equipment that they have today, man lifts and digger trucks and all that stuff,” he said. “Nowadays when you go to set a pole, you just send a crew out there, put a pole in. In the old days, a pole came down, one guy had to get that pole back up somehow, hire people (on the spot) get help, whatever. It was a totally different world
“It was very, very hazardous work. You’re working with lethal energy – electricity – at perilous heights, and in terrible conditions usually. So I started thinking and decided, that story needs to be told.’
The ebook is also available at play.google.com
There will be a book launch and book signing at the Comox Golf Club on Monday, Aug. 23, 3-7 p.m.