Friday, November 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Courtenay Bay Generating Station

Today I had an opportunity to attend an event to mark the closing of the Courtenay Bay Generating Station after 47 years of operation. Many of you may not know this, but Courtenay Bay holds a special place in my heart, because in some ways, and like what has happened for so many others, it is where I started down the road that lead me to the place I am today.

In 1991, 17 years ago, I worked at Courtenay Bay G.S. for 4 months during the last co-op work term of the Chemical Technology Program I was enrolled in. I worked with a great bunch of people – Chem Techs Kevin Thorne, Mark Allaby, Sean Maxwell, Malcolm Manderville and Bernice Lanigan, and they sure taught me a lot. Like the rest of the people down at “the Bay”, they were great role models and they went out of their way to help me learn.

Glen Brown was the lab supervisor then, and I remember that one day he wanted to see me in his office. I was a little nervous, because as a student I wasn’t often asked to go to the boss’s office, but I found out he just wanted to get to know me a little better – I was more than just a worker at the station, I was part of the family, which was the way things worked at Courtenay Bay. At the end of the conversation, he told me he was pleased with my work and he was going to put in a good word for me. Later the next summer, I did start working with NB Power, and the rest as they say, is history.

So like many other people, it all started right there for me, and today was a bit of a sad day, as we said goodbye to Courtenay Bay Generating Station. Having said that, I do want to tell you that the men and women who started there, or spent some time there in the Courtenay Bay family, have now dispersed and brought the lessons they learned at the Bay to the other stations throughout NB Power. For that, all employees of NB Power, and all the members of the IBEW, can be grateful, and in spreading the knowledge, and more importantly, the values we all learned at Courtenay Bay, the station will continue to live on.

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