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North bids adieu to native son

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Hay River (Aug 13/01) - The North said goodbye to one of her own last month when Harold Hudson died at 64.

To those who knew him, Harold was a Renaissance man of the territory, who had a big love for his family and the land, while exhibiting a robust vigour for life.

Harold's daughter Dorothy recalls her dad as a true man for all seasons.

"In the summertime, he was a fisherman and trucker; in the wintertime he was a trapper and trucker," Dorothy said.

She said he was a man with a big heart who always made time for his children.

"We were his pride and joy. He loved everyone of us," she smiled. "He always had something special to say about each one of us."

"It wasn't ever the same and it was bullshit half of the time, but it didn't matter."

An avid guitar player and a love of music, Harold had a song for each one of the kids.

Dorothy recalled growing up with her siblings as the only residents on Hudson Island -- an island in the Hay River -- just off Vale Island. "You know, we were the richest kids in town," she remembered. "We didn't have very much, but we had the biggest yard in town."

The Harry Camsell school boat would ferry the Hudson kids back and forth across the river to the bus. But learning didn't end after school on Hudson Island.

"He taught us all how to set snares we had to learn that," she said. "It was part of our growing up."

David Johnson was friends with Harold for 31 years and says the man was as colourful as you could find and a great example of the spirit that is the North.

"Harold exemplified what a Northerner is," Johnson said. "He did it all hunting, trapping, fishing and a truck-driving pioneer.

"He was all of that and more."

Harold worked trucking fuel for Esso most of his life and Dorothy said that at the end of a hard day's work, her dad would cross the river to the pub.

"He would say to mom, 'Bye hon I'm goin' for one,' but he would hold up five fingers in a wave," she said. "It drove my mom nuts."

Harold Hudson is survived by his wife Florence, his five children Gail, Sandy, Deb, Dorothy and Buzzy (Harold Jr.).