On the Ropes - Tom Roper

On the Ropes - Tom Roper

He’s been everywhere, man: Geoff Hutchinson

Tom profiles lifetime kinsman and Legionnaire Geoff Hutchinson

I have always admired Geoff Hutchinson dressed in his Legion garb as he leads the Remembrance Day parade and ceremony. Recognition of our vets has been a strong draw in my life and in Geoff’s.

His father fought in First World War and then chose a land grant for vets on Woodmere road in 1919. Geoff loves to tell the story of his mom coming north to visit her parents, the neighbours of Geoff’s dad. How she came to meet his Dad, how she fell in love and how it took five years to nurture the relationship and return to Quick.

Geoff was born in 1943 and lived his early days on the farm, no power, no running water, no sports.

“It was a good life, I never felt I missed out on anything and I learned to work.”

And work he did, running machinery at an early age trained him for his life’s vocation, driving trucks.

Geoff completed grade 10 in Telkwa and finished high school in Smithers. Work never ends and Geoff took over the farm after his dad retired. 

Money was always needed to expand the operation so Geoff started driving to supplement the income. He delivered hay to Whitehorse, he hauled propane to Drayton Valley and he trucked concentrate out of Huckleberry.

Trucking is an integral component of a functioning society and without it our lifestyle would grind to a halt according to Geoff’s perspective. I love driving and though I have done a lot of things, running cat, clearing land, cutting hay, raising cattle, fixing equipment, but driving is my favourite.

You get to see some beautiful country and meet some interesting people.

Along the way, Geoff met a lot of interesting people. He became a Kinsmen member in Telkwa 52 years ago and has been one of the head carvers at the Telkwa barbecue since joining. T

hat barbecue is the longest-running social event in B.C. history, 109 years. Geoff was also involved in 4H, the Truck Loggers organization and the B.C. Cattleman’s Association. I think it is very important to get involved and not just as a spectator, you need to do something to keep these groups alive, says Geoff.

Geoff is a lifetime member of the Legion and remembered when he took Jack Hards back to Holland for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. We followed Jack’s route of battle and visited Vimy Ridge and Flanders in France and Belgium.

“This was one of the most emotional moments in my life and I was glad to be there with Jack. It should be the duty of every Canadian to pay respect to these sites.”

Geoff is still on the farm though he moved over to Morden Road. He wintered 75 packhorses last year, some Camp Hope and some Creykes and he still has a two-day-a-week gig delivering food to Eskay Creek camp.

I love driving and I definitely feel the front-line health workers need our appreciation but let’s not forget the truckers. Without them, we could not even have the supplies for healthcare workers to do their job.