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Maritime girl followed her big, handsome logger

Ruby (Hooper) Miles was born, in the home of her grandparents, in a fishing village in Back Bay, New Brunswick in 1935. Her father was a carpenter and worked for the Department of National Defense on the army base in Oromocto, N.B.

Ruby (Hooper) Miles was born, in the home of her grandparents, in a fishing village in Back Bay, New Brunswick in 1935. Her father was a carpenter and worked for the Department of National Defense on the army base in Oromocto, N.B.

By 1965, Ruby was a single mom with three sons from a previous marriage and working in the social welfare department for the town of Oromocto. Her life was good, she was happy and her daily routine was quite calm until she met a big, handsome logger from British Columbia.

Her life started to change in the spring of 1965 when she met Charles (Chuck) H. Miles. Chuck had come to town on a vacation to visit his parents and they happened to meet through mutual friends.

Ruby said, "Our first date was a dinner date and every day after that he arrived at my office with lunch. We walked to the park by the river, ate our lunch and chatted a mile a minute and got to know one another. He invited me to dinner at the home of his parents so that we could all meet one another. I was impressed because he cooked the entire meal and was pleased to learn that he was an excellent cook as well.

"Chuck knew I was the mother of three sons and he included the boys in everything.

"Before he left to go back to B.C., he asked me to marry him. I just laughed and thought, 'I hadn't been on a date for years and now my new friend wanted to marry me.' It was the last thing on my mind to leave my job and my stable life in New Brunswick to move out west. I told him to just finish his holiday here in Oromocto and go back to B.C. and think it over.

"He returned to his home in Giscome and wrote to me every day and phoned me on the weekends. I was quite impressed. He appeared to be a decent and good man and he had certainly been a gentleman. My boys liked him and pretty soon I started to miss him. Three months later, I was on the train with my boys headed west to get married.

"My friends, family and work mates thought I was crazy and making a big mistake but my heart told me otherwise. I had always been level headed and I never did anything risky or unknown like this in my life. I always had a lot of responsibilities in my job and had to be very careful and make big decisions. Using those skills and starting with my boys, I considered everything from every angle and felt I was making the right decision.

"I talked it over with my mother, gave notice at work and then I packed up my boys and our belongings and headed to B.C. on the train.

"Chuck met us in Hinton, Alberta and we were married two days later in July of 1965.

"My boys were thrilled to be going out west even though they were going to miss their grandparents.

"We arrived in Giscome; there were no paved roads from Prince George to Giscome and there was a lot of dust along the way. I can remember wearing this white pleated skirt and every pleat had a brown tinge from the dust. I was surprised by that but it didn't seem to matter. We arrived to a nice little house that Chuck had prepared for us and started what would be the next 53 years of a good marriage."

Chuck worked as the wood superintendent for Eagle Lake sawmill which is now part of Northwood.

He was born in Fredericton, N.B. in 1931 and grew up on the family farm at Maurgerville in the Saint John River valley. After high school, he attended the Maritime Forest Ranger school at the University of New Brunswick and worked for a while with the N.B. Forest Service as an assistant forest ranger. In 1952, he moved to Ontario and worked for the Ontario Paper Co. as a timber cruiser.

In 1954, he was employed by the Department of Lands and Mines and worked in the Yukon and Northwest Territories as a land surveyor. In 1956, he was working on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line as an engineer when the constant daylight of early summer caused him to head south to Hinton, Alta.

He worked with North West Pulp and Power in Hinton for seven years and then moved to Giscome.

In 1969, Chuck formed his own logging company and logged for Canadian Forest Products for over 20 years. His first and his last employee was Van Ross; they worked together for 30 years.

In 1974, he started building their new log house in Beaverly.

Chuck retired for the first time in 1989. Slowly, he got back into logging and retired again in 1999. Sadly, Chuck passed away in October of 2018.

Ruby said, "We bought a house on Kenwood Street and rented it out until we moved into Prince George in 1968. Later, we moved out to Beaverly to our beautiful home in the Mud River area.

"I was able to be a stay-at-home mom from day one. When the children grew up, I went to work at Ricki's ladies wear at the Pine Centre Mall for nearly six years."

Ruby volunteers at the Artist Co-Op Workshop and Gallery and teaches children's art classes.

She concluded by saying, "I knew that I met my soulmate when I met Chuck. I knew deep down in my heart that I was making the right decision back in 1965. We shared many of the same values; he wasn't perfect (no one is perfect) but he was a good man.

"Giscome was a great place to start our marriage and raise our family. It was while we lived in Giscome that we added two daughters to complete our family of five children. As they all grew up, we did everything together. Chuck was a great father and taught them many of the life lessons and skills they learned over the years to become the great people that they are today.

"We had five children: Tedd, James, John, Lori and Lisa, who in turn gave us five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I am so proud of all of them.

"I still have many good friends and fond memories from those years in Giscome.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and the doctors at the Jubilee Lodge for all their excellent care and attention given to my husband Chuck Miles during his stay before he passed away nearly one year ago."