Youngs rolled with life's punches

Lucy (Campbell-Saliba) Young was born in the southern European island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in 1941. Her family, along with her aunt and uncle left the island on a Greek freightliner when she was 10 years old. They docked in New York 10 days later and took a train to London, Ont.

Lucy finished high school and took a business course at the college. She said, "I worked for one year at Pumps & Softeners in shipping and receiving until I got itchy feet and I wanted to travel.

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"Two of my girlfriends and I left London and one month later we ended up in Vancouver. It was a great trip. Whenever it looked like we were low on gas we stopped at farms along the way and looked for work for gas money. We were honest about only wanting to work for gas money as we worked our way across Canada. We picked fruit and vegetables and did some odd jobs. They usually sent us on our way with food to last us a few days. Times have changed and we just would not be able to do that kind of traveling these days. We had fun and met some nice people and in turn we worked hard for them to earn our keep.

"I met and married my first husband (deceased) in Vancouver. We got married, moved to Surrey and had four girls; Danielle, Cindy, Monica and Catherine.

"I worked as a nurse's aide in a private long-term care facility. I needed a better paying job to cover all the bills, so I got a job with Canada Post as a part-time letter carrier by day and part time waitress by night.

"In 1972, I remarried and got a job working as a first aid attendant for B.C. Ferries until they became a Crown corporation and slashed 400 positions.

"We moved to Prince George in 1974. My husband worked for the city and I first worked as a nurse's aide in a long-term care facility and then at the hospital in the central supply department when once again I became widowed with two teenagers left at home.

"I took some computer courses and upgraded my office skills.

"In 1980, I remarried again. We moved to Whitehorse where my husband John worked as a long-haul trucker and I found work at the hospital for two years as a dicta typist in medical records.

"John got sick and we moved to Stewart where he found work driving mine workers to and from the mine site in Hyder, Alaska.

"In 1984, we moved back to Prince George where John died of lung cancer.

"I worked for the Department of Public Works in the maintenance department from 1984 -1989. Next, I worked for a catering company, as the cook's helper out at the Mount Milligan mining camp. It was my job to do all the prep work.

"I happened to meet Larry Young at a dance at the Legion in 1989. I thought he was okay but there was nothing serious about it in my mind. My children were now adults and living on their own and I was enjoying my new life being free to do anything I wanted to do on my own.

"I was surprised when Larry showed up at the Mount Milligan camp site over the Easter holidays in 1990. He came out there to talk me into quitting the job and moving to Prince George. We got married in 1997."

Lucy explained, "In 1994, we took a vacation and went to Malta. Larry wanted to see where I came from. He was surprised to see that the island people were still doing all the road work and the cutting of marble by hand.

"I delivered newspaper bundles for the Citizen for two years, worked in the fast food industry and went to school and took some computer courses. I worked for Joe Vasallo at EK Williams Accounting as their receptionist for nearly two years until the business folded. After that, I worked as a live out nanny for 18 years and I retired at the age of 69.

"I have been a member of the Elder Citizens Recreation Centre since 2008; I volunteer with the stroke survivor group each Wednesday and help out with bingo the first Friday of every month."

Larry served on the board of directors at ECRA for four years in building maintenance and he served on the board at the Legion as their sport director for four years.

Larry was born in Burns Lake in 1949 and raised in foster care all of his life. He said, "My parents gave me up at the age of one. I went to school in Telkwa and then bussed to Smithers when I started Grade 6.

"I ran away when I was in Grade 8, lied about my age and went to work out in the bush with only 50 cents in my pocket. I never went back into town for two years. When I did go to town I got into trouble with the police and they shipped me to the Queen Charlotte Islands. They offered me a two-year job in surveying at MacMillan Bloedel or the choice of going to jail. I took the job and had to agree to stay there and work for two years. I agreed. I didn't really care because I just wanted to work. I have worked hard all my life and it hasn't killed me yet. In the meantime, I decided to straighten up my life - and I did.

"I was 19 years old when I left the Queen Charlotte Islands and headed back to Telkwa to go to my brother's wedding. He never got married because I got him drunk and took him back with me to the island. He straightened up too and three months later we went back to Telkwa, he got married and now he is finally retired.

"I started at the Canfor pulp mill in 1974 and retired in 2008 after 34 years with the company. I started out by sweeping the floors and worked my way up to working in the digester.

"I had two children; Terry who lives in Prince George and Jennifer who lives in Norway. I am now on my fourth wife and I am happy.

"Over the past 25 years I have discovered that I have four siblings and I am glad about that.

"I believe in a drop of good whiskey now and then, absolutely no dope and no cigarettes along with a good woman.

"I pulled myself out of a dark place and I started out with nothing. I worked hard for everything I have and I never took a handout."

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