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Two-year trip turns into lifetime in Canada

Nick and Jackie (Glover) Maslen left England and arrived in Canada in 1967. Nick, the second eldest of five children, was born in 1937 in Bootle, England, an area near the Irish Sea estuary located near the Port of Liverpool.
Nick and Jackie Maslen moved to Prince George in 1974 and lived in the same home for 42 years. The Maslens are moving to Kelowna in the new year to be closer with their grandchildren.

Nick and Jackie (Glover) Maslen left England and arrived in Canada in 1967.

Nick, the second eldest of five children, was born in 1937 in Bootle, England, an area near the Irish Sea estuary located near the Port of Liverpool. At the age of 21, Nick finished his schooling and joined the Merchant Navy and worked as an engineer in the engine rooms on many ships.

It was his job to maintain the mechanical and electrical machinery and instruments on board a ship. He sailed on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and as a seaman he sailed all over the world which included the west coast of Canada, and two years on the east coast and the Great Lakes seaway with the Canadian Pacific shipping company. He loved what he saw of Canada and was determined to one day return to live there.

Jackie Glover was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1944. To make a long story short, she met Nick in Liverpool and after a courtship they decided to get married.

Jackie said, "Nick had caught a bug for Canada and he wanted to live there in the worst way. We were married on a Friday in England and by Sunday we were in Toronto for lunch. That was in 1967 and at that point in time we only intended to stay in Canada for two years. Well that has turned out to be the longest two years in history because we have been here ever since."

Nick worked for Ontario Hydro from 1967 to 1974. He had seen an ad in the Toronto Star for work at a pulp mill in Prince George. He checked it out, he got hired and he packed up his family and they prepared to move west.

Jackie said, "We had a two year old and five year old and the choice of either flying to Prince George or a three and a half day trip by train. We talked about it and decided to take the train which turned out to be the most amazing trip that we had the luck to experience.

"We learned later that the trip through the Rocky Mountains and through Jasper was usually traveled during the night. Due to a derailment delay we traveled that leg of the trip in the daylight on a sunny, freezing cold day in February and experienced an unending beautiful trip through the Rockies. When we arrived in Prince George and got off the train we experienced the smell of the pulp mills. We didn't know what it was and when we inquired about it we were told that that was the smell of money."

Nick worked at the Intercon Pulp Mill as a millwright in the bleach plant and the project shop from 1974 until 1998 when he was forced onto a medical leave due to a thoracic aortic aneurysm, a condition that is normally fatal leading to nearly instant death.

Jackie described it like this, "Nick spent seven months in the hospital and the doctors all called him the miracle man. We all went through a really rough time and Nick is still recovering from it all. When Nick turned 65 he was able to retire but we were unable to travel because he could not get travel insurance due to his medical condition."

Nick reflected back and said, "Things can change in a minute. I can remember the days when I used to enjoy riding my bike to and from work down the Pulp Mill Road. I always enjoyed working for Canfor and taking part in all the fishing derbies. I worked with a great bunch of guys over the years and I wasn't very happy when I was forced into retirement because of my medical condition. I always keep in mind that I may not have survived this ordeal so now I continue to enjoy life, but in a much lower gear."

Jackie worked at Sears for 24 years in the customer service office until she retired in 2002. She always had time to volunteer and served as a Brown Owl for ten years. She loved it when the kids grew up and came into the store and referred to her as their Brown Owl.

Nick and Jackie have two children - Mike (Shaunna) and Nickie (Jordan). Jackie explained, "We have two wonderful grandchildren that live in Kelowna. When we moved to Prince George in 1974 we bought a house and we felt like it was home from the moment we walked through the door. For the past 42 years we have lived in the same house and enjoyed a great social life and the same wonderful neighbours. We never thought about leaving Prince George but having grandchildren changed things for us so we will be moving and following our grandchildren to Kelowna in January.

"Both Nick and I will miss all of you and our way of life here in Prince George. This will be a new adventure for us and as the treasurer of the Prince George Celtic Club for the past 25 years I just want to tell my predecessor that I will leave you with balanced books."