He went north for two years but stayed for 14 and Doug Courtice, who now calls Parksville home, said his experience of living in the Yukon had a big impact on his family and he wants to ensure the memories of residing in the land of the midnight sun live on. That is why he has penned his first book, Yukon Bound.
Courtice has been retired from his career as an educator for 10 years now but he has kept himself busy in Parksville not only writing, but as the vice-president of Friends of Foster Park. About eight years ago Courtice, who lives just around the corner from the park, got involved with the group that has for the past 15 years been embracing Foster Park and said the volunteer work has been very rewarding.
Courtice is also proud of his book. The paperback is a collection of real life experiences and adventures that he and his wife Mary and kids Tara and Kent had the pleasure of living. The book describes some humorous tales and northern adventures that occurred when the family relocated from Saskatchewan to the Yukon, where Courtice continued his career as a teacher and school administrator. He said it was his intention to stay in the north for only two years, but two years turned into14.
“I wrote it (the book) because I wanted to have details for my granddaughters who hear about where their dad and grandparents lived for 14 years,” he stated, adding the stories are about the people he met and the events that occurred as he remembered them.
Courtice said they left the Yukon after his children were ready to go to university.
The family moved to Calgary, then to Squamish and eventually Parksville, where Courtice and his wife are now making more fond memories living in the neighborhood he said is home to a real jewel in the city.
“If you go by Foster Park almost any time you will find retired folks sitting on benches reading books, the Mother Goose Words on Wheels bus with kids, moms with babies in their arms and kids having a great time in the playground. In the summer, the RDN has kids camps, people walk their dogs and have picnics,” he said and added the city is enthusiastic about the great work the group does in the park.
Some of the events the group organizes in the neighborhood green space include the annual pumpkin walk and Easter egg hunt.
He said for now he is happy to continue his work that benefits the park and the city. Foster Park is located at Pym Street and Sanderson Road.
You can purchase a copy of Yukon Bound, which is for sale at the Parksville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Centre at 1275 Island Highway East.