Life is good: Former fisherman enjoys work in northern Alberta camp
By Anne Barker
FOR THE SOU’WESTER
Transcontinental Media/The Packet
If anyone told Don Tremblett two years ago that he'd be living and working in Alberta within a year, he would have laughed at the idea.
He was a full time fisherman, something he'd been since leaving high school, and he couldn't imagine not going on the water each spring.
For several years he was also a Marine Institute instructor, traveling to communities offering courses to fishermen once the fishing season was over.
However, life has a way of changing. It changed for Tremblett when doctor's orders forced him to stop fishing for an entire season. He recalls how bad he felt the first time his boat left the harbour without him. To his surprise, he discovered as the season continued without him, he was no longer missing his life as a fisherman.
He began to consider other options, including training for a new career outside Bonavista, N.L.
Alberta, where his fiancé worked and where he once scorned the idea of relocating, began to look more inviting.
Today, Tremblett has one year's experience living and working in Alberta. He says his decision to give up fishing completely and move west was the best one he ever made. "My only regret is that I waited until last year to make the move. I should have done it at least five years ago."
Following a month home on a Christmas break, Tremblett was eager to return to work. Although there are concerns of reduced employment in Alberta, he says the cutbacks appear to be mainly with smaller companies. He works for the PTI Group, one of North America's largest suppliers of remote site services. "I work for PTI as a safety advisor at Wapasu Creek, about 90 kilometers north of Fort McMurray. It's the kind of job I was hoping to get when I came to Alberta as I had experience with safety when I taught with the Marine Institute."
To become fully qualified for the job, Tremblett took several courses in Alberta when he first moved out west. His previous experience was enough for one company who attended the first course looking for employees. "I had several job opportunities even before I finished all the courses, but I was hoping to work for PTI as my fiancée, Anita, already worked in catering services with the company."
Tremblett completed his courses in April and applied to PTI. To his delight, he not only had an employment offer from the company, it was in the same location as Anita.