Top News

Labrador West Pioneer: Ken Pafford

Ken Pafford
Ken Pafford - Gary Shaw

Ken Pafford is yet another great example of a true Labrador West Pioneer.

Fate and circumstances saw Ken’s arrival in Labrador West in 1967. He was 16 years old and came to Labrador West from Corner Brook to visit his brother who was already here. Ken wanted to have a look around to see what this Labrador was all about.

He and his brother spent a bit of time fishing and hunting and it became clear that Ken was going to stick around Labrador West for a bit more than just “a look around.”

It didn’t take long for Ken to find a job packing groceries at the local Dominion Grocery Store which was a pretty good fit for a 16-year-old.

After a time spent there, Ken went to work for Handy Andy’s in the parts and service department of their Snow Jet Snowmobile dealership.

The community was full of young people who all worked and socialized together. There were no roads in or out and everyone had to make their own fun. The only travel was either by train or plane and there was certainly long periods of time between trips out. Ken’s time when he wasn’t at work was spent fishing, hunting, playing darts and socializing.

As the community was experiencing a period of rapid growth there was a much-needed demand for people to work for the contracting companies in all of the trades required to build the houses. These home were needed by all of the new folks coming into the community to fill the positions within the mining and service sectors. That in turn fueled the rapid growth of the mining sector in Labrador West.

Ken eventually went to work for a contracting company that was providing all of the plumbing services on the new housing construction.

After his time with the contracting company, Ken went to work for a 10-year stint at the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) where, during this time, he went to trade school to complete his plumbing trade requirements.

During these years Ken was very active in the Caribou Club. This organization was formed to represent the needs and fellowship of those folks who were anxious to take full advantage of the bounty that the caribou herd of the day provided to the residents of Labrador West.

Ken sat on the executive of the Caribou Club. He gave his time to the construction and set up in the country of the prefab camps that provided a home base and shelter for the club’s members during their hunting adventures in the country.

After a decade at IOC Ken stepped out on his own. He started his own plumbing business, one which has grown through his hard work into a very important and needed service to the entire community.

In 2000 Ken built his dream home on the shore of Duley Lake. He was the first full-time resident on the lake. Since then it has grown from the generator power and water buckets to an area with many new “dream homes” with power lines and drilled wells. Duley Lake has become a community of like-minded good folks and neighbors with Ken being one of its founding fathers.

Ken and his partner Elaine have a beautiful place on the lake. They are looking forward to their retirement years coming soon with their beautiful view and their pontoon boat, all well-deserved.

It’s always nice to ask a question that you feel you already know the answer to. Any regrets that fate and life have given you, and the life you have had in Labrador West? In unison, Ken and Elaine answered, not one.


More by Gary Shaw:

Labrador West Pioneers: Peter and Josephine Rogers

Labrador West Pioneers: Ray and Edith Freake

Labrador West Pioneers: Joe and Patsy Purcell

Labrador West Pioneers: Percy and Gloria Dumaresque

Labrador West Pioneers: Gail Pike

Recent Stories