A true prospector, miner and special friend

A true prospector, miner and special friend I first met Jerry Bryde at the west end of Number 7 Pup in the 1980s. It was early spring. He was very thin, malnourished and had lost several teeth because of his poor diet. Jerry had been trying to dig throu

I first met Jerry Bryde at the west end of Number 7 Pup in the 1980s. It was early spring. He was very thin, malnourished and had lost several teeth because of his poor diet.

Jerry had been trying to dig through the spring snow to find a few berries, which was his only food source. I asked Jerry if he had any other food, to which he replied, “Oh yes, I have a quarter-box of rice in the cupboard just above my head.”

Our conversation then drifted into talking about prospecting and mineralized rocks as Jerry shared that he had some gold-bearing quartz boulders which he wished to show me. While Jerry was outside the cabin collecting the rocks, I took the liberty to open his cupboard door and, guess what? All that Jerry had to eat was the one-quarter box of rice.

As I was leaving, I told Jerry I would be back in the late afternoon the following day. We arrived back with several large boxes of groceries, which we knew would keep Jerry and his partner, Mr. Rennick, well fed for many weeks.

The grocery order included some big beef steaks, which we cooked on the blades of several shovels on an outdoor fire. This is one way of Yukon cooking, which I must say, worked really well. Jerry could only eat half of his steak, apologizing to us that his stomach had shrunk quite a bit over the lean years.

The day after the steak feast I called on Jerry again, looking for more information, which might help us find the mother lode(s) which we hoped would be the source of all of the placer gold from upper Bonanza and Eldorado Creek. Jerry had cooked up pancakes for breakfast that morning but Mr. Rennick could not wait. He drank his portion of the pancake mix in liquid form because he was so hungry that he couldn’t wait for the pancakes to be cooked.

Jerry was obviously in a bad way and I asked him if he could go on welfare. Jerry advised me that he would never take a government handout. He would starve to death first, which he nearly did.

We hired Jerry as a prospector, claimstaker and geological assistant. His work and work ethic were first class.

It was difficult for Jerry to make a living on Number 7 Pup with only a shovel and wheelbarrow. The broken-down dragline he owned didn’t help matters either, so with a salary and other agreements we were able to help Jerry obtain decent placer equipment.

I told Jerry that the best prospecting he could do would be to find his Eldorado in Heaven. I left Jerry two books to read: More than a Carpenter, by Michael Green and The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey.

I trust that Jerry read these, since he was an avid reader.

I expect to see Jerry in Heaven in the not too distant future, where we can again go prospecting together throughout the Heavens.

Jerry was a good friend, an honest, capable and self-made man.

This world has lost a true Canadian.

Richard W. Hughes, president, Klondike Gold Corp.

Sechelt, BC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Most Read