Ubiquitous volunteer injects energy into Watson Lake

Leatha Anderson is everywhere. We see her at the playgroup in the elementary school where she is a pre school assistant, at the Toylending Library…

Leatha Anderson is everywhere.

We see her at the playgroup in the elementary school where she is a pre school assistant, at the Toylending Library where she is the co-ordinator, and at many events around town where she is a volunteer.

We sat down at her desk in the back of the library, surrounded by toys, for the following interview.

Leatha’s somewhat eccentric sense of humour made this encounter a lot of fun, and the giant bag of wine gums we devoured added to the pleasure of the meeting.

Born in Cassiar, BC, and raised in Watson Lake, with just one year spent outside the territory (in Sundre, Alberta), Leatha is a true child of this community.

Q: How did you come to the jobs you have?

A: I was a full-time mom until six and a half years ago when I began working here at the library. Five years ago I started at the elementary school.

The two jobs have a lot in common and I love them both.

Q: What do you like best about living in Watson Lake?

A: Familiarity, knowing everyone. Where else can you dial a wrong number and talk for 10 minutes?

Q: What do you like the least?

A: The “old boys” club is very entrenched here and it makes change difficult and sometimes impossible.

Q: Will you retire here?

A: That will depend on what my daughters do; if they leave, I would probably leave, though not necessarily to the same place as them.

Q: Does Watson Lake have an image problem?

A: Yes.

Q: How do you think the rest of the territory sees Watson Lake?

A: A place not to be. In Whitehorse, when I say I am from here, people get a funny look on their faces. I think we get too much bad press; no good news about Watson Lake gets printed.

Q: How do global concerns affect you and your community?

A: The increased and increasing cost of fuel makes heating a home through a northern winter too expensive.

Q: What would you like to see happen in Watson Lake?

A: Some fresh and fearless energy to create change.

Q: How do you think you are seen by your community?

A: Just another body.

Q: By your friends?

A: I think my friends would say I am a good friend; reliable.

Q: What is your best quality?

A: I am dependable.

Q: What is your worst?

A: I have a hard time saying no.

Q: What natural gift would you like to possess?

A: I would love to be able to play the piano.

Q: What is your present state of mind?

A: Restless.

Q: What quality do you most admire in a woman?

A: Strength

Q: In a man?

A: Genuineness and warmth.

Q: What makes you angry?

A: Lying.

Q: What do you do with your anger?

A: Vent to trusted friends, two in particular.

Q: What makes you happy?

A: My kids.

My dogs.

My greenhouse.

Q: What do you do for fun, for pleasure?

A: I take perfectly good pieces of material and cut them into tiny pieces and sew them all back together; it’s called quilting.

Q: Where are you spiritually?

A: I am content with what I’ve found, outside of organized religion.

Q: What fears do you have?

A: I worry about my daughters’ health and safety, and I want them to be able to be happy.

Q: What do you think most people do NOT know about you?

A: I have a shrine to Dale Earnhardt Jr. — I am a NASCAR junkie.

I get stressed if I miss a race.

Also, I have a massive stamp collection.

Tor Forsberg is a freelance writer living in Watson Lake.

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Courtesy/Yukon Protective Services Yukon Wildland Fire Management crews doing a prescribed burn at the Carcross Cut-Off in May 2020.
Prescribed burns planned near Whitehorse neighbourhoods to improve wildfire resistance

Manual fuel removal and the replacement of conifers with aspens is also ongoing.

Chloe Tatsumi dismounts the balance beam to cap her routine during the Yukon Championships at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Gymnasts vie in 2021 Yukon Championships

In a year without competition because of COVID-19, the Polarettes Gymnastics Club hosted its Yukon Championships.

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Yukon Budget 2.0

If the banks that finance the Yukon’s growing debt were the only… Continue reading

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Orienteers were back in action for the season’s first race

The Yukon Orienteering Association began its 2021 season with a sprint race beginning at Shipyards.

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 3 meeting and the upcoming 20-minute makeover.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister talks tourism in “virtual visit” to the Yukon

Tourism operators discussed the budget with Freeland

Polarity Brewing is giving people extra incentive to get their COVID vaccine by offering a ‘free beer’ within 24 hours of their first shot. John Tonin/Yukon News
Polarity Brewing giving out ‘free’ beer with first COVID vaccination

Within 24 hours of receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine, Polarity Brewing will give you a beer.

Most Read