Treat people with respect, and learn what’s going on
with them. Those ideals guided Stuart Hodgson, 90,
throughout his working life.
He served with the Royal Canadian Navy, then
became a union leader in the lumber industry.
Stuart brought his common touch to public
service. In 1967, he was Deputy Commissioner of
the Northwest Territories, when Prime Minister
Pearson asked him to build a government. Previous
Commissioners worked from Ottawa. Stuart moved
to Yellowknife and visited 72 communities yearly,
bringing government to the people and learning
about them firsthand. “I loved the simplicity,” he
says of the land.
As Commissioner, Stuart raced Prime Minister
Trudeau on skidoos, and went dog sledding with
Prince Charles. One of his proudest memories
involved the residents of Pangnirtung. Stuart urged
them to document the traditional Inuit oral histories,
and they did so in a book of elder stories.
I loved the simplicity
of the North”
In 2012, he earned the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond
Jubilee Medal for his lifetime of service, receiving it
at his home, Revera’s Crofton Manor in Vancouver,
There, he still enjoys gaining insight into other lives,
whether through day-to-day conversation or reading
his history books. As Stuart has always felt, people
are endlessly fascinating – and his own life, is a
prime example.
A Love Affair with Canada’s North