Norm McBride, on Oct. 14 — his last day of work after almost 45 years of service with the NWT Power Corporation — told Yellowknifer about his long career, how he was celebrated, and why he’s finally walking away.

Could you please introduce yourself?

“I’m Norm McBride. I’ve been working at the Power Corp since 1977. It’s coming up to 45 years that I’ve been here.”

“Originally, when I (came to Yellowknife), I was only going to make enough money to buy a TransAm (a muscle car) in 1977. It’s 45 years later and I still haven’t bought that TransAm. Now I guess I’m gonna have time to start looking for one. Hopefully I got enough money to buy one, because they’re way more expensive now than they were in 1977,” McBride said.

Tell me a bit about what you do at work every day.

“Right now, my position is a plant procedures and training officer. That position entails that I develop procedures and guidelines for the operators to make sure that they get the job done safely. (I also) do training at the plant with the new employees that start, and I’ll do some training with operators at the hydro sites.”

What positions did you hold throughout your employment for the NWT Power Corporation?

“My first position back in 1977, I was a plant operator at (Jackfish Lake). I held that position for just about a year and a half.”

“Then I went to systems operations, and worked as a systems operator from 1978 to 1999. (Afterward, I was) promoted to operations superintendent for the North Slave region. I did that job for two to three years and then I became the plant manager here in Yellowknife and held that position till around 2007, when I transferred back down into plant operations and hydro operations.”

“Then in 2011, I took on the position of plant procedures and training officer. We needed to develop some procedures for the plants because we hadn’t updated our procedures in quite some time.”

How was your long service celebrated?

“Last night (on Oct. 13), plant manager Dean Hendrickson, set up a retirement party. We headed up to the Explorer Hotel. A lot of employees from work showed up. The president of the Power Corporation showed up, the minister for the Power Corporation, Diane Archie, was there. I thanked her for coming out and spending some of her time there last night.”

“It was a great night. They presented me with lots of gifts. One of the things that I’m most proud of is that they made a bursary for me. The NWT Power Corporation is going to have my name on that, and kids can apply for that and get some funding when they’re going to university or college. That was really nice of them.”

How did it feel to work for that long?

“The first 10 years that I worked… kind of dragged on. Then around 1984 I got married, we started having kids and everything just sped up and the next 30-some years just flew by. I can’t believe that my children are (ages) 38, 35, and 32 already. Keep busy at work and time just flies by.”

Why are you retiring now?

“I was planning on retiring back in 2019 or 2020, and then Covid-19 hit and then there was no way to travel anywhere or do anything, so I decided I might as well just continue to work.”

“There’s only so much runway in front of me now. You’ve got to get to a point where you’re going because the road ends right there. It was time. I have to start enjoying some of my time at the end here. Not that it’s the end, but hopefully it’s another 30 years or so.”

Are there any other comments you would like to add?

“I really don’t have too much planned… We’re going to go down into the States to see some of my family down there. One of my nephews works for the San Jose Sharks organization, so we’re going to go down to see him and watch some hockey games, (then we’ll) take it from there.”

Jonathan Gardiner

After a tough break looking for employment in Alberta, I moved to Yellowknife in 2017 and became a multimedia journalist in 2022. I enjoy the networking side of my job, and I also aspire to write my...

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