What I learned from Bob Keen…
This video is produced by The National Film Board of Canada. It is a short bio and profile of Canadian Entrepreneur Bob Keen of Keen Construction of Fort Nelson, BC., Canada.
This is very special to me because I flew up with Bob Keen in 1970 in the same Beech Baron (CF-POI) profiled in this video to work my summer holidays at Fort Simpson for the then owner of Arctic Air who was Pete Cowie. I was 14 years old at the time! Bob subsequently purchased Arctic Air and established a main base with hanger at Fort Nelson. The three of us departed Edmonton Municipal Airport to overnight in Dawson Creek at Bob’s home(to go to the rodeo), then fly the next day to Fort Nelson for meetings, and on to Fort Simpson. There I stayed my summer with Pete Cowie and his wife working on the dock and cleaning the hanger(at the old town strip). Arctic air had a Cessna 180 and 185 on floats at the time. Also the first PC-6 Pilatus Porter ever in Canada(CF-ZIZ) was brought in for a short period to try out at Simpson. I was very fortunate to fly on more than one occasion in the Porter!
Years later I once again met Bob at Fort Nelson while I was flying fuel to a logging camp at Beaver River(north of Fort Nelson) with a Super DC-3. Bob and I had a chat in the lobby of his motel(where I stayed for the duration). He offered to clean the snow off his airstrip at his ranch west of town if I would fly out with the Super 3 for a visit, which I gladly accepted but due to unforeseen circumstances didn’t happen. What a missed opportunity! Such is life. People like Bob Keen and Pete Cowie greatly influenced me and the mentoring I received(maybe unknown by them) was immense and profound.
UPDATE: I have included the obituary profiling a little about Bob Keen and his past, written in the Fort Nelson News. You can read it HERE