It wasn’t as bad as it looked. To anyone else, it would have been a bit of a pickle, but to Harold it was just another Sunday. He was fishing off the coast of Haida Gwaii in a boat that had made the trip a thousand times on his annual pilgrimage for salmon and halibut. He was standing on the deck of his boat, enjoying the sea air, grinning from behind his sunglasses and Canlan Ice Sports cap, rod in hand, when all of a sudden the boat started taking on water. With barely a cuss under his breath he started barking orders; “Start the pump!” “Sonuvabitch musta punched a hole!” and the ever-present “Jesus Christ!”
But this wasn’t his first rodeo. Harold’s first kiss with chaos happened when he was just a bright-eyed kid playing with guns (it was a different time) and got shot in the back. But the lucky sunuvagun avoided any major injury, the bullet came in from the left, completely missing anything on the spine, and left through the right. It was a shot in a million that would have turned anyone off guns or the friend that shot them, but to Harold, it was just another day, just another gun, just another friend.
From there the chaos kept coming, from smashing up Old Yeller, the old yellow Ford, and walking away with barely a scratch to rolling a semi not once, but twice, and walking away like he just slid a quad into the ditch.
But that was Harold. Even when he received the diagnosis that would eventually do him in, the family swore he was unkillable. Not only unkillable but untouchable. His life was a true example of living life to the fullest; eating all the red meat, loving fiercely and recklessly, and never turning away from the next adventure. But his life also had its tragedies. Harold never met his older brother Jimmy and he was the last brother to pass onto the next adventure of the four sons of Marie and Svend Hansen out of Greencourt. But Harold never grieved long. Rather he grieved hard and fast and moved on with the knowledge that whatever comes next, even if it's not perfect, is better than staying stuck. It was this philosophy and almost mad courage where, in his red windbreaker and transitions lenses, he barely took a moment to set down his rod and faced the unknown ocean on his sinking ship with a look on his face that said, “I’m ready. Whatever you got for me, I’m ready for it.”
Help us celebrate Harold, his life, and what’s next at his Celebration of Life on December 4, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the Diamond Centre in Mayerthorpe, AB. Seating instructions are as follows, and directly from the man himself: family, friends, and Oilers fans at the front, Flames fans at the back, and Leaf fans don’t even bother coming. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Stars Air Ambulance, to acknowledge their quick response to help Harold’s best friend Dale Braithewaite when he needed them most.
To send flowers to Harold's family, please visit our floral section.