WHITNEY – Former mayors and other dignitaries packed into the basement of the Whitney Seniors New Outlook centre to celebrate Harold Luckasavitch’s extensive career.
Affectionately known as Hal by his peers, the clerk/treasurer has held the position for 34 years and celebrated his final day on the job on June 27.
Hal was born and raised in Whitney.
After graduating with a four-year commercial course, he went into the aerial survey business doing mapping in Ottawa, for Canadian Aero Service. His brother had been working there and told him of an opening at the company.
Hal worked there for about seven years before getting into aerial photography with the same company. With that position, Luckasavitch navigated an operating camera for about four years.
The job took him to some amazing places, including Nigeria, Africa, where he helped with the aerial mapping for the new federal capital.
At that point, he had married Val and the couple had a son, who began his schooling in Nigeria.
“Right on the Sahara desert,” Hal said with a smile.
But the job became taxing, so the family moved back to Whitney and bought the vacant building where Charbonneau’s is today.
Hal renovated the building and turned it into Hal and Val’s M&M’s, which operated for four years.
“It was too much,” he said. “Seven day a week job.”
With that, Hal’s wife stayed in Whitney while Hal took a job in the Congo, getting back into aerial photography.
Hal had several close calls on the job, but there was one incident that struck too close to home.
Although he was not in the plane at the time, the same plane that Hal had rode in exploded mid-air. Two of Hal’s close friends died in the accident.
“I got out of the flying business right then and there,” he said.
The clerk/treasurer position came up in the town of Whitney, which belonged to the Township of Airy, and Hal jumped at the opportunity.
He had experience with managing an office through his work in aerial photography and he had experience managing money with the store.
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