Simeon Dean, formerly of Southport and now living at Northwest Brook, celebrates his 90th birthday Feb. 16.
© Shawn Hayward photo
Simeon Dean at his home in Queen's Cove on Feb. 5. He celebrates his 90th birthday this week.
Born in 1924 at Southport, he is the youngest and only surviving member of the nine children of Thomas and Jessie (Dalton) Dean. In his early years he would spend the winter months with his parents and siblings at the family's winter camp at Black Duck Cove in the Northwest Arm of Random Sound where his father passed away over the Christmas period on Dec. 27, 1930. His great-grandfather, James Dean (1802-1865), who was born at Old Perlican, was one of the first two settlers of the inner Random region having taken up residence at Southport (Fox Harbour) around 1832.
After leaving school at a very early age he fished with his uncle James Dean and with his stepfather, Charles Langer, at Southport. Later, in the early 1940s, he worked at the Argentia naval base and afterwards at various pulpwood cutting camps throughout the province.
In 1952 he commenced working in Labrador at the American air base in Goose Bay and at their NORAD early warning radar sites at Saglek and Makkovik as well as at their Frobisher Bay base. During his early years in Labrador he became a plumber/ pipefitter through on-the-job training.
He spent the early 1960s working in a supervisory capacity at the Wabush iron ore development project in Western Labrador. After its completion he worked at Long Harbour during the construction of the phosphorous plant over the 1967-68 period. Then he returned to Labrador for the duration of the Churchill Falls hydro development project.
He is believed to have been the first person to walk across the Upper Churchill River once its flow was interrupted by the series of dams above Churchill Falls.
Throughout the 1970s, and before his retirement in 1989, he was employed on a number of industrial construction sites in the province, as well as in Nova Scotia and Ontario. He enjoyed his working career thoroughly and takes great pride in being the oldest member of Local 740 of the Pipefitters and Plumbers Union in Newfoundland and Labrador.
He moved from Southport to Northwest Brook in 1972 and has enjoyed the challenges of independent living in his family home since the passing of his wife, Annie, in 2000. Simeon's independent living is assisted by the commitment and support of his daughter, Sandra, who has assumed the role of primary caregiver.
Four of his family of five sons and two daughters reside in the immediate area. He is the oldest known male offspring of the Trinity Bay Dean family since the arrival of their first ancestors at Old Perlican in 1749. He remains an active member of his church at Northwest Brook and takes a keen interest in family genealogy and community and provincial matters.
Friends are welcome to an open house on Saturday, Feb. 15, to celebrate his birthday.