Aikens Lake News

Boardwalk Chalet carpenter Dave Smith passes away

Date
Jun. 22, 2008

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Dave Smith (right) and Maurice Ruest putting the starting touches on Boardwalk Chalet #1 in 2000. Dave with another very precise measure! The Boardwalk Team It is with a deep sorrow that we announce that we have had to say our final goodbyes to one of the beloved members of the Aikens Family. This morning, after a valiant battle with a debilitating disease, Dave smith was finally liberated. We met Dave nearly 10 years ago through a connection he had made with Leo. Together they had rebuilt a bar in Selkirk in the early 90's (Leo working on all the steel, Dave on the wood). Leo was so impressed at Dave's skill and precision that he asked him if he could help him build his log home on the outskirts of Winnipeg. Dave, never having built with logs before, was quick to take on the challenge and built a magnificent home for Leo. After seeing Dave's handy work in Leo's new home, Gerry and Lorraine invited him to come to Aikens and to rebuild our aging "Wilderness Trail" cabins. Dave and Maurice spent the next two summers (2000 & 2001) carefully carving log after log and putting together a true masterpiece! By August of 2001 the first Boardwalk Chalet was up and running! They began construction on the 2nd Chalet in the spring of 2002. By that fall, the illness had already started to take over Dave's body and he decided early on in the year that he wouldn't physically be able to continue. With Dave's tutelage, Maurice was able to replicate the handy work of first Chalet along with other builders such as Grant and BJ who each in their own way helped to complete cabin #2.. In a joyous return in the spring of 2003, Dave was able to come back for a few weeks. In what would turn out to be one of his last visits to Aikens, he was able to lend his skilled hand and put his signature on some of the finishing work of the 2nd Boardwalk Chalet. We want to thank Dave for his years of incredible service to Aikens. The craftsmanship in the Boardwalk Chalets is truly spectacular, and it instantly brought Aikens to a new level and gave us instant credibility among some of the most luxurious lodges in Canada! Dave, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We know that you are in a better place now. Hopefully you are now able to return to Aikens and finally have the opportunity to see all the smiles and reactions you've created every time someone steps into one of your masterpieces!

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