In this episode we talk with apprentices Francine Winters, and Dave Chaulk of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and mentor Walter Fowler of Capstan Island. All three are are participants of Heritage NL’s Mentor-Apprentice Program.
Francine and Dave’s mentor, Alfred Winters Jr (also known as Sonny), learned to make komatiks from his father, Alfred Winters Sr. Sonny’s father was originally form Kamarsuk near Hopedale and was a renowned komatik builder featured in Them Days magazine. Sonny has made six or seven komatiks a year for the last twenty or thirty years.
Apprentice, Francine, developed carpentry skills from working on her house and cabin. She has always wanted to learn to build komatiks, and saw this program as a great way to learn the traditional methods. Dave is also interested in traditional activities, and found it important to learn from Elders in the community. He has worked with wood all his life creating everything from Christmas ornaments to ramps.
Mentor, Walter Fowler, taught apprentice Peter Fowler how to make komatiks. Walter has been building komatiks for over 50 years. He first learned from his father, and older brother and continues making them for himself, his family, and people in Capstan Island and beyond.