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Author launches House Calls by Dogsled in Prince George

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2008

House Calls by Dogsled author Keith Billington will launch his new book at Books & Company in Prince George on Saturday April 12 at 7pm.

In September 1964, Keith Billington, and his wife Muriel arrived in the Northwest Territories outpost of Fort McPherson, 1,700 miles north of Edmonton. They loved the North and stayed for six years. Keith, a nurse, and Muriel, a midwife, were barely into their twenties and fresh from England when they arrived, eager to put their brand new skills to work.

Their clients were the Gwich’in people, who taught them how to snowshoe, choose a dog team and live off the land. These two young professionals were all the medical help available at the births of babies and the tragic deaths of other children, they were the first to tend gunshot victims and deal with illnesses made worse by the isolation. Their story also tells of caribou hunts, fishing in summer lakes and travelling in winter by dog team, of sun-returning parties, and drum-dancing and New Year feasts. This is a delightfully warm celebration of the north in the days just before skidoos and cell phones took the edge off the isolation.