Bill Henderson has been a part of the fabric of Golden for 84 years and there is no sign he is ready to slow down.
Born in Golden in 1928, Bill was the oldest of seven children. Bill’s grandfather was a building contractor in Scotland who moved to Calgary in 1888 to build a hotel.
“He liked Canada so much that in 1890 they came to Golden,” he said.
Bill’s grandfather was involved in the construction of a number of buildings in Golden, some of which still are standing today.
When his father passed away in 1939, Bill started to do more to help his family.
“When I was a child, I had to help my mother because there were seven of us kids,” he said.
Bill explained he was hired by the gentlemen who owned the local Texaco station.
“I started driving a truck at 13. I was just hauling sawdust to the Queen’s Hotel and the Big Bend Hotel for heating. My brother was a year younger than me but we would load the sawdust and deliver it.”
He went on to say that when he started the job he used to get two bits a day and a bottle of Coke.
One of his other jobs was working with his uncle who was an undertaker.
“My brother and I would dig the graves by hand. They had to be just the right length to get the rough boxes in there,” he said.
By the time he was 15, Bill said he had another job driving for local MLA Thomas King.
“I didn’t have a driver’s license and when a new police officer came here. The previous officer would never look at the truck,” said Bill, explaining that the officer knew who he was and would intentionally look the other way when he drove by.
Soon after the issue was resolved and Bill never had a problem driving from that point on.
“It was during the war. A lot of the men were overseas fighting and that is why us young guys were getting the work.”
Bill would continue to drive throughout the valley as he got older. From gas to trees to driving all sorts of large machinery, he moved anything that had to be moved.
Bill also started a family business with his brothers, which they owned for a number of years before owning the Nicholson store, which he ran from 1976-1979.
Before Bill retired he went back to work at a local mill.
Since retiring, Bill still enjoys keeping busy.
“I don’t like to work steady but I do like to be busy everyday. That’s what keeps you going when you get older,” he said.
He still enjoys helping his family do work, whether it is at home or running their business.
He is also still active by watching and participating at local sports.
An avid curler and Golden Rockets fan, Bill has been a season ticket holder for the junior hockey team for many years.
“I played hockey until I was 65. We were over in Scotland and in the States a few times. I played left wing until I started getting older then I moved back to defence,” he said. “I never miss a hockey game. I like hockey.”