Lyman Spear is a good man to have around because he is great at doing the dishes. The dishes he does however, are the electronic variety that bring television signals into people's homes. Lyman, a native of Lepreau, has been installing dishes since the inception of the industry in Charlotte County in 1982.
Lyman Spear at Smith's Restaurant in Pennfield (2004).
"Dishes were available before we got them," says Lyman, "but the government said you had to be isolated in order to use them. So they only made them available to people in the far North. My argument was that I was just as isolated as the guy in Inuvik because I couldn't get cable - only CHSJ."
Lyman's lobbying for a change in policy was successful and he became one of the area's pioneers in installing dishes. "It took a minimum of three days to install a dish back then," says Lyman. A yard and a half of cement had to be run and a six inch well casing installed. The dish was placed on this with the aid of a crane. The dishes weighed five to six hundred pounds. The welding, pole hauling and cement pouring services used the services of three to four men. "The cost of putting in a dish was five to six thousand dollars," states Lyman.
Improvements were rapid with mesh dishes coming in at one hundred and fifty pounds. Lyman began to wander far afield. installing thousands of dishes in locations as far away as Bathurst and Hartland. "I only do service work now," he says. "I enjoyed it though. Met a lot of nice people."
Lyman R. Spear was born in Lepreau in 1933. In 1939 the family moved to Montreal where Lyman lived for fourteen years. The family returned to vacation in Lepreau twice every year and Lyman has fond memories of the trips. He remembers passing through the old train station in McAdam. The conductor would lift up on a stool so he could sit at the beautiful wooden counter and eat ham sandwiches. He remembers the Rocket Richard playing in Montreal. "Back then he was just a hockey player."
Lyman finished Grade eight in Lepreau and attended Saint John Vocational School. He graduated in 1951 with skills in cabinet making and carpentry. After a couple years in Toronto and Quebec Lyman took a job with NB Tel as a central office technician. Later he attended community college and earned his electrical qualifications. In 1962 Lyman began a thirty two year period of employment with Canada Post. He retired in 1999.
Lyman Spear delivering mail in the first right
drive truck used to deliver mail.
Over the years Lyman has been involved in many charitable activities. He teaches firearm safety and was Chief of the Point Lepreau Warden System. The job of the wardens was to assist with any type of emergency. Twenty wardens worked with the the fire department. The distributed KI pills in case of a reactor leak.
Lyman was also involved with the Millen Project 2000. It's intent is to honor the soldiers, living and dead of World War One and Two. The Memorial is located at Musquash Fire Hall on Malcolm Mehan Road. This was dedicated as a Heritage site in 2003.
Lyman laughs about interest Canada Post took in his adoption of a right hand drive vehicle for delivering mail. "I was the first person in Canada to use a right hand drive vehicle for delivering mail," he says. "It was perfect. I drove an International Scout right hand drive and later other mail carriers went to right hand drive too. It made the job a lot easier."
Lyman has worn a lot of hats well throughout his career. Now he is seeking to add another one by running for the Regional Health Authority in the May 10 elections. Whatever the future holds for Lyman R. Spear it appears that slowing down is not part of the plan.
Lyman R. Spear (2004).
Lyman R Spear (ca1936).
SOURCE: Homeport News (May 7, 2004 (Issue 2, Volume 1)) - written by permission.
NOTE: Lyman is a descendant of John Spear Senr. and his wife Margaret who came from Carmoney, County Antrim, Ireland and settled in Pennfield, NB. Their grandson John A Spear married Margaret McDowell and settled in Seelye's Cove, NB. A product of their union was Randall Smith Spear (1878-1954), Lyman's grandfather.