With his dad working on and off the rigs since he was eight years old, Les Hodge understands what it means to be roughneck raised.
Working a 20 and 10 schedule, Hodge’s dad would fly to Alberta for 20 days of work then make the 6,000 km trip back to spend ten days at home in Savage Cove, Newfoundland. No matter how tempted he may have been to relax on his days off, his dad was always determined to make the most of his time with family.
Making it count
“I remember following my old man around for hours, catching salmon or searching for rabbits,” said Hodge. “He always took me with him, even though I’m sure I was more of a headache than a help.”
When the two of them weren’t hunting or soaking in Canada’s east coast beauty, Hodge’s number one fan could be found in the stands of every possible sporting match.
“I did anything I could to keep busy and my dad lived for it.”
Every chance they got, they were together at the hockey rink, the ball diamond, or in the gym.
“He’d even take me along to play late-night old-timers hockey when I was 14, just so we could have some extra time,” remembered Hodge.
“It used to make my mom mad, but he would always bend the rules when he could so I could follow him around.”
Earning a new level of respect for dad
When the time came to start a career of his own, Hodge chose to follow in his dad’s footsteps and head west to try his hand on the rigs.
“Growing up in Savage Cove with a population of roughly 150 people, you either fished or moved to Alberta to work in the oilfield.”
After a year of roughnecking on his own, Hodge had the opportunity to work in Fox Creek, Alberta alongside his dad.
“I was 22 at the time and Dad was 40, so I thought I’d run circles around him and was excited to do so,” laughed Hodge. “I learned my lesson pretty quickly. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen a harder worker or a guy that truly loves being a roughneck more.”
Experiencing firsthand what his dad went through day-to-day and how hard he worked made Hodge respect him on a whole new level.
“It really opened my eyes to see the effort he put in at the rig and at home. To say I got to work alongside my dad, who is also my best friend, is something I’m really proud of.”
Since the acquisition of CanElson Drilling, the father and son duo are working for the same company again, but this time in a different capacity.
“We always joke that I got the brains and he got the brawn in our family,” said Hodge, Trinidad’s Facilities and Yard Coordinator in Nisku, Alberta. “Dad’s still out roughnecking with the best of them on Trinidad Rig 401.”
Happy Father’s Day from the team at Trinidad
To all the oilfield dads out there who sacrifice birthdays, holidays and bedtimes, but make every moment they can with their family count…we take our hats off to you. Happy Father’s Day!