Fall 2023 - Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder


A helicopter with two men on board landed upside down in Poorfish Lake, in what is now Nunavut, on July 15, 1969. The pilot died of a heart attack in flight. My father, Leonard LeVert, was the only passenger and the lone survivor. He was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown through the Plexiglas bubble of the cockpit into the 4°C water. He swam from an approximate depth of 25 feet around the wreckage before struggling to the surface and managing to climb onto one of the landing skids’ inflatable pontoons, where he remained for seventeen hours …


Connie LeVert began her nursing career in Hawaii, caring for people afflicted with Hansen’s disease. In 1967, she wrote to her father expressing interest in relocating to the subarctic, where he was working as a geophysical surveyor. He responded on a piece of birchbark: “That is a place where you will learn to live with yourself.” She took a position in Grande-Baleine/ Great Whale River (now Kuujjuarapik), Quebec. Her retirement is now filled with knitting, poetry books, a lead pencil, and plenty of paper.

Article Category