James Holly’s Retirement on June 6, 2008 after 32 years with Canadian Pacific Railways (Milestones of My Life)

janko-in-yellow-helmetMy life with CPR started on the hot summer day of July 27, 1976. My first assignment on starting was at St. Luce’s railway yards in Montreal. It was both interesting and lokomotivefascinating for me as I just returned from Calgary by train which it was one of many trips I had made across Canada by rail. I enjoyed rail traveling since I was a child. Unfortunately rail travel was in decline and a few years later it was just a memory for many people. After spending a short time in St. Luce’s yard I bid for job at Angus shops also in Montreal. Angus shops was a totally different world, it had a work force of over 2 thousand people and covered a large area of the East end of Montreal. In 1989 work started to leave Angus and CPR began to move to Calgary and I decided that it would be in my best interests to move as well. It was not an easy decision as my family would be leaving everything and everyone they knew behind. I was transferred from Montreal to Calgary in July 1989. It took a few years to adapt to Calgary and Ogden shops. During these years my life had many twists and turns, over the years there had been many changes both in my work life and personal life. Some of those who came with us from Montreal have passed away, many have retired. With this in mind I decided to make a jump and change my life and retire. On the picture to the left you see me in 1995, on the picture to the right you see a CPR locomotive which I saw so many times in my life. These photos bring back memories of friends, acquaintances and co-workers. I do not forget these people and events in my work life. I try to keep in touch with them even though I am retired.

On my retirement day we decided to take pictures and keep these memories alive. Enjoy slide show from Ogden shop.


  1. Валентина,
    Вот это статья! Столько лет одать железной дороге и пройти этот путь достойно! Это РЕАЛЬНЫЙ ПРИМЕР для подражания! Так держать!
    С меня программа Ворд!

  2. Dear Kirill,
    Thanks a lot for your wonderful and thoughtful comment. But first I would like to translate it into English:
    What an article! So many years have been given to Canadian Pacific Railways and he did his work with dignity. This is a REAL EXAMPLE to follow! Keep on this way!
    I owe you the Word program.”
    Your words about this article are very touching, believe me, it was an important event in my life, and we are happy to have had a chance to share this moment with you and your wife. It was a pleasure to have met both of you on Saturday. We wish you all the best in your new homeland. We know you will succeed, All love and respect to both of you,
    Janko and Valentina

  3. Valentina,
    I make myself write/type something down everyday (call it a diary) and that was my yesterday’s record (pass it to James as well, please):
    …There are examples around us that will guide us and support us and I am quite superstitious to “scare my luck away” with the words but it seems that it will happen no matter what or as long as we live. It’s a big thing about believing in something and I should also admit knowing something for sure. These are human examples, of course. Nothing gets better than those live colorful figures and stories of human lives – one may find it rather plain to note but the truth of the matter is that we tend to distance ourselves from human nature when we face troubles of different kind and thus we are trying to find solace in things, substances, fairytales, sports, etc. So, when you feel and know (the best duplex system available) that something should be this way and not vice versa, you’ll get the results or the fruits. You don’t have to break your neck against someone’s stupidity to prove it – knowledge and your wish for a better life will guide you.
    Frankly, it was hardly believable back in my native city that everything works at all here. Ok, it was a Northern American country. Ok, we visited the US back in 2001-2002 and we had some preliminary information on Canada BUT we kept living in Belarus and that was our reality. It’s the outside world that is ruled by its own rules but in human mind it’s shaped and formed by ideas of various kind. And we, as human units are so prone to accept this “new reality” as a solid truth that even if we know the other truth we seriously doubt our believes and perceptions.

    Today’s visit to Valentina and James gave me a lot of spiritual support that is so needed these days and I am grateful to these kind people who disregard standard and boring postulates of everyday rusty rules. Such people prove that stupid theories are nothing but stupid theories and that keeps you going and makes you smile when you remember examples of such people…
    Thank you for the support!

  4. Hi, Kiril and Natallia,
    Today we have had a pleasure of reading your message and we understand perfectly well how you feel moving to a new city, new location and a new country where nobody knows you and you know nobody. The important thing is that you find the strength within each other, this is your family here, this is the reason you wish to succeed, both spiritually, emotionally and materially. Life is a combination of all these things, they are as building blocks which make everything strong. Be realistic though, do not live in the illusion world, there will be ups and downs and challenges but we know that with perseverance and determination and belief whatever spiritual values you hold both of you will be able to get through. Good luck to both of you and keep in touch with us, let us know how it goes.
    With love and respect,
    Janko and Valentina

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