Remembering Yukon's sternwheelers, with a 92-year-old former purser


Ronald Finlayson choked up a bit when asked what it was like to see his one-time workplace — the iconic SS Klondike sternwheeler — sitting proudly on the riverbank in Whitehorse.

“Oh, it brought back many memories,” he said this week. “The Klondike is basically the same as I remember her. She’s changed a little bit, not very much.”

Of course, the one big change is that the old riverboat is now permanently dry docked and it’s a designated Parks Canada National Historic Site. Finlayson’s memories date to when she was still a working vessel, carrying people and cargo up and down Yukon’s waterways.

Finlayson, 92, worked a purser on the SS Klondike in 1950, right at the stern-end of

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