My name is Keith Filby, I’m a mate with McKeil Murray. I started with McKeil in 2011. I joined as a deck hand, learned the ropes, and moved up from there. I was born in England, but I live in Kincardine Ontario, on the shore of Lake Huron. I do most of my sailing for McKeil out east here in Newfoundland.
My most powerful memory of water I would have to say is sailing on Lake Huron. Although, I never sailed on Lake Huron for McKeil, I’ve done a lot of pleasure boating on it. What I like best about it is you get those calm flat summer days and the water goes perfectly clear and you can see down 10 or 15 feet and see the grains of sand. Or if you are up around Tobermory and Big Tub and places like that, you may look down 30 feet and you see rocks and you think uh-oh they are only a foot below surface I’m gonna hit them with the prop – the water is that pristine. So I’m always concerned about the quality of the water as a result.
My first memory of water I would have to say is a result of my dad and I building a sailboat. Of course I took that sailboat with me everywhere with me. I put it on top of the car and I’d drive it down south to Florida and Lake Fanshawe in London. All kinds of nice places sailing and having a good time. So not just one memory but all those memories associated with that boat. Water has always been important to me. I think simply we drink it. I like it just for having a good time, going out, relaxing, fishing.
Of course I work on the water too and one of the things I do when I am home, for example, is I only live a block away from Lake Huron, so when I go down for a walk, I’ll clean up the beach. I’ll maybe pick up a paper cup or something like that or a styrofoam cup. At home I don’t throw pesticides on my lawn and stuff like that. So I try to be a bit more responsible because I am aware what can happen to it. In terms of other stories to share, a sad story unfortunately is I live a half an hour away from Walkerton. Now if you’ve never heard about Walkerton, it’s a small town in southwestern Ontario. They were the people that went through this e.coli disaster a number of years ago. They were in the news. Some of the wells that they have got polluted by farm runoff. The proper record keeping and maintenance wasn’t done on the water supply and a number of people in Walkerton got sick. Some died. And there are still ongoing health issues to this day as a result. So we can’t take our water for granted, we have to be very, very careful with it. Monitor all the time and look after it because it is our lifeline.