2002 Yukon Nuggets
Moe Grant wasn’t born in the Yukon, but he arrived with his parents from Saskatchewan in 1929, when he was six months old. The family lived in Carcross and it was here that Moe developed his lifelong love of flying.
From the single-bay garage where he got his first job as a mechanic, Moe watched the busy gravel airstrip from which there seemed an endless parade of airplanes. Moe was hooked. In 1947, the teenager earned his pilot’s license.
He flew mostly for fun for the following fifty years. But, in 1950, his flying days nearly ended when he crashed his single-engine plane on an isolated mountain between Atlin and Carcross. Only the determined searching by Herman Peterson saved Moe from certain death.
He survived on the snow-covered mountain for five days before he was rescued. But his feet were frozen and he lost both legs in the ordeal. However, that did not stop him from flying well into his seventies. He didn’t officially retire until last year, when he was inducted as a pioneer aviator into the Yukon Transportation Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Moe married wife Cora in 1953 and the couple had two children, George and David.
In 1969, Moe became a partner in the Ford dealership when Rolf Hougen purchased the company from the Northern Commercial Co. He was already managing the car business, then located on Main Street, which was relocated to its current location on Fourth Avenue.
Moe gave much to the Yukon as a musician, and as a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. He is also fondly remembered for driving his Model "T" Ford in the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous parade.
He was the man with a mandolin and he liked to share the music. In 1975, he began visiting Macaulay Lodge to play for senior residents. Eventually, other musicians joined the group and their performances became a meaningful part of activities at the lodge. Recently, a group of musicians celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the weekly performances begun by Moe Grant.
In 2002, Moe was honoured with the Commissioner’s Award "for his tireless dedication to bringing music into the lives of Yukon ’s senior citizens."
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.