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Rebuilding the National Power Company

Heroes Remember

Rebuilding the National Power Company

Within less than a year I was deployed to Haiti on forty seven hours notice which is interesting because the anti-malaria prescriptions don’t kick in for two weeks so we were taking a little bit of a risk there. But by being careful I was one of the lucky few who never became sick at all during my tour in Haiti. My job there was to rebuild the national power company and for that I had a collection of contractors from the Netherlands and France and Switzerland and just all sorts of places that folks would come from to try and give a hand to try and repair the power utility. Most of the power in Haiti is generated by large marine diesels which had fallen into disrepair because when Baby Doc fled the country he took with him all of the knowledgeable people so it was pretty much rebuilding from scratch and interestingly the power companies, the power plants are all down in the slums which made for some interesting security issues. The aristocracy of the country wanted to shut down the national utility which was selling electricity at a decent cost to the local people. What they wanted to do was bring in power from offshore and sell it at four times the normal price and get their money. So what they would be doing would to be to try to foment sabotage by the local street gangs. The Americans had an interesting solution to that. They built high concrete walls, topped them with barbed wire and actually established World War II style machine gun towers. I had a slightly different approach. I hired the local gang leaders as security guards, paid them quite well and I told them that if anything went wrong they would lose their jobs. This assured an awful lot of peace because they now had some money to spread around to improve the lot of the people who were part and parcel of their little portion of the slums. So it worked out quite well for everyone.

Mr. Mac Culloch provides details at to his actions while working with the locals in the slums of Haiti.

Wayne Mac Culloch

Wayne Mac Culloch was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1953 and grew up in Quebec. He began his studies at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, at the age of 18 and would serve as a military engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 40 years. During his long and varied career, Mr. Mac Culloch served across Canada and took part in three overseas deployments to the Balkans and one to Haiti before being medically discharged with the rank of major. Still having a passion to serve, he went on to work as a civilian employee with the Department of National Defence. Since 2004, Mr. Mac Culloch has volunteered his time and talents to help deliver the “Peace Module” during the Historica Encounters with Canada program in Ottawa. Week after week, he has engaged with youth from coast to coast and educated them about the sacrifices and achievements of Canadians who have served in uniform over the years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 9, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Wayne Mac Culloch
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces

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