Brothers Gilbert (left) and Antonie Harry.

Brothers Gilbert (left) and Antonie Harry.

BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees: Gilbert and Antoine Harry

Antoine Harry was born in Alkali Lake on Jan. 16, 1927.

Antoine Harry (Working Cowboy)

Antoine Harry was born in Alkali Lake on Jan. 16, 1927, and he later moved to Dog Creek Reserve where he spent the rest of his life. Antoine came from a large family — three brothers and seven sisters. Antoine married Julia Alphonse in 1951 and together they raised 12 children of their own. Antoine was trained at an early age to respect the animals and the land, and he was known for his horsemanship.

He rode and broke all his horses, and drove team and wagon for various outfits. He was known for riding rough stock.

He could ride any horse. Antoine was always involved in ranching and he owned his own livestock operation.

The horses that Antoine trained were such that they were suitable for a toddler or a working cowboy. Antoine worked for the Circle S Ranch, Gang Ranch, Pigeon Ranch, Little Dog Creek Ranch, Mountain Ranch and Alkali Lake Ranch.

He worked with his brother Gilbert Harry and many other well-known cowboys in the area.

Antoine was Chief for Dog Creek community from 1974 to 1976, served as councillor from 1960-1962, and again from 1968-1970 and a third term from 1978-1980.

The friendships that Antoine made were lifelong relationships.

He could always ask a friend for help when in need, and he would return the favour.

Antoine loved to ride, he loved music, and he loved his family and friends.

Gilbert Harry (Working Cowboy)

Gilbert Harry was born Gilbert Charles Chelsea Aug. 5, 1922.

During his school years he went by Gilbert Nels (his father was Nels Chelsea) and later, after his mother remarried to Willie Harry, he changed his name to Gilbert Harry.  Gilbert spent all his life in the Dog Creek area ranching. He rode in the Mountain Race at the Williams Lake Stampede three  times, placing each time. In 1950 he rode using his brother Antoine’s name and won.

In 1951 and 1952 Gilbert placed second.

An RCMP officer measured the jump and said his horse Blue Jay jumped 65 feet. Gilbert’s father, Nels Chelsea also won the Mountain Race in 1930. Gilbert worked at a number of the local ranches as a cowboy. He rode with the best of the old time cowboys including his brother Antoine at the then Diamond S Ranch (Circle S Ranch) at Dog Creek. Gilbert ran the Joe Place ranch where he worked for the Symes as an all around hand. He broke many horses and trailed a lot of cattle in his lifetime. When he got up in years Gilbert worked at the Gang Ranch as a farm hand.

Gilbert married Ellen Clemine Kalalest in 1943 and they celebrated 68 years together. They had eight children and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, many of whom are also excellent horsemen. Gilbert loved hockey and was an avid player — a good one too!

He was a true Cariboo cowboy and went to his final rest Dec. 16, 2009, at 87. Many who knew him often commented on his wonderful sense of humour.

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