Yukon Quest contributor passes away at age 91

Major Evans has given 4 decades fostering and maintaining interest in the sport of dog mushing and sled dog racing. Major has played an overt part in officiating and organizing. Major was drawn into this sport quite accidentally in the 1950’s while in the Yukon with the Military. He ended up down on the Yukon River in 1958 to see what was happening and was asked (not asked really but yelled at, in kind of a panic situation) to” GRAB THE GANG LINE” by somebody and he responded, like a good military man, to help a handler at the start line of the winter carnival dog races. He was hooked!In 1975, Major Evans and the “Old Boys” were made life members of the Yukon Dog Musher’s Association. Major and Pat were involved with the “dog” activities on the Yukon River and out at Mile 934 (Alaska Highway) for 30 plus years; as sponsors, officials and supporters before the Yukon Quest began in 1984. Major and Pat made sure one ton on dog food for the one dog pull was always there and continued that tradition as well for many years until major dog food producers started sponsoring the event.He was an organizer when the first “outside” musher, Nick Molofey, from Edmonton, won the three-day race event in l967. He was also an organizer when Yukon musher, Wilfred Charlie set a Guinness Record, by streaking around the 17 Mile course in less than an hour. That record still stands.With the beginning of the Yukon Quest, Major took on the new role of starter. With his hearing deteriorating and the noise level as high as dogs and people can make it, he utilized the 45-30-15-10-5 second flag start. The mushers didn’t have to hear anything at the start line, they just watched Major’s hand flag and were off. Major continued doing his bit for “the Races”, he stayed with and started the Yukon Quest until he was 88 years of age and added Silver Sled in Haines Junction, the Carbon Hill at Mount Lorne and maintained the local races as well at Rendezvous. He was honoured in 2005 to put out the ceremonial RCMP team before the official start of the Yukon Quest.


More Posts