BIBLE HILL - RCMP Sgt. Allan Affleck is getting ready to start a new chapter in his life this week.
Having just celebrated his five-year anniversary as sergeant with the Bible Hill detachment, he recently received a new position as District Commander of Inverness County based in Port Hawkesbury in Cape Breton. His new position, which will begin on Dec. 16, is a result of a lot of flexibility in his 21-year career with the Mounties and a lot of hard work and visualization to strive for his dreams.
“From the time I was eight-years-old, I always knew I wanted to be a Mountie,” he said during a recent interview with the Truro Daily News.
It took 10 years of applying to the RCMP every year before he was called into service at the age of 33.
Originally from P.E.I, he was a greenskeeper at a Stanhope golf course when the call came. He was also working as an auxiliary police officer at the time.
Affleck was away from his family for about six months when he took training in Regina, Sask., in 1992. He and his wife, Annette, had four children between the ages of one and five at the time but he managed to keep his motivation alive and continue applying knowing he was doing the right thing.
“I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless I try,” he said. “Now I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do and I love my job. It’s the enthusiasm I have for my job that I hope to bring to the new place.”
He said “about every four years you kind of get itchy feet in this job” and was ready for a new challenge. He’s never been stationed somewhere he hasn’t enjoyed and he will not look back when he leaves his office this week in Bible Hill.
“For 21-years I’ve been immersed in the operations side of police work and now I’ll be getting used to running a distinct administration side of it. It’s just a different job- more behind the scenes,” he said, of his new position.
Now with four grown children and eight grandchildren, ranging from ages as young as one-month old to five years old, he is very family oriented and enjoys the balance of work and home life. He also manages his time for his own health by working out and refereeing hockey.
Looking back, he remembers promising his son, who was 12 years old when they moved from a posting in Stewiacke to Pictou County that they would not move again. He promised his kids they would stay and finish school there. The family did stay in the community and since then, although Affleck has had several positions with the RCMP and commuted to as far away as Halifax, the family home remained.
He will continue to commute 100 km to work everyday and doesn’t feel the need to relocate as his whole family has rooted themselves in Pictou County and it’s home.
In reflecting on the people and organizations he has worked with in the area during his time in Colchester County, the relationships he has established with people he’s worked with will continue.
“I’m pleased to have been able to help people who were having crisis in their life,” said the sergeant. “I’ve developed a lot of trusting relationships with people and you really don’t realize you are helping at the time, but every once in a while they call you to thank you. It is rewarding when you know you have helped people get straightened up, by helping them out and setting them in the right direction.”
Affleck sees this recent opportunity as a new adventure. He has learned to take life as it comes and maintain the calm in the storm.
“I learned a long time ago to never compare anything because everything is different,” he said.