"4 Jailed, 17 Still At Large"

This article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Thursday April 16, 1959

4 Jailed, 17 Still At Large

Free Press Staff Reporter

Peace had returned Thursday to Island Falls, Sask., an isolated settlement 55 miles north and east of Flin Flon, after an uproarious weekend in which 21 Métis workmen wound up facing charges of creating a disturbance.

Four RCMP constables flew from Prince Albert to Island Falls Wednesday, in response to a request for help from the settlement's lone policeman. They found on their arrival, however, that all was quiet in the community of 160 people. Its jail, capacity four, was full, but the rest of the 17 people arrested were making no trouble although still at large.

The trouble began Saturday night, a police spokesman said, hard on the arrival in Island Falls of income tax refund cheques for employees of the Hudson's Bay Mining and Smelting Co. power plant there.

“The people just acquired a little too much money all at once," said the RCMP spokesman.

Liquor brought in from Creighton, Sask., provided the fuel. By late Saturday night, the Métis town of Sandy Bay, one mile east of Island Falls, was one big party, and the string of arrests began.

Island Falls' lone officer toiled all Saturday night and most of Sunday, breaking up fights and restoring order. The first four men arrested were carted off to jail; when its capacity was overtaxed, those subsequently charged were allowed to go home.

By Tuesday, with one-eighth of the settlement either behind bars or facing charges, the police officer decided it would be a good thing to have help. The four Prince Albert officers were flown in the following day, but found their services not required as the cheques and the liquor both, apparently, were then spent.

Eight of the men appeared before justice of the peace W. R. Southworth Wednesday. Each was fined $40 and costs. The remainder of the celebrants were due to appear before Magistrate Keith Taylor Thursday afternoon.

No damage was done, police said, and no one was seriously hurt