THE Island Falls Community Club held its first meeting in July, 1930. The passing years have brought many changes—changes in personnel, changes in the development of the community and in community life. Regarding the latter, it might be said to have been a singularly happy one. Of the members who took part in the original organizing of the Club, only three are still members at this writing.
The development of the community life has been possible only by the cordial cooperation between the Churchill River Power Company and its employees. It represents much planning, a lot of hard work, the expenditure of considerable sums of money, and we of the Island Falls Community are happy to voice our appreciation of the frequent and generous assistance given by the Company.
In order that we might the more fully appreciate the work that has been done, and the recreational facilities that have been provided, it was decided to record in something of an historical form our growth over the first 25 year period. We hope it will be of interest to new members, and it will refresh the memories of the older ones who are still with us, and others who have left for other fields.
For our purpose, we can assume that the Churchill River Power Company officially started operation on June 7th, 1930, which is the date of the first Log Sheet. At this time also the Plant Superintendent, Mr. R.W. Davis, was hiring the staff necessary for the operation of the plant and for related work.
It was felt by the Management and Staff that an organization that would encourage and provide for Community social functions and recreation in various forms was a necessity—especially in an isolated settlement such as ours.
Therefore on July 24, 1930, Mr. Davis called to order a meeting of the employees for the purpose of organizing a Club. Mr. Roy Carruthers was elected President; Mr. Davis, Honorary President of the Club and Member of all Committees; Harry Olson, Vice-President; and Harold Merkley, Secretary.
By Sept. 12th a Constitution had been drawn up, and the name "Island Falls Social Club" was adopted. A payroll deduction of 1% of gross employee earnings for the operation of the Club was decided upon.
When the Fraser-Brace Construction Company left here that Fall, the Churchill River Power Co. took over their Club equipment, which included a building of log construction used as a recreation hall, miscellaneous sports equipment, drums, banjo, and a tennis court. This was all turned over to our Club, together with a piano, the gift of Nip Johnson, and we were ready to go into business in earnest.
In the course of this story, names will be mentioned at random, and no attempt will be made to name all who have been, and are now members of the Club. To those who do not find their names here, we extend our apologies and assure them no slights intended.
When the temporary power plant at Spruce Falls, some fourteen miles distant was shut down early in June, 1930, John Hattie and Roy Peever, of the staff there, took up duties here; Ron Herman, who had helped to build our power line with Lang and Ross joined us also. Harry Olson and Ben Braun were the first to arrive from the outside, followed by Charlie Ver Wilghen, Pete Wasylenko and Bill Jonasson.
In August we were saddened by the death of our friend, Bill Ewart, who was electrocuted while on duty at the plant.
|Community Club Meeting
[Front row: Monty Bloomfield, Wally Ariko, Don Brydon, Bob Tanner, Stan Ferg, Pelle Hagberg. Second row: Bert Pelletier, Bill Hammond, Tom Willey, Bill Hessing, Slim Lindsay, Andy Goodwin, Sid Brown, Jack Barkwell, Walter Leslie, Rees Davis. Back row: Alf Broster, Garnet Jeffrey, Jack McMurdo, Glenn Grigg, Kjell Hvidsten, Ernie Westbury, Ches Henry, Peter Aplin, Neil Rutherford.]
Pelle Hagberg decided to migrate North from the Winnipeg offices of the H.B.M. & S. Mention must be made of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Huffaker and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Chaloner, who arrived that Fall—Marvin from the Winnipeg offices and Jim from Flin Flon machine shops.
The closing month of that year saw the construction dining-hall converted into a skating rink. It was small for the purpose but provided a lot of fun and diversion anyway.
The Christmas entertainment and the First Annual Banquet were held in the old hall. The success of the banquet was probably the reason why they became an annual event in the life of the Community. The ladies cooperated whole-heartedly in providing all those things that go to make up a banquet nicely served. The musical part of the festivities was taken care of by Mrs. Jim Chaloner at the piano; Harold Merkley beat the drums, Harry Olson bowed the violin, and Bill Shaw, the master musician, played the sax. The latter could make music on nearly anything, but specialized on the saxophone, violin, clarinet and piano. What this organization did to "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain" had better not be told. There were probably eight or ten families at that first banquet, and perhaps about thirty seated at the tables. Fred La Roche was held responsible for satisfying the appetites of the wood-burning heaters in use at the time.
|Hobby Shop -- busy winter spot.|
Such were the beginnings of some of the Club activities.
In the early months of 1931, the hall floor was prepared for a single badminton court; and equipment, including racquets, was purchased. Also supplies for tennis, clubs for miniature golf, and equipment for softball were ordered to come in on winter freight.
In March, Howard McIntosh arrived from the south via dog team, and took over duties of Secretary from Mr. McGowan, who had been with us a short time.
By July, interest in tennis had become so keen that it was decided a second court was a necessity; even flood lighting was erected to take care of late patrons such as men coming off shift at midnight. Work bees were organized for the jobs till completed.
Mention must be made here of some firsts—namely, brides. Howard McIntosh and Ron Herman liked life in the North. In fact, they liked it so well they decided to get married and settle down. They will recall the welcomes (or shall we say treatment?) they received on arrival. Ron and Howard set an example soon to be followed by others.
About this time Otto Christensen had been offered, and he had accepted, work here as an operator. And so our Club membership continued to grow and activities expanded.
The expansion was such that at times the financial figures were recorded in red ink, or should have been. The situation was temporarily remedied by raising the payroll deductions from 1% to l½%.
|Chas. Henry gives his craft the finishing touch.|
Here, again, we would like to leave the principal subject for just a little and call to mind a member of about that time, in the person of Bird Berry. He was one of those unforgettable characters—friendly, generous, always a gentleman, and had a grand sense of humor. He had a rare way of telling about places and experiences, and was never boring, though he could talk by the hour, and very rarely repeated a yarn. His work as electrician was always neat and thorough. However, Bird's stay here was only a means to an end—he wanted just one more try at striking it rich in the Yukon, where he had spent a good many years prospecting. It was a great disappointment to him when the authorities would not allow his entry into the Territory because of his age. The last word we had about Bird, several years ago, was that he had become a Deputy Sheriff in Juneau, and there is no doubt he earned the respect of all who knew him there.
|Winter operations include fibre-glass job on Harry Olson's boat.|
For various reasons, one of them being quite obvious, the popularity of the orchestra had begun to fade, even with the addition of Mr. Willumsen and his accordion. So the Club decided to acquire one of those new gadgets—a combination radio and record-player.
Because of the Club assuming more of the responsibilities for providing Community entertainment, it became necessary to find more and suitable quarters in addition to the old hall.
The interior of the Fraser-Brace hospital building had previously been remodeled to become our Staff kitchen and dining room, with some spare room at one end.
Mr. Davis offered the Club the half of the building occupied by the spare rooms if we would make the necessary alterations. The offer was accepted, and by working off-duty hours for a few weeks, the job of renovating and sound-proofing the partitioning wall was completed. Also electric heaters were installed.
|Community garage service.|
The second Christmas entertainment and New Year's Eve Banquet were held in the new Club room under much more comfortable circumstances than the previous year.
In the winter of 1932 the Club acquired a pool table as a gift from the Company, and pool became a popular source of recreation.
The gang must have stored up a lot of energy during the winter months, because in the spring of that year the boys couldn't wait for the snow to melt off the tennis courts by natural means, so they got out their shovels and really went to work. A good thing we didn't have a golf course then.
That summer, some of the boys evidently did some high pressure talking and sold the North to their girl friends and brought them up here as their brides. As the community thus grew with the establishing of more homes, so did the activities and responsibilities of the Club.
These girls and others who followed as time went on were quick to take their places in the community and contribute toward making social life more pleasant for all.
At this time, before the advent of air transportation, it was customary for the gang to meet the newly-weds at the boat dock on Sandy Bay. There they were liberally showered with rice and confetti, then were obliged to ride up to Camp in a special conveyance provided for the occasion. This might be something in the form of a buckboard drawn by Old Kate, or something else defying description, which had been dreamed up by the lively imagination of Sam Raynor.
|Tough end in novelty bonspiel.|
While on the subject of marriages, and some more "firsts" in our history, we hope to be pardoned for briefly infringing on what is rightly the province of the Department of Vital Statistics. This is with reference to local weddings, of which there are ten on record, and headed by the names of Jack Barkwell—Olive Shaw. They were followed by Harry Katz—Edna Stewart, Cecil Cameron—Ann Fraser, Alf Broster— Doris Pay, and Neil Rutherford—Beryl Pearson.
During the last years of the war we lost three of our young ladies to men of the U.S.A.A.F. Weather Observation Corps who were stationed here, as follows: Dick Martell—Eva Olson, Randall Cark—Emily Bjornson, and Sgt. Joe Kuzienski married our nurse, Gertie Johnson.
Later, we have Roy Bunn and Ruth White, and a couple of years after that we lost another nurse, Gladys Walker, to Ross Lennox. We now have had the second generation—Roy Hammerstad and Joan Broster, on February 19th, 1955. Joan is the daughter of Alf and Doris.
The above are only roughly in chronological order.
The first child born here was Florence, to John and Hazel Hattie. Florence is now a Registered Nurse. The first and only twins were to Doug and Ada Russell.
The softball diamond, which was located approximately where No. 5 golf hole is now, was in regular use then, when the tennis players could take time off from their game.
In the Fall of that year the first basketball games were played, but enthusiasm for the game dropped with the lowering temperatures because the building could not be properly heated—too much chinking had fallen out.
|Coffee corner in curling rink.|
To illustrate the scarcity of building materials — in the Club minutes for January, 1933, we read that Charlie Ver Wilghen asked regarding lumber for facing a back-board for the punching bag. None seemed available. However, Mr. Davis said he thought that Fred Duncan, the carpenter, could scare up sufficient to do the job.
About this time, competitive hockey received its coup de grace, though the tempo of the game had been boosted by the spirited leadership of Jack Barkwell. Two of the goal tenders, namely, Charlie Ver Wilghen and Fred Duncan, were both injured in one game. Charlie's nose retained its original profile, but Fred's lip didn't fare so well. The gang chartered a plane and sent him out for repairs. Thereafter it was decided that hockey was too hazardous (and expensive) to be played in an isolated community.
After a good deal of preliminary discussion, on March 6th, 1933, the Club placed an order for a theatre-size motion picture projector and sound equipment. Since this meant a very severe strain on our finances, the Company generously offered to absorb part of the cost of the machine and to contribute monthly toward the cost of the shows. According to the records, "Rain or Shine" and "Ladies of Leisure" made up the first showing.
Early in 1934 considerable work had been done to the old hall, which was weather- proofed sufficiently to permit the showing of movies and playing of badminton and basketball. With reference to the latter, the court was of somewhat less than regulation size. But even so, there was very little space on the sidelines for spectators, so they were frequently inadvertently (and sometimes violently) involved in the game. Besides the two men's basketball teams, the ladies also recruited players for two teams.
|Nice day's catch. Davis, Rutherford, Hagberg, Willis, McIntosh, Carr.|
As to time, it was here that Bill Southworth left the Bank of Commerce to join our operating staff, and in April he was followed by Cece Cameron. And Alf Broster filled a double need. As a carpenter, he replaced Duncan and, as a first-class violinist, he added finish to the re-staffed orchestra. These men, with the addition of the experienced Vic Rogers later in the year, made the single men's basketball strength a rugged one for the married fellows to cope with.
Max McConnell might rightly be called the original promoter of curling at Island Falls. In a regular meeting in April, he urged that steps be taken to get the game started. The possibilities were discussed by the membership, and all seemed in favor. But lack of enthusiasts, lack of finances, and the vision of a lot of hard work made the game appear less attractive. So the idea was shelved for the time. However, Max was soon to let the boys know he hadn't given up.
|Rod and Gun Club members put up ice at Flanagan Lake Lodge.|
Again the Club was experiencing financial growing pains, and it was necessary to raise the dues to 2% of earnings.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that our Club had grown to such an extent that more and better quarters in which to carry on our activities were required.
New lumber was not available, but structures left from the plant construction job, and which were no longer required, were demolished and the materials salvaged.
By summer of 1934, Mr. Davis had drawn up plans and determined that there was sufficient material, practically all salvage, to go ahead and erect a building of such size as to become our community center of social activities.
An unwritten agreement between the Company and the Social Club provided that the Company would furnish material if the Club would provide the labour. Incidentally, this is still our operating agreement. Of necessity, the Company supplied the required machinery, the use of a team of horses, set footings and heavy timbers, et cetera. We had only the team of horses for trucking jobs, and they, with a gin-pole, raised the heavy roof trusses.
The first of October saw the framework of the new hall erected, and Mr. Davis asked for all possible assistance. This was an ambitious project for a relatively small staff, but all went to work with a will. By working all possible off-duty hours the job of weather-proofing the structure progressed rapidly, although winter weather settled in and there were numbed hands before the last of the sheathing was nailed in place. The morning after the last of the roofing was placed, three inches of snow had fallen.
This building, which is our present Hall, has been added to and improved in a number of ways, as needs arose. It has become a Community Centre in which we all, adults and children have a real interest and of which we have a right to feel proud.
By the end of December, electric light and heat had been installed, and the interior of the upstairs section sufficiently finished to be useable. This was the result of some special effort so that we could hold the 5th Annual Banquet in the new and permanent location. The orchestra was out in full strength for the occasion. For several years, that part of the Hall was also the theatre.
|School boys hockey team, 1953.|
In February, 1935, a Flin Flon Men's Basketball team had challenged Island Falls to some games, but the main gymnasium was not yet ready for play. So more work-bees were organized to lay flooring and to put Donnaconna covering on walls and ceiling. Also the flooring was oiled and game court lines painted on.
For some time, basketball was the dominant winter game, and Mr. Davis presented a trophy for competition. Without publishing our very good reasons, we will just say that the cup was eventually lost to a Flin Flon team.
In September, Neil Rutherford left off barn-storming around Saskatchewan and came north. He has been keeping our electronic equipment in top shape ever since.
The next several months were busy ones for our Club during the major construction job at the power plant. There were various changes in membership also, and no attempt can be made to record them here. However, Bud Jobin, who has since become well known as a Manitoba M.L.A., was at this time chosen as representative for the Construction Men's softball league. Perhaps he had an eye on the Legislature even then.
At this time, Bill Grayson joined our Company to work on transportation, with which he was thoroughly familiar, having spent some years in that work at several points in the North. However, circumstances dictated that Bill settle down to shop work, and now his slogan is: "We build boats, all by myself." Any who have received Novelty Bonspiel trophies from our Curling Club will recognize Bill's craftsmanship in wood. He is also well known among dog-racers of a few years ago. Incidentally, Mrs. Grayson is a recognized champion angler, having landed one of the largest trout, over 63 pounds, ever recorded with rod and line.
Having let the matter rest for about a year and a half, Max McConnell again brought up the little matter of the curling rink, in October, 1936. The idea was given a warmer reception this time, but being so late in the season, it was decided not to build that year. The initial step was taken though, and a Curling Rink Committee, consisting of Max McConnell, R.W. Davis and H.P. Hamilton, was elected. Also a fund for the purchase of curling rocks was started.
That fall, more work parties were organized, and further improvements were made to the Hall. and in this we were assisted by a number of the men of the Construction crew.
|Wolf Cub Pack, 1954|
In April of the new year the Club purchased the first set of eight pairs of curling rocks. And in May, it was found necessary to boost the Club dues again.
In the fall of 1937 work was started on the first sheet of curling ice. The first games were played in December, and Mr. Davis was given a hearty vote of thanks by the membership for having made the rink possible. Max McConnell's dream was now a reality, and curling has since become one of the most popular sports.
In March of the following year, a second sheet of curling ice was suggested. After much discussion pro and con, the feeling of the meeting seemed to be that another sheet of ice might result in too much curling and so eventually dull interest in the game. The opinion was that this is what had happened to tennis. However, the Curling Rock Fund was re-opened so that cash would be available for rocks as required.
Primarily, because we had no safe place where our children could swim and wade, it was also decided to construct a swimming pool that would take care of all requirements. That same fall, the gang went to work clearing the site and, with the use of earth-moving machinery, constructed a dam. The following winter, several truck loads of sand were hauled to provide a good beach. The diving-board and other equipment were placed later.
That other sheet of ice was discussed again as another curling season approached but, as previously, it was decided that this was not the time.
During the next several months after the outbreak of hostilities, some of the members left us to join up with the Armed Services. Those who went were Norm Eccles, Bill Shaw, Cece Cameron, Joe Hetherington, Eric King, Doug More, Sid Foden, Graham Giffin, Stew Russell, Ben VerWilghen and Frank Ryan, and we all joined in wishing them all the best and a speedy return to civilian life. In consequence, this resulted in changes in the operating staff and Club membership.
We bow our heads in memory of those brave boys—Norm, Doug and Graham— who made the supreme sacrifice and did not return to us, but helped make it possible for us to enjoy our way of life.
Care of the Hall and Club equipment had become quite a problem. Various schemes for taking care of the janitor work had been tried, but none were very successful. The Company solved the difficulty for us very nicely in providing a caretaker. A man on duty in the building also materially reduced chances of fire breaking out.
During the time of the original construction job, the area surrounding camp had been fairly well denuded of trees and shrubs. But Nature would not lie dormant, so vigorous growth during the next few years produced another sizable stand of young trees. Therefore, in the interests of safety, Mr. Davis decided another fireguard around camp should be maintained.
By strange coincidence, it was found that this fire-guard was ideally suited for a golf course. Whether by coincidence or design, it looked good, so the boys got busy with all manner of tools, and before the end of the season four holes were ready for play. We played up to the present No. 2 hole and back down the same course to No. 3 and No. 4. This made the game quite interesting when there were two groups playing at the same time. Also strangely, no casualties were recorded.
One of the last pieces of Club business in that year was the decision to buy another piano to relieve the strain on the old one. It was judged to be getting rather shaky in the keys. The other instrument would be brought in on the coming freight-haul.
As a matter of interest, it might be mentioned that, for business reasons, the Company Accountant automatically becomes the Club secretary-treasurer. In this capacity, Howard McIntosh holds the blue ribbon for length of service with over ten years to his credit. Johnny Spencer is runner-up with nearly five and a half years.
The golf course was now claiming much attention, and in the summer of 1942 more work had been done, and the course with five holes was laid out as we now have it.
That summer also, the Club tried a new venture in securing the services of a playground attendant, the idea being to give the young children instruction in playing games and in group activity, and so prevent their straying away into hazardous locations.
|Picnic up the river at Eddie's Beach|
In more recent years, the attendant has been required to be a qualified instructor in swimming and water safety. The result is that practically all our children can take care of themselves in the water, and most of the school children take the Red Cross swimmers' tests each season. All feel that any cost in connection with this activity was money very wisely expended, since much of our leisure time in summer is spent near or on the water. This instruction will help prevent accidents, but, if an accident should occur, the results are not nearly so likely to be fatal.
In process of development, the Club has adopted a policy of making donations to charitable organizations who appeal for funds and of presenting a gift to any member who leaves the employ of the Churchill River Power Co. Also, a token of appreciation is usually given to a member, or anyone else, who renders the Club or Community some extra service. Further, the Club has, as an expression of sympathy, absorbed transportation costs for anyone who is required to go beyond Flin Flon for medical attention, and provided reading material and other comforts for any hospitalized member.
Dealing with all these matters in general meeting became very cumbersome and time-consuming. Therefore in October, 1944, on motion of Broster-Bracken, it was decided to look into the possibilities of setting up a fund to take care of the above-mentioned contingencies.
Four months later, the Appreciation Fund, as it was named, was organized and Fisherman's party at Scotty's Beach put into operation and administered, by an elected five-man committee. This has become an active department of our Club.
In May of 1945 another general revision of the Club Constitution was deemed necessary. Among other things, the name of Island Falls Social Club was changed to Island Falls Community Club, as being more appropriate.
With the end of the war, Cece Cameron, Bill Shaw, Sid Foden and Joe Hetherington were welcomed back into the community.
Early in 1947 nine sets of matched curling rocks were placed on order but, due to heavy demands and other reasons, these were not delivered till late in the next year.
The year 1948 was an unusually busy one and fully made up for the few new projects of the previous year.
Several families had acquired boats, and others were going to purchase, but no suitable housing for the crafts was available. Only one thing to do—build a boathouse. An ideal site had been selected. Plans were drawn up and costs estimated at a uniform price per stall. These were found satisfactory, so decided to build and all interested parties contributed the labour. The building, large enough to meet immediate requirements, was completed before the end of the boating season.
However, the fleet continued to grow and an extension was soon necessary; and this was provided. We now have an excellent building that will accommodate over 25 boats.
The boating activity is a part of the Community Club only insofar as the membership of both is concerned. Actually, the boathouse is operated by a separate committee and from a separate fund.
That summer the Company also added the two-room school and the theatre to the south end of the Hall. These, of course, have been very much appreciated by the entire community. The Club membership had little to do with this construction job, except covering the interior of the theatre walls and ceiling.
In October, Mr. Davis offered the Club a second sheet of curling ice again, and this time the offer was enthusiastically and thankfully accepted. With some help from the Club, the extension was completed and in use two months later. The matched curling rocks had now arrived also, and so the serious business of curling was attended to with considerable fervor.
Since quite a number of the members had taken an interest in various woodworking projects as a pastime, in November that fall it was decided that a Hobby Club should become another Club activity. A good and varied line of power tools and accessories was ordered. An unused Company building was loaned as a temporary shop and the tools installed. By April of the following year the Hobby Shop was in production.
The one moving picture projector had been carrying the entire load of the two full shows a week, and frequent repairs and replacement parts were necessary. Early in 1949 another projector with the required related parts was ordered, and the entire cost was generously assumed by the Company. The installation of the second machine made the shows much more enjoyable for all by elimination of the annoying interruption during changing of the film reels. Some time later, the Club bought a high quality screen, which further improved the pictures.
Our New Year's Eve Banquets for a few years prior to 1950 had outgrown the capacity of the upper Club room, so it became necessary to move down into the main gymnasium. This put a heavy strain on the vocal equipment of the speakers if they were to be heard at all tables by above two hundred guests. In fact, few speakers were equal to the situation.
|Never too young for Santa Claus.|
It became one of the first items of business in 1951 to authorize the purchase of suitable public address equipment. The portable sound system we now have makes it possible for even the weakest voice to command attention. This equipment has been very useful in connection with various outdoor functions also.
Again this year, some more very good seats were provided for the theatre, and the seating should now be adequate for all foreseeable requirements.
A very good variety of 16 millimeter educational and entertainment films were available, but we had no means for showing them. It was felt that such equipment would be a real asset, so the matter was investigated. It followed that a high quality 16 millimeter sound projector was ordered in September of that year. Many excellent educational films have been shown of interest to school children and adults. The following year, the Community Club became a member of the Flin Flon District Film Council, which is a center for the distribution of film programs.
Since about the winter of 1949, there has been a steady influx of automobiles of nearly all makes, models and ages—but no Cadillacs to date. We will blame the mythical Mr. Jones for starting it all. However, there is one excuse for having a car of some sort. The boat owners don't want to carry their families and supplies via the pack sack to and from the boat-house any more. That was for the pioneers. A gas wagon is the thing now, and adds to the enjoyment of boating.
All machines, and more particularly those well advanced in years, require maintenance and overhaul. But we had no place for this all-important work. Our Superintendent was approached, and he, realizing the seriousness of the situation, cooperated as usual and set aside an old unused bunkhouse for a Community Garage. This called for more work-bees by the members to make the building over to its new use, and in the Fall of that year it was ready to receive any casualties.
In the closing months of 1951 the matter of an indoor skating rink was once more discussed by the membership. This time, ways and means were found to be favourable. The material, ordered early next year, was to be financed by the Company and the Club agreed to erect the building. October of '52 saw the building completed, and enclosing an area of 50 ft. by 120 ft. In addition, are heated dressing-rooms, spectators' gallery, storage space, and a room for record-playing equipment. The latter for Community skating and figure skating instruction.
More work was also done in the north end of the Recreation Hall and the curling rink this fall. With reference to the rink, the walls were covered with Donnaconna board and painted. The large replica of the Island Falls Curling Club crest, which was painted and mounted in the rink by Barkwell and Grigg, added a nice touch of color. The rink now presents a very pleasing appearance. The spectator gallery and seats were painted. A large clock was installed, so please start and end games on time from now on.
The snack bar was moved to a larger room, freshly painted, equipped with good counters and seating accommodation.
Tiers of lockers, sufficient for all members, were built and installed, and the entire locker room area repainted. The barber shop was moved to an improved location, and the adjoining Club room was repainted.
Also this fall, the Club assumed sponsorship of the Girl Guides group, the Wolf Cub Pack and the Boy Scout Troop. The latter was just recently organized, though the Guides and Cubs have been active for some time.
In addition, the Children's Activities Committee has started a programme which should prove valuable in directing all the young energy and imagination into proper channels.
The year 1953 was one of the rare years, which we can pass over quickly with nothing of particular interest to note.
The Hobby Shop enthusiasts had been out of business for some time because the building given over to them had been required for other and more urgent uses. In June of '54 the wood-working fraternity was pressing its claims again, and a new administration set up with the Community garage incorporated as a Club activity. This fall we were given a vacated apartment building as a permanent base of operations. More work-bees on the part of the members has resulted in a first-class shop with the power tools set on a new concrete floor. It is a shop to gladden any hobbyist.
Also late in this year we were given another vacated apartment building for use as a Community garage, and it was moved to a more suitable location. The coming of winter prevented any further work on this project.
The winter activities of the 1954-55 season continued at the usual tempo, with curling the dominant sport. Some local rinks went farther afield to compete in bonspiels. Members of The Flin Flon Figure Skating Club gave us a very fine demonstration of their art, which was thoroughly enjoyed.
Due to pressure of work during overhaul of some generating units at the power plant in the spring of 1955, the Club members found time for little else, and when the river opened up, the urge for boating and enjoying the summer reasserted itself.
But as that season drew to a close, it was decided to go all out and get that garage job finished. This necessitated leveling, pouring concrete foundation and floor, plus interior refinishing. Early in November the garage was ready for use, and we are all more than pleased with the result of the many hours of work it represents. The building is roomy, well heated, and with ample light and conveniences, it will be a pleasure to run the car in and give it a thorough going-over. A good variety of necessary garage tools now on order will complete the details.
Under Company direction, our Skating Rink was enlarged to provide more room for spectators since it is expected that activities there will be increased and varied.
In writing this short history, it is realized there are many shortcomings. And, perhaps, several things and persons should have been mentioned but are not. We have attempted to present the salient points of the growth of our
Club in a readable manner, and reasonably accurately. Some will say we have succeeded, and others will say we haven't. For all such failings we apologize.
In closing, it might be added that our development as a Community organization has been very materially assisted by the many contributions by the Company which employs us. If we are to hope for its continued interest in our activities, each one of us, child or adult, should try to preserve or improve what we already have. Our Community Club is a very important part of our life here at Island Falls.
Perhaps one of our children will take up from here and record the next quarter-century. Who knows?
HARRY OLSON, Club Historian