The Island Falls website will be going off the Web (shutting down) on September 20, 2018.

After 16 years and a lot of time and money spent, I am ending this amateur history project. If you would like to acquire a copy of that will run locally on your computer without requiring an Internet connection, click on the button below. For $100 you will receive the copy of the entire website on a DVD or a USB flash drive. Let us know which media format you prefer at the time of purchase. Shipping and media costs are included.

Dave Rutherford
Abbotsford, BC

If you wish to email me, click here.



Thanks to Judy (Willey) Mulligan of Cochrane, ON, we have learned of a pending lawsuit brought by the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation of Pukatawagan, MB against SaskPower, the Attorney General, and the Government of Manitoba. They have filed a statement of claim for damages, loss, and violation of treaty rights. Click here to see a reproduction of an article on the CBC website.


Another Island Falls "old timer" is gone: Alice Westbury, mother of Gary and Barbara, has passed away. Below we have reproduced the obituary from the Trail Times newspaper.

aliceAlice Maude Westbury
Jul 24, 1919 – Jan 24, 2018

Alice passed away peacefully at Poplar Ridge Pavilion on Jan. 24, 2018, at age 98. She was born in Fairview, Alberta on July 24, 1919.

As a teen she lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for a few years and at age 16 went to Flin Flon, Manitoba. There she worked as a housekeeper for various families. She enjoyed skating in her spare time and it was at the rink that she met the Love of her Life, Ernie Westbury. They were married June 17, 1939 and had 2 children and celebrated 67 years together. Their life was in Island Falls, Saskatchewan. This was an isolated community of about 50 families where the men worked at the power dam on the Churchill River. This was a close knit group that raised their children and made life-long friends. Automation took over and all the folks moved out in 1967.

Her family moved back to Flin Flon and they lived there until retirement in 1977. The next move was to Kelowna, BC in 1978. They really enjoyed Kelowna and made many friends and were able to get out and do what they liked with retirement.

Dad’s health sent them to live in Sun Point Care Home. Mom was able to help with Dad’s care and again they made many new friends. With Dad passing in 2007, Mom remained at Sun Point until she moved to Trail, BC and resided at the Chateau Manor. She was able to keep pretty independent and even braved the “Handy Dart” until they purchased a new van and she hated getting up the steps, so that ended that.

She was a pretty vibrant force in her immediate family. She kept current on hockey (Canucks), baseball (Blue Jays), golf (Mickleson), curling (Manitoba/Saskatchewan teams), and figure skating. The grandchildren always were so proud of her sports knowledge and their friends were amazed that a Grandma of her age would be up on all these events. She was a super cook, great gardener, superb homemaker, skater, camper and she enjoyed her life. She even managed to go skating for her 90th birthday.

Alice will be hugely missed by her daughter Barb (Keith), her son Gary (Jan), her 4 grandchildren; Shelly, Ken, Chris (Pauline) and Stacey, her 7 great-grandchildren; Blaine, Stephanie (Myles), Roxanne, Ashlyn, Anna, Nathan and Harlow, 1 great-great-grandchild Brynlee, lots of extended family, nieces and nephews as well as many friends- especially the friends at Chateau Manor. She was predeceased by her husband, Ernie Westbury and her grandson, Jason Westbury.

A Celebration of Alice’s Life will be held in Kelowna in the summer.

The family would like to thank all the staff at Columbia Family Medicine, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Bitting, Dr.VanVliet, the staff on 2nd floor at KBRH, the staff at Poplar Ridge, the Home Support workers, the folks at Chateau Manor, Alexander’s Hair Salon, Sharon Merritt, Judy Burwash and anyone else for their kind care of Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Great-Great-Grandma.

For a more personal view of Alice's life, here is a submission by her son, Gary Westbury of Trail, BC.


We regret to have learned of the passing of Lois Christensen Caskey. Our condolences go to her brother, Bruce Christensen and the rest of her family. Our thanks to Keith Olson for bringing this to our attention.

Lois Caskey
Mar 29, 1937 - Nov 10, 2017

Lois was the daughter of Otto and Alvilde ("Viv") Christensen of Island Falls. She was born on March 29, 1937 and passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017. Her bothers were Lowell, now deceased, and loisBruce of Melville, SK. She attended elementary school in Island Falls and then Caronport High School near Moose Jaw, SK. Trained first at Teacher's College in Saskatoon, she later earned a B.Ed. at the U. of S. She taught in various towns, including Creighton, Eston and Ridgedale.

On April 17, 1976, she married Clifford Caskey with whom she had one daughter, Erin. They lived on a farm close to Armley, Saskatchewan until 2006, when they sold the farm and moved into Nipawin.

Here is a link to the program from her memorial service.


Our condolences go to Sheilagh Cameron Basky, Margaret Cameron Ollett and Tom Cameron and their families, and our appreciation to the for these words:

Don Cameron
Jul 11, 1947 - Aug 16, 2016

cameronDonald Norman Cameron, loving husband of Andrea, passed away suddenly at their cabin at Horsefly Lake, BC on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Don was born July 11, 1947 in Flin Flon, Manitoba and leaves his son Robb (Shelley) and daughter Lesley (Dave) Anton and grandchildren Sebastian and Seraphina to grieve his loss. He was predeceased by his parents Cecil and Anna. Don is, also, survived by his sisters Sheilagh (Ron) Basky and Margaret Ollett and his brother Thomas (Charlotte), as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Don and Andrea moved to Canmore in 2008 after retiring from long teaching careers. He immediately became active in the volunteer community of Canmore. He loved curling in the winter with the Seniors League and served on the Environmental Advisory Review Committee (EARC). He was involved in a variety of activities at the Seniors’ Centre and took great joy singing with the Valley Winds Choir. The essence of Don was that he was always ready to lend a hand to anyone and everyone who needed help. His jovial spirit will be missed by many.

Cremation has taken place.

A Celebration of Life gathering of friends and family took place on Saturday, September 3, 2016 at the Canmore Golf & Curling Club.

Friends wishing to remember Don are encouraged to make a donation, in his memory, to Kidsport Alberta - Bow Valley Chapter, Box 40007, Canmore, AB T1W 3H9


I'm pleased that we're getting some action on the Sandy Bay page. Ron Merasty has sent in several photos of Sandy Bay folks that you should remember. Look for them at the bottom of that long page.


We’d like to bring your attention to another story about life at Island Falls which we’ve had the pleasure of adding to our collection.

In an exchange of e-mails with Ron Merasty following his baseball story (below), the topic of storekeepers came up, in particular Tom Willey’s store. That resulted in our making contact with another ex-Island Falls resident, Judy Mulligan of Cochrane, Ontario. Judy is the second daughter of Tom and Charlotte Willey. It is our good fortune that she submitted a very nice recollection of the family Model T Ford. It is linked to our page of Personal Writings.


Ron Merasty, originally from Sandy Bay, has kindly given us permission to reproduce an entertaining item he wrote about the Sandy Bay softball team, called Sandy Bay's Fields of Dreams. It is based on the recollections of long-time resident, Louis Ray.

Ron is the publisher and researcher/reporter of the Prince Albert Grand Council Tribune, a monthly First Nations publication distributed in Saskatchewan. It began publication in August 2000 and has been a monthly since March 2002. This article was originally published in the March, 2016 issue.

Contact List: The following people with ties to Island Falls have kindly agreed to having their names placed on this list. If you wish to contact any of them, please e-mail me for their addresses.

May we add your name? Do you have others that you can suggest?

  • Keith Olson
  • Gary Westbury
  • Pat Donaghy
  • Tom Cameron
  • Donna (Pyne) Martin
  • Bruce Christensen
  • Lois (Christensen) Caskey
  • Brenda Willy
  • Joan (Jonasson) Beaulieu
  • Marg (Cameron) Ollett
  • Brian Olson
  • Wayne Huffaker
  • Don Cameron
  • Gord Ferg
  • Dale Russell
  • Grant Berge
  • Bobbie (Tanner) Mawdsley
  • Blair Costello


Our apologies if you have recently tried to make a donation in support of this website. PayPal has recently gone through a major change and we took a while before upgrading our Donate button. It's working properly now (see bottom of this page).


We are saddened to have just learned that Diane Jensen, daughter of Helen (Davis) Evans, died recently (October 17th) of bone cancer.

Having lived most of her life in Utah (historically, the Davis family home) Diane would have been a stranger to most people from Island Falls. However, she and her family did make a trip up north in the summer of 2007, from which we published a set of photos.

We give our sincerest condolences to Dennis Jensen, Diane's husband, and the rest of her family.


By way of her nephew, Blair Costello, Yvonne VerWilghen Hastings has submitted a touching memorial to her childhood in Island Falls. She has expressed the thoughts and feelings of many of us who were likewise "imprinted" with our unique home on the Churchill River.


The following item was sent to us by Tom Jenkins just before Christmas:

"Hi. Last month, I drove up to Island Falls from Saskatoon for Tourism Saskatchewan, and before leaving, I looked for information about the place and found your website. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I must have spent a couple of hours going through the stories and photographs.

"While I was up there, I took a few photos and video clips and put them on YouTube."

Thanks, Tom!


Fur Trade historian and once Island Falls resident, Dale Russell, has (among other things) been compiling a history of place-names along the Churchill River between Pukatawagan and the Reindeer River. His research is based on the journals and early maps of Peter Fidler, Peter Pond, and others. At our request, he has prepared an outline of his current project which focuses on the Sturgeon-weir River near Pelican Narrows, southwest of Island Falls. You can read his article here, or via our Personal Writings page.



In case you haven't seen them already, the Flin Flon Heritage Project are posting copies of the Northern Lights Magazine online. Plenty of good reading there! By the way, if you have any of the issues that are missing from their collection, please get in touch with them.


Our thanks and condolences to Jill Broster Rowe for submitting this item:

joanbJoan Carolyn Marguerite Manz (nee Broster), 77, of Invermere passed away peacefully after a graceful battle with cancer on December 1, 2014 at Columbia House in Invermere. BC.

Joan was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba to Doris and Alf Broster in 1937. She grew up in Island Falls, SK on the Churchill River, moving to Flin Flon in her youth, and having her first daughter Cari. Joan and Cari moved to Calgary in 1964 where Joan was employed at Texaco. She married and had another daughter, Jade.

Joan moved to the family cabin in Invermere in 1998 where she made many wonderful friends. She was a great bridge player and was deeply involved in CV Arts where she shared her love of painting. Joan was a self-taught pianist and vocalist who was never shy of entertaining a crowd. Joan was well loved in her community and welcomed everyone into her life with open arms.

Joan is survived by her daughters, Cari and Jade; her granddaughter, McKenzie; her sister, Jill Rowe; and many nephews and nieces. Joan was predeceased by her husband, Ron.

The family would like to extend their deep gratitude to all of the caregivers at Columbia House for making her journey comfortable. Special mention to all of her friends who made every moment they spent with her so meaningful.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 6 at Pynelogs in Invermere at 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a donation be made to the BC Cancer Society.


Thanks to Bruce Christensen for bringing this to our attention:



On November 29th, Jean Lake passed away in Canora, Saskatchewan.

As the attached memorial card explains, Jean was born on a farm north of Birmingham, SK, just northwest of Melville. When she was in her twenties, she moved first to Northern Ontario, then to Northern Saskatchewan to work for HBM&S.

The photo on the left was taken in 1957 when Jean was doing housekeeping and cooking in the Staff House at Island Falls.

Jean moved to Flin Flon after Automation in 1967, where she continued to work for HBM&S until retirement. Subsequently, she lived comfortably alone in Melville and Canora until her death at the age of 88.


[News item from the Airdrie City View by Lucas Punkari, 2014-11-27]:hazelyoung

Even though she has read books all of her life, Hazel (Willey) Young wasn’t expecting to be an author herself.

However, the Airdrie resident ended up writing her own book over the last two years, with the rewards being the novel Jake & Ellie that was released in October.

“People were always coming up to me and saying ‘Hey you read so much, you should be able to write a book,’” Young said.

“However it never occurred to me to actually write one, but I start plugging away and two years later, it finally came together,” she added. “It should have never have taken that long, but all of the editing and re-writing took a little bit.”

The main topic of the book, which deals with a man named Jake who is diagnosed with a major head injury after a motorcycle accident and reconciles with ex-wife Ellie, comes close to home for Young who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 30 years ago.

“I think people wanted me to talk about my own situations, but I didn’t want it to be too personal,” Young said.

“So instead, I decided to work it into the story about a couple and how they deal with it,” she added. “There’s some elements of reality in there, but it’s a fictional book.”

The book also has a hockey element to it, as the main protagonist Jake is a former National Hockey League player that is coming to grips with the head injuries he suffered in his career.

“Originally Jake was just going to be a guy in a nursing home, but it just sort of naturally evolved,” Young said. “I had heard so much about players having concussions and being interested in neurology with my condition, I think that’s how it happened.”

“Plus, my husband Dennis has been playing or watching hockey since I met him, so that played a huge part in it,” she added.

While Young is happy about getting the book done and published, she’s not sure if she will go about writing a sequel.

“I may just write something again just because it’s very rewarding creatively,” Young said. “But I’m not sure if I will go through the whole editing and publishing again.”

For additional information: "For Immediate Release."

The book can be purchased in physical or electronic formats online through Friesen Press, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Google, Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iTunes Bookstore.

To Contact Hazel, click this.


Submitted by Keith Olson, as published in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 10, 2014

IRENE MARIE OLSON Peacefully, on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at the Selkirk Betel Home, Irene Olson, aged 104 years, of Selkirk, MB, passed away. Funeral services pending for Monday, May 12, 2014 in the Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk, MB, at 2:00 p.m. with viewing one hour prior to. Full obituary to follow in Saturday's edition of the Free Press. Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.

Irene Olson passed away at the Betel Home, Selkirk, MB on May 6, 2014 at the age of 104 years. She was predeceased by her parents, Christian and Louise Hyslien, and her husband Harry, all of Calgary, AB. She was the dear mother of her two sons, Keith (Barbara) of East Selkirk, MB and Brian of Moose Jaw, SK; grandmother of seven grandchildren and great-grandmother of 13 great-grandchildren.

Irene was born in Fergus Falls, MN, April 17, 1910. At the age of two years the family immigrated to Moose Jaw, SK and, shortly after, due to a typhoid epidemic, moved to High River to live with relatives there. They then moved to Calgary where her father had found work. Mother completed her education there and, from a young age, was active in the Trinity Lutheran Church where she became the organist, a responsibility she held for 12 years. It was there that she met her husband to be.

Mother and dad were married in 1932 and moved to Island Falls, SK, where dad was employed by the Churchill River Power Co., a subsidiary of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. of Flin Flon, MB. Island Falls was an isolated community with only company employees living there. There was no road access and travel in and out, in the early days, was mostly by bush plane. Mother enjoyed being involved in whatever was going on. In the winter, she curled, played badminton and whenever there was a social gathering, including teas and other events for the ladies, she was there. In the summer she enjoyed camping and boating on the Churchill and helping dad build a cottage up river from the power plant. This cottage is still being used by the family.

There was no church at Island Falls, so, for the children, mother and her close friend, Viv Christensen, started a Sunday School which they ran for many years. Following automation of the power plant in 1967, the town was shut down and mom and dad moved to Flin Flon and, upon dad's retirement in 1969, they moved back to Calgary. Dad passed away in 1991 and, in 2005, mom moved to Woodland Courts in Selkirk and, in 2008, to Betel Home.

The funeral service will take place in the Gilbart Funeral Chapel, Selkirk, MB, on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. The family wishes to thank the fine staff at Betel for their love and care shown to mother during her time there and, also the Hymn Sing group which faithfully encouraged, each week, the residents there. Donations may be made to a charity of one's choice. Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.

See also: Memorial Booklet and Memorial Service Program


Tom Cameron, son of Cece and Anne Cameron, has submitted a photo of the very attractive crests of the Island Falls Curling Club. Thanks for keeping us in mind, Tom.

2013-12-07neils small

We are always pleased to hear from Island Falls "alumni." This past September, Grant Berge with his son, Chris, and grandsons, James and Royce, spent a long weekend at Slim's Cabins. They toured by boat from Slim's, up to Scottie's Beach one day and down to the Power House the next. "Beautiful weather, not bad fishing."

Grant kindly sent us photos of the old Rutherford cabins on Neil's Island (55°27'54"N, 102°25'32"W).


From the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LENNOX, Ross: Born Christmas Day 1922, Ross passed away peacefully on November 1, 2013.

rossPredeceased in 2009 by his loving wife Gladys (nee Walker). Survived by his four children: John (Nadia), Chuck, Gina (Richard Shapiro) and Donna-Lee (John Waymann). Brother ''Billy'' to Alan (predeceased 2009) and Richard (Kathy). Proud ''Bubba'' to grandchildren John-Ross (Alie), Scott, David (Rachel), Michael (predeceased 1983), Sarah, Megan, Emilee, Kimberlee, Ashlee and Haylee and caring ''Big Bubba'' to great grandchildren Joshua and Zachary.

Ross' aviation career spanned over six decades starting in 1941 as a WWII flight instructor. Ross made several significant contributions to Canadian aviation history. He was the only pilot to fly all of Canada's Sea King fleet and he completed the first unescorted trans-Atlantic helicopter crossing in 1965. He retired from P&WC in 1982 as Chief Test Pilot. He was a sports enthusiast, an avid curler and at 85, went skydiving.

Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke (between Islington and Kipling Aves.), on Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. & 7 to 9 p.m. A Celebration of Ross' Life will be held at Kingsway-Lambton United Church, 85 The Kingsway, Toronto, on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11 am.

Ross generously supported many charities but latterly focused on the Alzheimer Society in loving memory of his wife Gladys. In lieu of flowers, a gift to the Toronto Alzheimer Society ( would be greatly appreciated. Bubba was an inspiration to everyone he met and will be dearly missed by all. For those who wish, online condolences may be made through


Island Falls people will remember Ross as a pilot for Hudson Bay Air Transport and his wife Gladys as Camp nurse. They were married at Island Falls on December 4th, 1948.

Note: Ross was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) in June, 2016


Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix on August 13, 2013

HAGBERG, Ed: October 26, 1938 - August 10, 2013

edEd passed away peacefully on August 10, 2013 at the age of 74 after an angry, six-year battle with lymphoma. Ed is survived by his wife of 51 years, Janice; daughters Wendy Thompson (Brian) and Tracey Friesen (Dean); grandchildren Alyssa, Kristian, and Kyle; brother Rodger (Lynne); and nieces and nephews.

Ed was born in Flin Flon, MB and grew up in Island Falls, SK. He attended Luther College in Regina and later the U of S where he graduated with a B.Ed and a post-graduate diploma in nutrition. His teaching career began in 1962 in Biggar and continued on in numerous schools in Saskatoon for 30 years.

Ed was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Imperial No. 60, for many years, a Shriner, as well as past President of the Saskatoon Scandinavian Club. He loved to golf, canoe, water-ski, curl and spend time with his grandchildren. Ed was a very proud Swede who enjoyed his retirement at his cabin at Candle Lake and the company of his family.

A Celebration of Ed's Life will be held on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Funeral Home (East on 8th St., first right past Briargate Rd.). In lieu of flowers, please donate a pint of blood in Ed's memory and raise a glass in a "Skal" to Ed!! Online condolences may be made from

Ed at Luther College homecoming, 2007


Item brought to our attention by Keith Olson. (Reprinted from the Sunday, 24 Mar 2013 edition of the Trail Daily Times, Trail, BC)

Jason Chad Westbury, September 18, 1974 to March 24, 2013

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear Jason Chad Westbury of Revelstoke, B.C. on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at age 38. Jason was killed in an avalanche in Roger’s Pass while skiing.

Jason was born on Sept.18, 1974 in Trail, B.C. and attended school in Rossland with K-8 at MacLean Elementary and 9-12 at RSS graduating in 1992. He attended Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington his first year of college and then to Selkirk College in Castlegar. He then decided to take time off to travel.

Jason was a good athlete – started skating and skiing at age 3. He played Minor hockey in Rossland until age 12 but switched to skiing and has done so ever since. For the summer, he played baseball starting in Trail Little League and continued through the leagues until age 19. He always had a bat or a ball and glove ready to be out there training. He was thrilled to get to play for 2 years on the Trail Allstars for Andy Bilesky and played in the Canadian Little League Championships that Trail hosted in 1987 as the starting shortstop. He played shortstop all the later years and always tried to emulate his favorite Blue Jay, Tony Fernadez. He played with the J.L. Crowe Hawks under Lou DeRosa and had some great memories of those years playing with the Trail boys who always called him “Whistle.”Jason-Westbury

He was a die-hard Oiler fan and loved Wayne Gretzky. If he could figure out a way to get to use the numbers 99 in anything – he did. Even in the lean years, he never wavered as a fan and had great hopes for their young guys that are there today.

His life was so brightened by his Sheltie dog, Lady. They spent many hours doing whatever a boy and his dog do. There was an evening ritual of seeing who could get into bed first to lie on the Wayne Gretzky pillow – most of the time Lady was quicker.

His love for skiing took him around the world - Australia, Chile, Argentina, India, Switzerland, France and all over B.C. He and his pals spent many hours out on the slopes. Jason usually led the group and they had to work pretty hard to keep up as he kept himself in top physical condition. From his visit to Australia, he arrived home with about 8 Aussies he met who loved skiing with him and they spent a winter here in Rossland to experience skiing.

He did several outdoor jobs - including rock climbing on some of the peaks in B.C. - as well as care giver for his great pal, Paul Derosa, until he decided a career path. He and Paul had skating sisters in common and figured out that they could stay home with Nonie while the rest of us went to the skating competition. They’d give a big cheer when we called them with results, all the time happy they were watching the Oilers or Flames on TV and eating Nonie’s yummy burgers.

In 2000, Jason returned to school at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. He did very well at this and specialized in helicopter maintenance. Over the years this job took him to NWT, Yukon, Northern Alberta, Colorado, Texas, Australia, California and many places in B.C. His car travelled many kilometers as he kept his home base in Revelstoke.

Four years ago, he met a terrific lady, Lisa, and she loved to ski and do all the outdoor activities that he loved and together they have skied many slopes and done lots of travelling. Together they took courses in First Aid and several ski training courses always trying to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature offered them on the slopes.

He had a wicked wit and was voted “Most Sarcastic” by his Grad class. His gentle heart and kindness meant his door was always open – seemed to always have lots of visitors over the winter months coming for a few days of skiing.

He will be deeply missed by his parents, Jan and Gary Westbury of Rossland, his sister, Stacey (Aaron) Wilson of Surrey, his girlfriend, Lisa Pettenuzzo of Revelstoke, grandparents Alice Westbury of Trail and Bill and Ruth Cridland of Moose Jaw, Sask. and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous friends. He was predeceased by his Grandpa Ernie Westbury, his Uncle Bill Jeffrey, his pal, Paul Derosa and his Aunt Adele Bennett.

A Memorial Service for Jason will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm. at the Cominco Gym in the Trail Memorial Arena at 1051 Victoria Ave. Trail, B.C. Jordan Wren of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.

Rest in Peace – we all love you!

As an expression of sympathy, donations in Jason’s memory are welcome to any children’s charity of your choice. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at

[click here to see RCMP report of the accident]

[Note: Jason was the nephew of Keith and Barbara Olson of Island Falls]


We've received word from Jim Woods that his mother, Maxine Woods, passed away in Saskatoon on December 8th. We've been unable to find an obituary to reprint here. If anyone can help, please contact us.

Dave Rutherford


Our Island Falls Guestbook is working again! Special thanks to Laurie Cox for e-mailing to tell us of the problem. To all those who have tried to post comments in the past several years only to be greeted by an error message, our humble apology. Please try again to prove this website project has not been a big waste of time. It would be great to hear from you!

Dave Rutherford


From the Vancouver Sun, 2012-07-21


Congratulations to Ed and Jan Hagberg on their 50th wedding anniversary (April 21).


Ada Russell, Tuesday, September 8th, 1914 - Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

[A personal note from Dave Rutherford]

Ada was the mother of my good friend, Dale. It's over fifty years since I left Island Falls, but in my many visits to Flin Flon since then I always made a point of visiting Ada at her house on Green Street. She was perhaps the strongest remaining link to my childhood at Island Falls where she and her husband Doug were neighbours and friends of my parents. I remember her especially for her wit, keen observations on Island Falls people (past and present), and for her talent as a gardener. My condolences to all her family.

Doug and Ada were married on Tuesday, October 4th, 1938. Here they are at their 25th wedding anniversary at Island Falls in 1963. Here is Ada, frail but mentally alert, at the Bill Jeffrey memorial luncheon on August 9, 2011. (Doug passed away in 1971)



Gertrude (Trudy) Ver Wilghen Bartley, 1924 - 2011trudy

[From the Olds Albertan, 2011/05/03]

It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Trudy Bartley at the age of 87 years. Trudy was born in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba in 1924. Left to cherish her memory are her children Blair (Linda) and Erin (Joe). Also left to remember her are her sister Yvonne, niece Fjola and four grandchildren; Sean (Robin), Brendan, Lisa and David. She was also a great-grandmother to Sidney and Emily. Her four step-children Beverly (Roger), Randy, Valerie and Heather (Eugene) and their children will also miss her. Trudy was predeceased by her first husband Van Costello and her second husband George Bartley.

Trudy remained healthy until her passing and continued to have a lively interest in world affairs. She was a passionate reader and always had a book at hand.

A Celebration to honor Trudy's Life will be held in July in Lundar, Manitoba where she will be interred with her maternal family. Flowers gratefully declined. Memorial donations may be made to her favorite charity The Mustard Seed Street Ministry, 102 - 11 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0X5.


This photo shows the people who attended the Bill Jeffrey Memorial luncheon in Flin Flon. The gathering was organized by Gary Westbury and Gord Ferg, while the service and luncheon were courtesty of Rev. Alex McGilvery and members of the United Church on Bracken Street. [Click to enlarge]

Front Row: Barbara Davis, Ada Russell, Gerry Stringer, Audrey Ferg, Melva Adams, Sissel Hvidsten, Marion Strindlund Dodds, Gary Westbury.

Middle Row: Jan Westbury, Annalee Stevens, Barbara Westbury Olson, Judy Russell, Anita Ferg, Pat Ferg Stevens, Nancy Bowman Chlan, Laurel Bowman, Sheila Douglas Boyes, Sissel Hvidsten Bray, Gary Cluf, Dave Rutherford.

Back Row: Michelle Ferg, Jeff Russell, Dan Ferg, Keith Olson, Matthew Ferg, Gord Ferg, Jim Russell, Duncan Adam, Doug Boyes, Randy Bowman, Gerry Rutherford, Joan Connor Bowman.

[More photos - click here]


Good morning Dave.... Wanted to share with you in the event you were updating the Island Falls site that we are having a get together for a celebration of Bill Jeffrey's life in Flin Flon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 11:00 am there will be a short cemetery service and a lunch get together to follow via the United Church.

Other news, we have moved my Mom, Alice, to Trail B.C. closer to us. She was finding some challenges that we discussed and felt that it would be better if she was closer to us to give better support. Being in Trail, she is only 6 miles down the hill.

Gary Westbury


Here's an e-mail from SaskPower employee, Grant Berge about upgrading the Island Falls installations:

Hi Dave,

Long time no chat!! I hope this finds you well and enjoying a comfortable winter.

The Plant is presently under going some major upgrades to Units #4, 5, & 6 which involves rewinding of the stators and rotors and installing new unit power transformers.

A new governor system is also being installed to units #1-7 and A & B.

Another project is a revamp of the control room. New gauges, unit controls, and alarm annunciation will be installed. This involves computer readout panels bringing our plant into the 21st century in a big way.

The #4 upgrade began the week of February 22 and will run into October of this year. Immediately following will be the #5 upgrade then #6 unit. The projects will run for the best part of three years.

An A-Dam re-anchoring project was begun last year. This should be finished this spring. There are a few anchors yet to be installed on the spillway ogees. The project may result in minor delays when crossing A-Dam. After the A-Dam anchoring is completed the Main Dam will be re-anchored this summer.

A new trailer camp has been set up near A-Dam which will house and feed up to 50 contract workers at a time.

There will also be a major expansion to our switch yard over the next couple of years which will change the way we feed the lines to Flin Flon.

With all of the heavy work going on in the plant and activity in the area, SaskPower has cancelled any tours of the plant until the project is completed.

Apologies for the inconvenience this may pose to any travellers coming this way.

All the best,



From the Flin Flon Reminder:

Violet Eileen Thompson, 1919 - 2011

Violet Eileen Thompson of the Northern Lights Manor passed away Saturday, January 8, 2011 at the age of 91 years. She was born in Transcona on May 28, 1919 to Robert and Maude Lidgate.

She received her Grade 12 and some business courses. She lived in Transcona, Newfoundland (military service), Ottawa, Transcona, Island Falls, SK, and Flin Flon, MB. She was in the Air Force from 1943-1045.

In September 1951 Violet married Gerald Roy Thompson. She worked for the Flin Flon School division, Island Falls, Canadian Government Ottawa, and the military. She was a member of the school board.

Violet was predeceased by her husband G. Roy Thompson, sister Mildred Maley, and brother Ed Lidgate. She is survived by Robert and JoAnn Thomson with children Kendra and Brenna Thompson, Steve Dzubinski and Geraldine Thompson with children Stephanie and Jenna Dzubinski.

Funeral services for Violet were held Friday, January 14, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. from the Alliance Church, with Reverend Jack Mulholland officiating. Active and honourary pallbearers were her family and friends. Following interment at Ross Lake Cemetery, the Alliance Ladies served lunch.

If friends so desire memorial tributes may be made to the Alzheimer's Society or to the Canadian Cancer Society, c/o Northern Rainbow's End, 55 Main Street, Flin Flon. Online condolences or to light a Life Candle may be made at Northern Manitoba's only crematorium, Dadson Funeral Home & Crematorium, was entrusted with the arrangements. (204) 687-58212/25/2011


We recently had a request for Website photos from Nadine Baker of Regina, daughter of one-time Island Falls RCMP constable, Gerry Baker. Constable Baker arrived there in March 1958 to replace Constable Jim Hill. Constable Baker passed away on November 30, 1999. Further to the subject of RCMP at Island Falls, Nadine discovered the following obituary:

Vancouver Sun / The Province: Deaths (07/22/10)
FRASER, Robert Johnson Passed away peacefully on July 19, 2010. Born in Hamiota, Manitoba on November 9, 1929. Robert is predeceased by his loving wife Miriam. Bob was respected and admired by all who knew him. He will be forever in the hearts of his loving children Kelvin (Glennis), Cheryl (Jim), Janice (Bill); grandchildren Meghan, Nathan (Cindy), Caitlin and great-grandchildren Caylee, Landen and Page; his brother Alan and sister Gail (Richard). Bob graduated from RCMP Depot in Regina at 18 years of age. He retired from the Force in Ottawa as a Staff Sergeant Major in 1972. He moved to BC and worked in the Public Service until 1989. Bob was married to Miriam Fraser on January 18, 1954. He was extremely important to so many people, always understanding and supportive. Many thanks to the kind and caring staff at Ocean View Care Home. Memorial Service will be held at Valley View Funeral Home, 14660-72 Ave, Surrey on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm. Reception will follow. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Arthritis Society.

We pulled the following information from Bill Southworth's articles in the Northern Lights Magazine:

September 1953:

We have an R.C.M.P. officer stationed here permanently now. Our present officer is Bob Fraser formerly of Eston, Saskatchewan.

March 1954:

Constable Bob Fraser, our R.C.M.P. officer here, is a man who believes in starting the new year in a befitting manner, so on January 18th he and Miss Miriam Page were married in Biggar, Sask. Mrs. Fraser was a stewardess with T.C.A. for several years. We're happy to have this pleasant couple make their new home with us.

June 1955:

The Robert Fraser home was blessed with the arrival of a fine baby boy, Kelly Page, on April 6th.

June 1956:

Constable Bob Fraser and family were transferred to Flin Flon last winter. Bob had been stationed here for two years. He took an active part in our Community affairs in general and was interested in all kinds of sports. He was one of our top curlers and figured consistently in the prizes. While stationed here Bob married Miss Miriam Page of Biggar, Sask., and their son Kelly was born here. Constable George Morton who came here from Dauphin is now in charge of the local detachment of the R.C.M.P.

Ed Hagberg sent us this:

DECEMBER 17, 2010

Thieves have hauled away thousands of pounds of copper during the past few months from a northern Saskatchewan hydroelectric station.

The copper, moulded into flat pieces called bus bars, is used to carry electrical current. Sixteen five-foot crates, each holding 150 pounds of copper, were stolen from Island Falls Hydroelectic Station near Sandy Bay, nearly 600 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, says a news release issued by the RCMP. The crates went missing between June 1 and Nov. 30. In all, about 2,400 lbs. of copper bus-bars are gone.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sandy Bay RCMP at 306-754-4600, or Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix


Our thanks to Gary Westbury for providing the following

William (Bill) Donald Jeffrey
October 30, 1949 - October 6, 2010

Photo taken in Keith Bay, Churchill River by Gary Westbury.

Gord Ferg, Bill Jeffrey, Gary Westbury at Bill's 60th birthday in Winnipeg, October 30, 2009.


This sad news came today from Beth Tanner, via Ed Hagberg and Keith Olson:

Robert Stanley (Bob) Tanner
February 28, 1928 – October 2, 2010

Bob Tanner, CMA, passed away peacefully at home on October 2, 2010 surrounded by his loving family.  Bob is survived by Eleanor his wife of 60 years, his children Bobbie (Rob), Joy (Don), Brad (Sandy), Beth (Chris), his sisters Jewel and Audree and families, 8 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters. BobTanner

Bob was born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba where he met Eleanor and they married in 1950. The majority of his working life was spent as an accountant in the mining industry, and employment opportunities saw him move his family from Island Falls Sask., to Flin Flon Manitoba, Esterhazy Sask., Fernie, Coquitlam and finally Vancouver BC. Bob was active all his life in service to every community in which he lived, supporting many causes as a volunteer. He was an avid reader, quick with a joke and made friends easily. Dad’s love and commitment to family and friends across the country was evident in all The Gatherings he encouraged which we all enjoyed over the years. Bob will be remembered for his unique perspectives on life, religion and politics.

Cheers Pop, you are greatly missed by all of us!

In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Bob’s name to the VGH (Vancouver General Hospital) Foundation, VGH McLoughlin Urology Equipment Fund, attention Mr. Jim O’Hara. A service will be held at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, 1068 Inglewood Ave. West Vancouver BC at 2:00 pm October 14, 2010.


Bob Ferguson, long-time pilot for Hudson Bay Air Transport, passed away on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Flin Flon at the age of 89 years. Funeral services were held on September 23rd at Northminster Memorial United Church, Flin Flon. The Dadson Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. We have no further details at this time. [Thanks to Pat Donaghy and Ed Hagberg for letting us know]


Thanks to Ed Hagberg for the tip leading to this obituary from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Dorothy Hessing: February 14, 1918 August 31, 2010

Dorothy Hessing died peacefully at St. Paul's Hospital after only one day of hospitalization. She will be deeply missed by her daughter, Marlene Hessing, siblings, Peter Sinclair, Olga Friesen, Muriel Barrowclough, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Michael and Hafia Shinkaruk, a baby daughter Shirley in 1949 and her husband Bill Hessing in 1967, brothers and sisters, Mary Lebedowich, Bill Shinkaruk, Annie Doucette, Nettie Demkiw, Alexandra Zinovich, Harry Shinkaruk, Lena Kaloff and John Shinkaruk.

Dorothy was born on the family farm near Wakaw in 1918 and learned to work hard her whole life. She was working as a chambermaid in Saskatoon when she married Bill in 1945. Here she gave birth to Shirley in 1946 and Marlene in 1947. She continued doing the same work as they moved, first to North Star Mine near Flin Flon, MB, then to Island Falls in northern Saskatchewan. Her final move was back to Saskatoon in 1961 so Marlene could attend high school and university. Here she continued working, but in her own house and garden. She loved to garden, play cards and Scrabble, and laugh. The antics of Marlene's two cats gave her a lot of pleasure and amusement as her health declined. A devout Jehovah's Witness for most of her life, she greatly enjoyed the fellowship of her Witness brothers and sisters and died confident that a new world system was coming soon.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 4th, 2010 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness, 1725 McKercher Dr., Saskatoon. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 Arrangements are entrusted to the SASKATOON FUNERAL HOME. 244-5577


We've just published a page of photos of The Hall, including some from our "archives" and others donated by Gerry Rutherford which were taken in 1986, not too long before it was torn down. We would appreciate receiving comments and stories about The Hall to add to the page.


Newsletter from Keith Olson:


A bit of an update on mother.

She is doing fine health wise. She spends most of the day walking about, some times pushing those in wheel chairs as she wants to be helpful. The staff gets a kick out of that. Her memory, though, is very poor. Some times I am her son, other times her husband. She tells Barb and I that we should get married and so on. Names are mostly gone. When mentioning friends and relatives from Calgary or Island Falls, she sometimes recognises the names but can't remember the persons. So, having meaningful conversations with her about the past is not possible. Interestingly, she, now and then, plays the piano, from memory, which amazes everyone.

Her 100th, last month, went off well. The Home put on a nice do and, the next day, the family (our kids, most of our grand kids and Brian and a few others) got together with her in a meeting room there. It was fun. I don't think that mother quite knew what was going on but she seemed at ease and, I think, she understood that everyone there was family. As she was about to blow out the candles, she paused and told us to get our cameras ready so some of the old humour is still there.

Enclosed are a few shots taken at the get togethers.

We are heading, in a few days, up to the family cabin up river from Island Falls for some time away from it all. Just like the old days.


Keith & Barb.


An e-mail from Keith Olson led to our belated discovery of the following obituary. Many of you may remember Gladys from when she was the Camp nurse at Island Falls in 1948-1949. She and her husband, Ross, who was a pilot for HBAT, were married at Island Falls. Barb (Westbury) Olson was their flower girl. Keith reports that Ross is still with us at the age of 80, living and keeping active in Etobicoke, ON.

From the Ottawa Citizen on 4/1/2009:

LENNOX, Gladys (nee Walker) July 11, 1926 - March 30, 2009. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beautiful mother, adored wife, fiercely proud grandmother, cherished sister, special aunt, treasured friend and colleague in the nursing profession. gladysShe is survived by her loving husband Ross. Their 60 years of marriage took them to Flin Flon, the Yukon, Tsawwassen BC, St. Lambert QC, Lindsay ON, Ottawa and Toronto. A graduate of McGill, her nursing career as a practitioner and administrator touched lives in centres from BC to New Brunswick. Forever missed by Ross and their four children: John (Nadia Tichanovs), Chuck, Gina (Richard Shapiro) and Donna-Lee (John Waymann), her grandchildren John-Ross and Scott Lennox, David, Sarah, Megan and the late Michael Shapiro, and Emilee, Kimberlee, Ashlee and Haylee Waymann and her great grandson, Joshua Shapiro. Also survived by brothers Chuck and Jack, and sister Pat (Taylor) and predeceased by her late sister, Honey (Miller). The family would like to thank Dr. Comisarro and the staff at Humber River Regional Hospital for their compassion and empathy during this difficult time. Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke (between Kipling & Islington Aves.) on Thursday, April 2, 2009 from 7-9 p.m. A celebration of Gladys' life will take place at Kingsway-Lambton United Church (85 The Kingsway, Toronto) at 11:00 o'clock on Friday, April 3. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. "Mom, the laughter and memories we shared will fill up our lives forever. Until we meet again, have a wonderful journey."


Bruce Christensen of Melfort, SK has sent us two photos taken with his little old Kodak Brownie in the early 1950's. Help with the exact dates would be appreciated.

The first is of Ed Hagberg, taken at Camp Whitney on Lake Athapap:

The second is of Keith Olson and Bruce's brother, Lowell Christensen, taken on the east side of the Store. The doorway behind them is the entrance to the community cold-storage lockers:


We have received a set of photos from Gordon Comeau, grandson of Wilf and Jeannette Comeau. Wilf worked on the construction crew in the 1930's and early 1940's. These were taken outside the Catholic Church in Sandy Bay.


Keith Olson has sent us a copy of a newsletter called the Island Falls Transmitter. It was produced in 1955 from material created by students in the Senior Room and edited by Rose Olson (no relation). serves as a memorial to the families who were "The Builders of Island Falls."

We hereby acknowledge a generous donation in support of this website by Bob and Eleanor Tanner, specifically in memory of the Davis and Leslie families.



Walter H. Walter LeslieLESLIE: November 24, 1913 - March 27, 2009

Walter died at Rosefield Centre in Innisfail, Alberta with his family at his side. Walter was born in Estlin, SK, in 1913 and moved to Swan River-Minitonas as a child. In 1935 he relocated to work on the building of the Churchill River power house (hydro-electric station). He worked at the power house from where he retired in 1977 - a period of 42 years - during which time he was as a machinist and welder.

While in Island Falls, Walter met and married Myrtle Stevenson. Together they spent 34 years in Island Falls enjoying all the north had to offer; boat building, boating, fishing, cabin building, golfing, curling and hunting. In 1967 Walter and Myrtle moved to Flin Flon, MB, as the power plant was automated. Walter com- muted to Island Falls to work until his retirement in 1977. In 1978 they moved to Sundre, Alberta, where they made many new friends and became active members of Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall. There are many who will miss his sense of humor, games of cribbage and ideas to 'MacGyver' something. Wild rice farming was one of his pastimes, but not too profitable. He liked to rototill the rocky, sandy soil in Sundre, much to Myrtle's dismay. He was known for his beautiful peony beds.

Walter is survived by his two children: Carol (Hank) Marcuk of Spruce Grove, AB, and Pat (Wendy) Leslie of Water Valley, AB. He is also survived by 3 grandchildren: Michael (Nicole) Marcuk of Spruce Grove, AB, Leslie-Ann (Brian) Lakey of Edmonton, AB, and Craig (Charlene) Marcuk of Whitehorse, YT, and is survived by 4 great-grandchildren: Emma and Olivia Lakey, Kieran and Liam Marcuk. Walter is survived by sister-in-law Lucia Anderson of Squamish, BC. Many nieces and nephews in the Swan River area of Manitoba and friends throughout Western Canada who will miss his company and stories. Walter was predeceased by his 4 brothers: Frank, Jim, Edgar and Melvin, his son Tim (1972), his loving wife Myrtle (1992), his granddaughter Kara Gulash (1994), and his nephew Douglas Leslie (2008).

The family wishes to thank the staff at the Foothills Lodge for the 5 years of care and love given to Walter when living alone was no longer an alternative. Early in 2008, Walter was admitted to acute care in Sundre Hospital. Thank you to Dr. Barnsdale and all the staff for the compassionate care. In October, 2008, Walter was transferred to long term care at the Rosefield Centre, Innisfail. Thank you one and all for your loving care of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

A memorial Service was held at the Kingdom Hall in Sundre, AB on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 2 PM. A Reception followed. Flowers were gratefully declined; in lieu, tributes in Walter's memory may be made to the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, Sundre, AB, or to STARS Air Ambulance, Central Alberta Branch.


Here is a great group of photos, old and new, from Plant operator Grant Berge.


A very nice set of photos submitted by Donna Pyne Martin of Rosebud, AB is now linked to the Pyne family history page, or you can view them by clicking here. We are especially pleased to receive these photos because almost all of the ones on this site were taken during the Rutherford era at Island Falls, which ended in 1957, ten years before automation. We would like to be able to display more photos from the final decade of habitation at Island Falls.


Once again, Keith Olson has been busy with his scanner and sent us some nice coloured photos dating back to the late 1950s and early 1960s. You can view them in several locations on the Website: at the bottom of the Sandy Bay and Adults in the 50s and 60s pages, and the Families pages for the Graysons and Goodwins.


Our old Guestbook was a success until it was spoiled by "graffiti" and we had to deactivate it. We have just added a New Guestbook which is supposed to be SPAM-proof. So readers will once again be able to post comments directly, rather than sending an e-mail to us for posting, which apparently discouraged readers, as postings pretty well dried up. We've kept the old Guestbook because a lot of people still like to read it. Please have a look at the New Guestbook which has a link to the Old Guestbook. We'd like you to add some comments, even if you've done it before.

2007-10-06 (from the Winnipeg Free Press)


Our wife and mom passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family. She will be greatly missed by her husband (Jack) of 56 years and her four daughters, Jacquie, Cindy, Suzanne, Mona (Leon) and her favourite son, Sandy (Brenda); seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Margaret had a full life; one she thoroughly enjoyed. Her younger days were spent golfing, curling and playing bridge. In between she managed to raise five children. And she was always proud of her bountiful (and delicious) garden. Departing from Warren was difficult with giving up curling and leaving so many close friends. Her greatest joy was when the whole family got together. We had so much fun in each other's company, whether playing games, cooking meals, singing songs or simply being together. We are going to miss our wife and mother so much. But we know she's at peace now and no longer in pain. The angels will be taking care of her now. We want to thank the doctors and nurses at St. Boniface Hospital, and especially thank the Palliative Care team for all the help and care they provided for our wife and mother, allowing us to fulfill her ish to remain at home until the end. Rest in peace Mom. We love you and miss you. There will be a private family service. If people so desire, donations can be made to: WRHA Palliative Care Program, St. Boniface General Hospital, A5024 409 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6.


Pat Donaghy has sent us several aerial photos of The Camp in winter and summer.


Earlier this month, Diane Jensen and John Evans, the children of Helen Davis Evans, flew from Salt Lake City to Winnipeg, then drove to Flin Flon, where they met Tim Davis, eldest son of Bud Davis. Tim escorted them up to The Falls where they had not been since they were children visiting their grandparents Rees and Chlo Davis in the 1950's. Tim kindly sent us some photos taken on the trip to share with you.


We know that several ex-Island Falls families spend part of each summer up on the Churchill. Our thoughts are with you. For the benefit of us who are far away and cannot be there, it would be much appreciated if you would send news and photos of your latest visit to the old stomping grounds on the Churchill River - for publishing of course.


We have received another batch of photos from the Ferg collection, thanks to Gord Ferg.


Kjell Hvidsten: 1926 - 2007

KjellKjell Hvidsten was born in Arendal, Norway on April 8, 1926 and passed away on July 5, 2007, where he wanted to be, at his red cottage by the lake at Denare Beach, Saskatchewan with his wife Sissel by his side.

He completed all of his education and military training in Norway. After a trip down to the Antarctica for eight months to hunt whales, he married Sissel on July 5, 1950. They left for Canada in the fall one year later. They then spent a couple of years in Winnipeg and had their first son Frank. They then headed north to Island Falls where Kjell worked at the power plant for HBM&S. After spending 13 wonderful years there and having children Sissel, Shelley and Hans, Kjell was transferred to Flin Flon in 1966. Kjell joined the Lions Club and also had another son, Chris. He continued to work for HBM&S until he retired in 1991. He had many wonderful years travelling, meeting new people and also enjoying the lake with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, the birds, foxes, and the odd bear.

He will be missed by many, but most of all by his wife Sissel, his children Frank (Linda), Sissel (Duane), Shelley (Keith), Hans (Lori) and Chris (Shannon), and the grandchildren Crystal, Eric, Casey, Cody, Lindsey (Darren), Cheyanne, Hanna and great grandchildren, Devan and Noah.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Memorial tributes may be made to the charity of Lutheran Church Memorial or to the Manitoba Heart & Stroke. The family of Kjell Hvidsten wishes to thank friends from near and far for their care and compassion during our time of sorrow. Your generosity is very much appreciated and will never be forgotten. A very special thank you to the Lions and also to Dana and Bayley for their comforting words and understanding.

Thank you, Sissel Hvidsten and family


From the Flin Flon Reminder

Fred Bowman: 1917 - 2007fred

With great sadness, the family of Fred Edmund Bowman announces his passing on August 17, 2007 after a short illness in St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg.

Fred was born October 6, 1917 in Newark County of Nottingham and Lincoln, England. He immigrated to Canada with his parents in early 1918, during the First World War and settled in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. The following is a brief summary of the remembrance given by his family.

It was in Portage La Prairie where he developed his love for hockey. There was an outdoor rink across the road from his house where he spent many hours developing his hockey skills. When no other kids were at the outdoor rink, Dad would play a game of hockey by himself - Montreal vs. Toronto. He wasn't a Montreal fan, so Toronto won most of the games. After his chores were finished at home, Dad would shovel coal for heating the waiting room of the Main Portage Arena to earn the right to skate free at public skating. He started his junior hockey career with the Portage Terriers.

In 1937 at the age of 20, Dad was hired by HBM&S to play for the Flin Flon Bombers. It was here in Flin Flon, Dad met Irene Orr, and on October 17, 1940 they married and moved to Island Falls. Dad stayed playing for the Flin Flon Senior Bombers for several years, commuting to Flin Flon by skating, dog team or whatever kind of transportation that was available at the time.

In Island Falls, Dad was active in the community serving as Cub Scout Leader for over 25 years, Children's Chairman for Island Falls Community Club, rink maintenance man and other volunteer work when required. Dad enjoyed carpentry, designed and built the large family boat and three smaller boats for his children. He also built a log cabin on the Churchill River where the family enjoyed summers.

In 1966, the Hydro Power Station was automated and our family moved to Flin Flon. Dad continued his community involvement by coaching minor hockey, served on the Co-op board of directors and helping Mom with the Figure Skating Club carnivals. Shortly after moving to Flin Flon, Dad built a second family cabin at Bakers Narrows. Dad enjoyed cross-country skiing, skating, berry picking, getting fire wood, gardening and family gatherings. Dad was proud of his hockey career and was very honoured to have been interviewed for the book called "The Rink" and the acknowledgments given to him by the Flin Flon Bomber Organization.

Dad was a quiet man, whose life revolved around his family and devotion to his wife Irene. We greatly miss you Dad and cherish our fond memories of you. Fred is survived by his children Bob (Carole), Linda (Dave) Ogram, Norma (Jim) Williamson, Randy (Joan) Bowman, Laurel (Will) McIntyre, Nancy (Rick) Chlan; grandchildren Stacey (Claude) Castonguay, Tom (Jen) Bowman, Brad (Tricia) Zakuluk, Steven, Chris and Daniel Ogram, Richard (Marlee) Moore, Samantha Moore (Darren Romo), Claire and Evan Bowman, Garret (Candice), Kyle and Ryan Muldoon; great grandchildren Jarret Bowman, Ashton Romo, Linden and Brandt Moore, Ethan and Rhys Castonguay and Jack Bowman. Fred was predeceased by his parents, Walter and Elizabeth Bowman, loving wife Irene and brother Harold.

Funeral services and interment were held in Flin Flon on August 27, 2007 at the Northminster Memorial United Church with Reverend Greg Parker officiating. We would like to thank Dadson Funeral Home, the United Church Ladies Auxiliary, friends and neighbours for their kindness and support during this difficult time. Dad, your family misses you dearly.


In Loving Memory of
Ernie H. Westbury

Born in Brandon, Manitoba
on March 29th, 1916
Passed away in Kelowna, British Columbia
on March 11th, 2007
at the age of 90

Memorial Tea
Thursday, March 15th, 2007 from 2~4 P.M.
Sunpointe Village 700~Rutland Road N.

Ernie was laid to rest earlier today
at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery

Officiating : Rev. Shono Ghosh



After suffering with Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade, our mother, Mrs. Charlotte Willey, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 in Parkstone Nursing Home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mom was 94 and was predeceased by her husband, Tom, who died on October 8, 1996 at home: 200 Waldron Avenue in Flin Flon.

While living in both Island Falls, and Flin Flon, Mom was an enthusiastic supporter of community activities including Girl Guides and the Horticultural Club. She was proud to be a life time member of the Catholic Women's League. She was also an expert seamstress and was known for finding beauty in everything.

In 1998, just a year and a half after dad's death, illness required that Mom be placed in a home for the elderly, and the family chose Halifax where she would be close to family members. That departure from Flin Flon, and from her many friends there, was difficult for her. She welcomed cards from, and news of, the friends she had left behind.

Alzheimer's really is the long goodbye; over the years, we felt her gradually slipping away from us. She was our Mom and we were her girls. We loved her and she loved us with a constant and unconditional love. She was very deeply a woman of faith. We only hope that her kind and gentle spirit can in some way live on in each of us. Perhaps that is the only thing that Alzheimer's couldn't take away from her.

Charlotte will be lovingly remembered by her four daughters: Betty (Sister Diane), Judy, Hazel, and Brenda as well as by her sons-in-law: Dennis and John; her grandchildren: Steven, Jennifer, Maureen, Kevin, Ryan, Johanna and Andrew; and great grandchildren: MacKenzie, Jakob, Bronwen and Micheal. She was predeceased by her son-in-law, Bill.

Father Denis Bourbonnais will hold a special funeral mass in Charlotte's memory at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church, 163 Centre Street in Flin Flon on Easter weekend. She was cremated and her ashes will remain in Halifax. The date of her death will now be engraved under her name on Tom’s tombstone in Flin Flon.

In Memoriam Donations can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Canada in care of the Dadson Funeral Home, 20 Highway 10A, Flin Flon, Manitoba, R8A 1N5; Phone Number: 204-687-5821; Toll Free: 1-877-460-2444; Fax Number: 204-687-4058 Email: Website:

OR directly to the Alzheimer Society of Canada 20 Eglinton Ave. W., Ste. 1200, Toronto, ON M4R 1K8 Donate online:

Family members can be contacted through Hazel and Dennis Young, 608 Besserer Street, Ottawa, ON KIN 6C9 Phone: (613) 789-3193 - E-Mail:


Glenn Grigg
1925 - 2007

Glenn Grigg of Calgary, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Beverly Centre Glenmore on Monday, March 5, 2007 at the age of 81 years.

He is survived by his sons, Gerry Grigg and his wife Susan of St. Albert, and Mike Grigg and his wife Susan of Calgary; grandson David; his brother Murray Grigg of Winnipeg, MB. Glenn will also be remembered by Gurli Albrecht and her family of Calgary.

Private Services will be held. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, c/o Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 - 29 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 4N2 (Telephone 403-521-3433) or The Alzheimer Society of Calgary, Suite 201, 222 - 58 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3, (Telephone 403-290-0110, ).

To email expressions of sympathy:, subject heading: Glenn Grigg. HERITAGE FUNERAL SERVICES "Calgary Crematorium Chapel" Telephone: 299-0111.


In 1937, Pat Donaghy of Norland, Ontario was in Channing to watch a takeoff of the huge Junkers JU-52 Flying Boxcar. He sent in his story, which is published elsewhere on this Site, along with these two photos (we don't know the source).


We have received over 20 coloured photos from Keith Olson. Most of them have been added to the bottoms of the following pages: The Sandy Bay Page, Adults in the 50's and 60's, and Airplanes at Island Falls. Thanks very much, Keith.


Wade Bryson, Hydro Station Operator at Island Falls, sent us this photo of the Plant taken yesterday. The temperature was minus 43 in ice fog. [click to enlarge]


Thanks to Gord Ferg for sending us these photos from his dad's (Stan's) large collection. We hope there are more to come. [click to enlarge]

Clockwise: Stan Ferg (red hat), Paul Morin, Cyril Daniels, Charlie Bear and Leonard Ray.
A sad day - the demolition of The Hall.
Slim Woods.


Reverend Ray Horsefield, born in 1902, was an Anglican minister in the north from the 1930's to the 1970's. He retired to Sidney, BC where he passed away in 1985. Flora Morin Smigel and her husband, Dale, looked after him in his old age.

Horsefield taught himself to speak and write Cree, and became an expert in the language. He had a special typewriter with Cree syllabic keys that he used to translated the bible. He was also known for broadcasting radio messages in Cree from radio station CFAR in Flin Flon.

See our Table of Contents page to read his account of a trip to Island Falls via boats and portages.

Flora sent us this copy of a print which she remembers hung on the wall in Reverend Horsefield's home in Sidney. The artist is unknown. [click to enlarge]


You'll have to go way back to remember the Gordon Parker family, who left Island Falls in 1946.

Happily, we've been in touch with their son, Lorne, now living in Oklahoma. His sister Gay is in Michigan.

Lorne sent this photo of himself with his wife Alice and two of their five children, Alex and Ryan.

More about the Parkers can now be seen on one of our Family photos pages.


We are always pleading for photos, and Doug Boyes has set a good example by sending in these ones taken in the 1950's and 60's. Thanks, Doug! They will also be placed, with captions, on appropriate pages in the People photos section, in due course.

[Click to enlarge.]


We would like to recognise Flora Morin Smigel for being very helpful in sending us another picture for our Sandy Bay page. Photos of this kind have been very difficult to find, probably because cameras were rare amongst Sandy Bay people.


The October/November issue of Route North Roots magazine has a story on the use of Linn tractors during the construction period at Island Falls, 1928/1929. There is also a copy of the story posted on our Linn Tractors page.


Those of you using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser have had a problem with a number of pictures showing up as blank frames. This problem is now fixed, so have a look for new pictures in the People Photos section at Photos of Adults, and Teams.


In case you have not looked through the list of documents published on the Site for a while, here is a notable quote from our latest posting, a 1970 article on automation written by Montreal engineer, C. Humphreys:

"From 1930 to 1965, complete outage time [of the Island Falls power plant]  totalled approximately 8h, a truly astounding availability record of 99.997% to meet scheduled essential loads. This was undoubtedly the result of initial care in plant design, conservative component ratings, and an extremely well planned and executed programme of routine maintenance throughout the years."

Superintendent Rees W. Davis, who led the design engineering team and the operating and maintenance staff of the CRP Co., must be given much credit for this achievement. We are waiting to be informed whether or not SaskPower has been able to match this production record since taking over the Plant in 1981....

Thanks to Keith Olson for submitting the article.

2006-09-19 Jeff Russell took this set of aerial photos of Island Falls from his brother Jim's airplane in August, 2006.


willeygirlsDennis Young sent us this photo of three of the four Willey girls, daughters of Charlotte and Tom Willey. Itwas taken at his home in Ottawa in July, 2006.

L. to R.: Brenda, Judy and Dennis' wife, Hazel. (Missing: Betty).

[Click to enlarge]


Luella Irene Bailey (Colpitts): 1915 - 2006

LUELLA IRENE BAILEY (COLPITTS) was born on December 27, 1915 and passed away peacefully on January 28, 2006 at St. Michael's Health Centre, Lethbridge, AB. Lue was predeceased by her husband Harry L. Bailey in 2003. She will be dearly missed by her sons Wayne (Kay) of Nova Scotia, Lawrence (Betty) of Coalhurst; daughter Karen (Ken) Davis of High River; brother Don Colpitts of Kelowna, BC; sisters Isabelle Bowles of Deep River, ON and Betty Vokey of Winnipeg, MB; grandchildren Michele and Maegan Shumay of Nelson, BC, Michael (Charlene) Shumay of Rocky Mountain House, AB, Krista (George) Burden of Nova Scotia, Shauna and Bradford Bailey of Nova Scotia, Jennifer (Jason) de Boer and Sean Bailey of Lethbridge, AB; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and friends well met over her 90 years.

Luella and Harry married in Flin Flon, MB in 1938 then lived north at Island Falls, SK from 1940 to 1954 and then they moved back to Flin Flon.

Since coming to Lethbridge in 1959, Luella was involved in U.C.W. and the choir at Southminster United Church. She worked at Eaton's for many years, then MacKenzie Jewellers followed by helping Harry at Bailey's Keyboard. They both enjoyed travelling, touring Canada, the U.S., Japan and Europe.

A memorial service was held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2006, at MARTIN BROS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610 - 4 St. S., Lethbridge, with Reverend Larry D. Hankinson officiating. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Bruce Small of Martin Bros., 1-800-382-2901.


Doris Isabelle Bracken
October 11th, 1916 - December 11th, 2005

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Doris Bracken, who passed away after a brief illness in dorisSaskatoon. She was born on the family farm in the Brandon Hills district, Manitoba and married Kenneth Bracken in 1936 and moved to Winnipeg, In 1940 they moved to Island Falls, Saskatchewan and made their home until moving to Flin Flon In 1967. Following her husband's death in 1970 she moved to Saskatoon where she resided until her passing. She enjoyed all sports, especially following football. She enjoyed crossword puzzles, cross stitch, and dearly loved her time with family, especially her great granddaughters. Her pink cookies will be missed this Christmas. Doris is dearly loved and remembered by her only daughter, Joan (Joe) Kulbida of Saskatoon; three grandsons and four great grandchildren: Mark (Jane) and their daughters, Ketlie and Katlin; Todd (Sherry) and his daughter, Amy; Scott (Leanne) and his daughter. Jordan; three sisters-in-law: Wilma Nicol, Violet Nicol and Joan Nicol; also several nieces, nephews and cousin, She was predeceased by her husband. Ken; parents, Robert and Isabella; and her seven siblings. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated if directed to the Sask. Lung Assoc. (1231-Sth Street East, Saskatoon S7H OS5). It was Doris wishes to be cremated and no service to be held in her memory. She will be placed to rest with her husband in the Brandon Cemetery at a later date. Condolences may be emailed to Arrangements are in care of John Schachtel - MOURNING GLORY FUNERAL SERVICES - Saskatoon (978-5200)


Keith Olson reports they've had a busy summer. After spending almost two months at their cabin on the Churchill River, they went through the process of moving his mother, Irene, out of her long-time home in Calgary. She stayed with Keith and Barbara in East Selkirk, Manitoba for a while till they got her a place close to them and the grandkids. Her new home is a suite in Woodland Courts in Selkirk. Keith says that she is doing okay, but is confused about most things most of the time. Her short term memory is really bad but she is still good with the old days memories. She would appreciate a call or visit from anyone passing through: 204-785-1870.

Our first news report is from Wade Bryson, grandson of Jim Woods of Island Falls.


Hello Dave,

When I left a note in your guest book close to two years ago I wrote something to the fact that "We would take good care of the ol' gal (powerhouse)" . This is just a little note to let you know what we have been facing up here at The Falls.

I am not sure if you have been following the current water situation at Island Falls or not. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the plant, and how fitting to mark the anniversary as to have recorded breaking flows on both the Churchill River and the Reindeer River systems. We have hit 2300 cubic meters/second flows which converted would be around 81,190 cubic feet/second. Normal flows are around 22,000 - 24,000 cfs.

spillWe have been running an operating crew 24/7 since the end of Aug, and as luck has it I am stuck on nights right now. I was just going through some of the pic's we have been taking and thought maybe you would like to add a couple to your web site? I also took a brief video of the current flow @ A-dam 1896 cms (66,928 cfs). Its only less than 30 sec I believe but you definitely get an idea what we are up against. The flows have been slowly tapering off so we are taking a little sigh of relief here. Note: we have asked Wade to send us this clip for display here]

The tail water is approx. 16' - 17' higher than normal. The tail race deck has been awash for close to a month now. All our louvers on the deck have been boarded up and sealed off to prevent water from flowing into the power house from the tailrace. In the pump room we had to build bulkheads around where A & B units draft tubes are visible from the floor. The water would be around 18" higher than the floor in the pump room and the wind tunnel, which connects the turbine pits on units 1-6.

We lost our road into the power house also at the end of Aug. We built the road up by Tower 13 five to six feet in order to make it passable again. Most of us have had only a couple of days off since middle of Aug.

Wade Bryson
Hydro Station Operator, Island Falls Generating Station
(306)-754-2101 (306)-754-2265 Fax

Click here to see a 25-second movie of the unusual A-Dam flow. Warning: large file -- for High-Speed connections only!


From the Flin Flon Reminder

helenHelen Davis Evans: 1921 - 2003

Helen Davis Evans passed away October 9, 2003. Helen was born May 30, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Rees W. and Chlo Davis. She grew up in Island Falls, SK, where her father built the community and ran HBMS power plant on the Churchill River. There she attended school to 8th grade.

She then moved to Brigham City, Utah, graduated from Box Elder High School, and went on to the University of Utah to receive a degree as a Lab Tech. She married Fred Evans on May 28, 1941.

Helen was very proud of being raised in the isolated community of Island Falls and kept in touch with her childhood friends. To keep memories of her childhood home alive she wrote a book with the help of Carole Osborne Cole, entitled "Camp 55".

She is survived by her children Diane (Dennis); Tracey (Robert); John (Laurie); and an "adopted" daughter Terri; grandchildren, Haline (Stephen), Brandon (Rebecca), Jeremy, Aaron, Elder Jayden Thorup, Jenna, Justin, Jacob, Tyler, Sarah and Lindsey; one great-granddaughter, Lauren; two brothers, Richard and Bud; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, parents and sister, Dorothy.

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