Bill Southworth, 25-Year Correspondent for Northern Lights Magazine

Reprinted from the Volume 26, Number 4 (Christmas, 1966) edition:

Twenty-Five Years Reporting

OUT of nineteen reporters who first penned articles and sent in pictures for the Northern Lights magazine — even before the magazine boasted a name of its own — only one still contributes.

Still serving in this capacity, without a break since the first issue in November of 1941, is congenial, likeable Bill Southworth of Island Falls.

Over the years, 25 of them to be exact, there have been many faithful department reporters for the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company employees' magazine, without whose loyal assistance a lot of color and interest would have been lost. For a variety of reasons there have been many who found it impossible to continue with the task, but fortunately others have come forward to keep articles and pictures of their departments and people streaming in, for the interest and information of all.

The November 1941 issue told employees that a magazine was to be published and that a name was being sought for it. The second issue, Christmas of 1941, announced the winner and the name — "Northern Lights." It was first used on the March 1942 issue.

The winning name was submitted in behalf of six-year-old Olin C. Kirkland and to him went the $20 prize. Others who sent in the Northern Lights name, or variations of it, but later than the submission by the winner, included: Mrs. Lloyd Erickson, Mrs. Raymond Manns, Miss Doreen Gillies, Mrs. W. C. Hamblin, Norman Bernard, Pelle Hagberg of Island Falls, F. Norquay, Ivan Pelletier, and Miss Gladys Giffin of Island Falls.

Beginning with the year 1942, the magazine was published six times a year: March, May, July, September, November and December. Production of six issues a year continued until the end of 1948. Commencing with the issue of March 1949, the magazine became a quarterly, published in March, June, September and December, as it is today. [1966]

In that first issue of November, 1941, the then General Manager, W.A. Green, wrote in part in explanation of the decision to have a magazine published:

"It is felt that you would like to know more of what your Company has done and is doing, more about the various phases of our operations, more about your fellow associates both at work and at play."

"It is hoped that this publication will be a record of your achievements which you will take pride in preserving, and that through its pages the bonds of friendship and common understanding may be ever strengthened. The magazine is being published for the employees, and the editor will welcome your co-operation and suggestions in making it all that you would like it to be."

The editor of the day, L.F. McDonald, wrote:

"This is your magazine, and we need your contributions and pictures to make up a publication of general interest. This is one of the jobs where everyone can help. Tell us what you like or don't like in the magazine, because constructive criticism is always welcome."

All of this still holds true and there have been few changes. Basically, the original design for a magazine for the employees, with contributions from department representatives and employees, has stood the test of time. Reporters in the first issue of the magazine in November, 1941, included:

Monty Holmes for the Mine and Open Pit, Don McEachern for the Mill and Crusher, Harry Lofendale for the Smelter, Gordon Williams for the Assay Lab, Andy Maxwell for the Zinc Tankhouse, Steve Clay for Surface and Transportation, Mac McRae for the Electrical Department, Johnny Mulhall for the Zinc Leaching Plant, Doris Holmes for the Ladies' Page, Joe Putney for the Warehouse, R. Campbell for the Zinc Casting Plant, Bud Jobin for Main Office, Bill Duncan for the Research Department, Bert Hollett for the Watchmen, Horace Burgoyne for Winnipeg Office, Gus Gillies for Zinc Roasters, Edgar Grandison for the Machine Shop, Les Crouch for the Safety Department, and — Bill Southworth for Island Falls.

So, it's hats off to Bill Southworth, veteran magazine reporter, who for the past quarter century has well and faithfully recorded in words and pictures, the expansion of the power settlement of Island Falls, the lives, happiness and sorrows of its people.

Coincidentally with this recognition of 25 years of reporting service, it can also be noted that 1966 was the 25th year of publication, for the Northern Lights, and that this is its 26th Christmas edition.

It will be the hope of most, if not all employees, that the magazine will go on to its Golden Anniversary and beyond. For if it does, it must follow that there still will be need for HBM&S employees for many years to come, and for reporters like Bill Southworth and the many others who have contributed so much to the magazine.