Northern Lights

Volume 1

Number 1 » November 1941

Island Falls, Churchill River, source of power for the Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd., before construction. The Falls after construction.


DURING the past few months we have been favored with many summer visitors. The weather man was good to us this year; even the rain came at just the right time to give us a fine display of flowers and a very fine crop of vegetables. The wild berry crop was good.

With the coming of September, our baseball was brought to a successful close. Considerable work was done this summer on our new nine-hole golf course; four holes have been finished to a point where they can be played. The course is laid out over rolling country, cut through second growth birch, poplar and spruce, flanked here and there by rocky ridges and creeks. We feel that some day we will have the finest little golf course in the north. Our artificial swimming pool, with lifeguard in attendance, was a busy spot on fine days and a record number of small children under school age learned to swim this summer. Perhaps the fact that our swimming season is so short accounts for the enthusiasm shown here for this sport. The boat owners enjoyed a favorable season. There were several new craft to be seen, among them the new 22 ft. cabin cruiser "Graymac," built right here in camp by Bill Grayson and Howard McIntosh in their spare time.

Walter Leslie saw six bull moose on September 25th and reports indicate that big game will be plentiful this year. The duck hunters are hard at it; but this is not a duck country and they work hard for their sport. If you don't believe this, ask Bill Shaw. The curling season will soon be here again, and our single sheet of curling ice is going to be kept busy from early December to late in March. We even heard a couple of fellows discussing with keen anticipation the annual Flin Flon Bonspiel in March of each year.

There have been several changes in our staff recently. In June, Cece Cameron went to the R. C. A. F. and Eric King to the Ardmore Canadian Army Corps. At time of writing both are in Montreal. In August, Stuart Russell left for Eastern Canada, and has now returned to Flin Flon, where he is in the employ of the Company. On September 1st, Miss Irene Setterington left and is now working in the Winnipeg office. During the early part of September G. H. McIntosh and family left for Flin Flon where Mac has taken over new duties with the Company. Recent new arrivals to our camp include Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Westbury, Mr. and Mrs. Chester Henry, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Porteous, Mrs. N. C. Eccles, Mr. Frank Ryan and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Buckland and son.

Number 2 » Christmas 1941


OWING to the continued mild weather, our write-up for the Employees' Magazine is being mushed to Flin Flon by that veteran of many Northern trails, Magloire Noteweyes. Bill Jonasson reports lots of prairie chickens along the power line between Mile 13 and Flin Flon. Bill Southworth received a wetting from the rain, while digging up the balance of his vegetables on November 1st! Ken Bracken, formerly of Winnipeg and Brandon, is now employed in the garage here. Ches. Henry is running off a keenly contested mixed five-pin bowling tournament. Bill Grayson is back on the job after his recent illness, and Gus Henning is back after a two months' leave of absence to undergo a major operation.

Transportation from Island Falls, 1933.

Graham Giffin, the 19-year-old son of Mr. Glen E. Giffin, has been accepted in the R. C. A. F. and expects to leave early in December. Lieut. Eric E. King of the Ordnance Corps, has arrived safely in England. Lance Corporal Norman Eccles of the Winnipeg Grenadiers has returned from Jamaica and has again left Canada for parts unknown. Pilot Officer Cecil J. Cameron, R. C. A. F., Montreal, expects to complete his Aeronautical Engineer's course in the latter part of November and plans to visit Flin Flon and Island Falls if granted the expected leave.

Standing, left to right are, Alex. Moore, Wally Paylor, Oake Gwilliam, O. L. Flanagan, Dick Davis, and Marcel Trembly. Kneeling are, A. L. Grasby and R. W. Davis. Engineering Gang at Reindeer Lake.

Island Falls kiddies on way to Sunday School Picnic.

Mrs. C. V. Ver Wilghen received a letter recently from her son Benny who is with a Canadian Army Tank Corps in England. Benny was much taken with the beautiful countryside of both England and Scotland and says that the hospitality of the English and Scottish people left nothing to be desired!

The small outdoor skating rink has been kept in shape since November 1st, due largely to the efforts of Ernie Westbury and Freddy Bowman. The men's curling club have made up their rinks and will be competing for three trophies this winter, "The Love Trophy," "The Rees Davis Trophy," and "The Club Trophy."

The personnel of the seven rinks competing this winter is as follows:

M. Wachowich
G. Tucker
A. Johnson
J. E. Hattie
F. Ryan
E. Westbury
A. J. Henning 
Glen Giffin
R. C. Henry
H. Olson
C. Ver Wilghen
H. Bailey
H. Whiteley
D. Russell 
W. P. Shaw
G. I. Jeffrey
C. P. Hagberg
W. Leslie
N. M. Rutherford
J. Ingram
0. Christensen
R. G. Parker
M. F. Huffaker
Wm. Grayson
M. McConnell
W. R. Southworth
R. W. Davis
J. A. Barkwell

Number 3 » March 1942


SINCE our last issue Frank Ryan and Adolph Johnson have been transferred to Whitesand, Don Gyselman has been transferred from Flin Flon to our Commissary, and Harry Bailey from the Commissary to the stock-room at the plant.

A rather unique (unus-one and equus-horse) basketball game took place here on the evening of Nov. 25th when the new-comers, calling themselves the Cheechako's, challenged the Old-Timers. The final score was 36 to 6 in favor of the Old-Timers —enough said. Old-Timers: J. A. Barkwell, W. P. Shaw, O. Christensen, A. Broster, R. W. Davis, N. Rutherford, and C. P. Hagberg. Cheechakos: F. Ryan, A. Johnson, C. Henry, H. Bailey, E. Westbury, H. Whiteley, W. Leslie, Graham Giffin, and G. Parker; Ken Bracken as coach.

Baby Bruin  does his daily dozen.

Our Novelty Bonspiel was won by the Southworth Rink on December 3rd. Twelve rinks took part. The members of the winning rink were: John Hattie, lead; Mrs. Alex. Strindlund, second; Mrs. John Hattie, third; and W. R. Southworth, skip. Our first square draw for the beautiful LOVE TROPHY was completed Jan. 13th. The winning rink was made up of the following players: Mike Wachowich, Harry Bailey, Neil Rutherford, and W. R. Southworth. On Jan. 16th our curling club was pleasantly surprised to have with us for that evening a strong rink from the new Ross Lake Club in Flin Flon. This rink, composed of Bert Lyle, lead; Almer Crittenden, second; Chas. Warren, third; and Peter Hume, skip; engaged two of our local rinks; the visitors won the first encounter, but lost the second game by one point. We hope they enjoyed their visit as much as we enjoyed having them.

The annual autumn mixed five-pin bowling tournament was won by Ernie Westbury and Mrs. Ches. Henry by the small margin of 20 points over Graham Giffin and Mrs. W. R. Southworth.

Doug and Stewart Russell pictured at "the end of the Chase."

Word has just reached us that Cece Cameron of the R.C.A.F., Ottawa, has been promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer. Well done, Cece! Norman Eccles many friends in Island Falls and Flin Flon are anxiously waiting for official word to come through of the fate of the valiant defenders of Hong Kong. Norman went to Hong Kong with the Winnipeg Grenadiers early last fall.

On December 26th, Mr. and Mrs. D. R. Russell became the proud parents of a son, James Robert, weighing 8 lbs., 15 oz., while on January 4th a fine daughter, Carol Ann, 7 lbs. ˝ oz. in weight, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Leslie. Richard Dawson, an old-timer of this district, is believed to have been drowned in the Churchill River near Island Falls during the freeze-up period last November. Scotty, as he was well known to many, had trapped in this vicinity for 20 years; prior to locating here he had served a number of years in the Royal Navy.

Number 4 » May 1942

Twilight on the forebay.

The forebay, just above plant.

A popular Winter footpath.

Departmental Bonspiel Winners: John Hattie, Pelle Hagberg, Ches Henry, and skip Bill Grayson.

C.R.P. snowmobile and Wayne Huffaker.
The Recreation Hall.
A unit of the Winter Transportation.

Summer transportationMari Lake.

Picnic at Sandy Bay.

The Old Swimming Hole.


G H. McINTOSH has been working here since early March but expects to be back at his job in Flin Flon before "break- up." H. B. Porteous has been transferred back to the Accounting Office in Flin Flon; his work here will be taken over by Johnny Spencer, who expects to move his family in by April 1st. Don Gyselman has been transferred to Whitesand. Five new additions to our Staff are, Vic Myrvold, Lawrence Dermody, Lawrence Mewhinney, Gordon Clay and Miss Jeanne Floch. Frank Hart left for Winnipeg during February to join the R.C.A.F. but failed to pass the Medical Board and is now out in the bush with Mr. Flanagan's gang. Harry Whiteley left in the middle of March to help out with some bricklaying in Flin Flon for several weeks.

In the realm of sports it seems to be all curling. The Grayson rink brought home the bacon this year. They returned from Flin Flon on March 10th with the coveted W. A. Green Trophy, emblematic of the highest curling honors of the employees of the Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd. for the current season. The rink was composed of Wm. Grayson, skip, C. P. Hagberg 3rd, Ches. Henry 2nd, and John Hattie lead. The local curling club championship was won by the McConnell rink, March 22nd. The members of this rink are Max McConnell, skip; Walter Leslie, 3rd; Harry Whiteley, 2nd; and John Hattie, lead. Two rinks from here were pleased to take in the annual Flin Flon bonspiel. R. W. Davis skipped one rink along with W. R. Southworth, Walter Leslie and Max McConnell; Wm. Shaw skipped the other and was ably supported by Jack Barkwell, Jas. Ingram and Harry Bailey. Neither rink was burdened with jewellery on its return to Camp but it seems a good time was had by all. By the time this appears in print the annual "Break-up" or in between-season mixed bowling tournament will be well on its way to completion.

The Island Falls Social Club held a social evening on March 7th and as a result the coffers of the local Red Cross Society were enriched by over $60.00. Doug Russell and Garnet Jeffrey expect to take their vacations soon in order to participate in the spring rat hunt.

If Lieut. Eric C. King is still in England when spring comes it's our bet he'll be mooching around looking for some place to employ a shovel, rake and hoe in an effort to make two blades grow where only one grew before. Keen horticulturists may often be observed of late looking over the perennial beds with a wistful eye.


Number  5 » July 1942


JOHN Spencer and his family staged the first picnic of the season on Sunday, April 19th, when they had their supper on the rocky shore of the Churchill River.

Sunday, May 3rd, was the first big day on the local links this season. On May 10th the official Spring tournament was held in which Johnny Spencer carried off the honors. Empire Day dawned bright and warm and the camp residents seemed to divide their interests about equally among golf, fishing and gardening. In the evening the Native Sons from Sandy Bay village invaded the island with their strongest softball team, the final score being 27-19 in favor of the Pale Faces. The game was ably handled by referee R. W. Davis.

Jackie Eccles is the name of this adorable little laddie. Jackie's dad, Norman Eccles, was with the Winnipeg Grenadiers at Hong Kong, and is now presumed prisoner of war. This same bundle of vim and vigor is the grandson of John G. Allen.

These three youthful musketeers are (left to right) Lowell Christensen, Wayne Huffaker, and Allen Hattie.

Graham Giffin looks very spruce in his nifty Air Force uniform. Graham is stationed with the R.C.A.F. at Regina.

The finalists have been determined in the Break-Up-Season mixed bowling tournament, but on account of Harry Bailey having sprained an ankle recently, this contest has not been decided as yet. The top half of the bracket was won by Mrs. Garnet Jeffrey and Harry Bailey, while Otto Christensen and Mrs. W. R. Southworth are the winners from the other half of the draw.

The first fish to be taken from the Churchill this season by rod and line were landed May 10th by Rollie Morin at A Dam. His catch consisted of a dozen or so large jacks—no pickerel. The first pickerel of the season was caught by that veteran angler from Eastern Canada, Lawrence Mewhinney, who has promised us a picture of himself with the first 10-pound pickerel he catches this season.

The Red Cross bridge tournament is getting sifted down pretty well, but it is impossible to say at this time who holds the upper hand. The bridge players raised $22.00 for the Red Cross Society. While on the subject of Red Cross we would like to mention that to date (May 24th) our drive for funds has passed the $500 mark and there is every indication that the objective of $600 will be reached within a few days.

On May 2nd, a large black bear was seen on the island near A Dam only about three-quarters of a mile from camp.

Number 6 » September 1942

Oh to be young and carefree again! Here are a few of the Island Falls small fry enjoying a cool dip in the Kiddies' pool.

A magnificent swing by Mrs. Ernie Westbury on the Island Falls golf course. (Too bad it didn't come in contact with the ball!)


No, this WASN'T taken in sunny California or Florida! It is Mrs. Alex Strindlund and daughter Marian in their peony garden. Some of these blossoms measured 8 inches in diameter. Not bad for "the frozen north!"

Jack and Olive Barkwell caught landscaping the front yard.

SINCE the last issue, the following changes have taken place in our staff: Miss Norma Weese, our congenial school teacher resigned at the end of the school term; Mr. George Tucker of the guard staff transferred to Flin Flon, his place here being taken by Mr. John A. Tomlinson; Johnny Wachowich is home from university and is working for the Company here during the holidays; Mr. Sid Brown was transferred from Flin Flon to our operating staff early in June, and Lawrence Mcwhinney left early in July for points East.

Despite unfavorable weather until on in the afternoon, our Dominion Day activities were almost on a par with other years. The refreshment booth had a large turn-over and by far the greatest money makers were the delicious hamburgers carefully prepared from his own secret recipe and cooked by that master hamburger chef, R. W. Davis. There were races for young and old, a shooting range, bingo game, golf driving game, and of course, the highlight of the day, the softball game between Flin Flon and Island Falls, which was won by Flin Flon. A dance was held in the evening at which our provincial member of parliament, Mr. Richard Hall, spoke briefly. The day's profits, amounting to $82.00, went to the Red Cross.

Since the second week in July, Miss Margaret Kennedy of Flin Flon has been supervising the activities of the younger generation at the swimming pool. On July 18th, we were favored with a visit from the Welfare Board. They came on the boats and my, what a lot of pack sacks, etc., for so short a stay. In fact, it seems the little gas locomotive and flat car were so relieved on reaching the end of the Barrier-Muddy Lake portage that they ran past the station a bit.

Here is our correspondent in person, with the apple of his eye, Dickie Southworth. There is a decided resemblance, don't you think?


Number 7 » November 1942

The "BFT" arrives! Left to right: Miss Erna Green, Mrs. R. W. Davis, Miss Phyllis Green, Mrs. W. A. Green, Mrs. J. L. Spencer, Mrs. Fred Willis, Ann Willis. Frank Willis, Marvin Huffaker, and Geo. Willis.

  Miss Irene Van de Somple, our attractive new school teacher.
  Mrs. Ellen Eccles and her sturdy young son Jack. We all wish Ellen a very speedy recovery.

MISS Irene Van de Somple, of Kamsack, Sask., is in charge of our school, this term. Miss Gertrude Johnson, of Flin Flon, has taken over stenographic duties in the office during the absence of Mrs. Norman Eccles, who, we regret to announce, is off work on account of illness. Two members of our guard staff have recently been transferred to Flin Flon; namely, Jack Tomlinson and George Hankinson. Jas. Ingram, formerly of the guard staff, has taken over the duties of Joe Hetherington in the plant. Messrs. Angus McDonald, Kirby Walthen, and Major R. W. Allen have recently joined our guard staff.

In order that the children may attend higher educational institutions, Mrs. Glen Giffin and two daughters, Grayce and Gladys, have moved to Melfort, and Mrs. Del Simons and two daughters, Jean and Audrey, have moved to Flin Flon. John Wachowich has returned to university in Winnipeg, after having worked here for the Company during the summer vacation period. It is good to see Jerry Cure back on the job after the serious accident he had at Whitesand Rapids in which he lost an eye and had an arm broken in three places. You just can't keep a good Frenchman down.

We seem to have established some sort of a record in the matter of new arrivals since the last issue of the "Northern Lights." At time of writing we have no less than six happy families to congratulate re blessed events. On July 2nd, a son, Leonard Brian, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry T. Olson; on July 31st, a son, Robert Rodger, to Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Hagberg; on August 17th, a son, Robert Walter, to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bowman; on August 17th, a son, John Tony Robert, to Mr. and Mrs. Rollie Morin; on September 24th, a son, David Francis, to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Heather; and last but certainly not least, a daughter, Sharon Jean, to Mr. and Mrs. Sid Brown. Congratulations to you all!

On the evening of September 23rd, a smoker was held in the hall in honor of Joe Hetherington who left the following day to serve with the Veterans Guard of Canada. The boys presented Joe with a pipe and a good supply of his favorite smoking plug.

Papa Sid Brown gazes wonderingly at his minute daughter, Sharon Jean, aged three weeks. You can bet Sid is even prouder of her than of his fine hockey record! Wayne Shaw and Nipper, both priceless possessions of Wm. P. Shaw.