Northern Lights

Volume 6

Number 1 March 1947

Dick Southworth on mink ranch inspection. Ann Southworth in zero weather rig.

MISS Gladys Rogers who hails from Buchanan, Saskatchewan, arrived in camp early in December to take over the duties of Camp Nurse, having recently graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital. Jack McInnis, young in years but an old timer in Flin Flon, joined our operating staff just after New Year. Jack comes from a long line of first class hockey players and has been one of Flin Flon's star performers for several years. We hope he'll be able to adjust himself to a fast game of rough and tumble curling. Cal Berry came up from the Warehouse early in January to help out for a few months with our big winter freight haul. We also borrowed Miss Jean Leask of the Personnel Department for a month or so to give us a lift over the heavy going. Just after going to press last issue, Miss Shirley Last, formerly of Flin Flon, joined our dining hall staff.

Gerald and David, bonnie Rutherford children, with Beryl.

The boys are quite pleased about the forthcoming sixth unit job. The extension to the plant and several other jobs will get under way this summer with the final installation of the turbine and generator next winter. This plant was originally designed for six generators so this unit will complete the installation. The big Linn tractors were out early this season; the ice is particularly good and several trips were made before Christmas with loads of cement for next summer's work. Looks like a good year for the Reindeer Lake fish-haul too. The diesel tractors and trucks are busily chugging past this point night and day in both directions, fair weather or foul. How would you like to sit out on a tractor at 30 below with only a wind shield in front of you for protection—cabs are considered too dangerous in case the tractor breaks through the ice. Such is the lot of a "cat skinner" on the northern fish haul.

Broster, Cameron, McDonald, Russell, and Colpits on the Churchill River.

In the world of sport, curling seems to be in the lime-light with Ernie Westbury's four setting a dazzling pace. They romped through the first square with only one loss to win the Love Trophy and have four wins and only one loss in the second square to date. The other three members of this powerful rink are, C. P. Hagberg, H. L. Bailey and Bob McNichol. Mrs. Ches. Henry's rink is out in front and setting a fast pace in the ladies curling section. Already the Flin Flon is much in evidence as a topic of conversation whenever two or more curlers meet. No fooling though, we really have several fellows here who think they passed up a golden opportunity to possess an automobile by not attending the Nipawin 'spiel; "hope springs eternal in the human breast."

Young "fry" with girl friends.

Ex CRP staff member Mike Klymyk drove over from Pukatawagan in his brand new snowmobile for a weekend right after the New Year. Mike says the fishing is thriving in his district and Pukatawagan is experiencing prosperous times. In a few years it may be known as the capital of Northern Manitoba, says Mike.

When Miss Estella Maxwell, one of our teachers, returned from Xmas holidays she was wearing a lovely diamond ring. It is understood the lucky man lives in Weyburn, Sask.

The Xmas concert put on by the school children under the direction of Miss Maxwell and Miss Enticknap provided adults with an evening of hilarious entertainment. This concert was held December 18th and the regular Xmas tree, with Santa in attendance, took place Xmas Eve. The New Years Eve banquet and dance were a decided success from every angle, the official guests from Flin Flon being Mr. & Mrs. Frank Burke and Mr. & Mrs. Tom Kennedy.

"Capt." Slim and Mrs. Woods at Sandy Bay.

Number 2 » May 1947

Gerald Rutherford and Karen Bailey.

Maxine Woods and Gwen Klymyk snowmobiling.


MR. and Mrs. Tom Willey and girls moved north to our little town early in March. Tom took over the job of commissary manager from Lyle Reid, who now has the stock room job. Art Wenman, of Souris, Manitoba, started in on our operating staff in February, and about the same time Miss Audrey Rowlette joined our dining hall staff.

Shortly after New Year we had George Watt and his crew with a fleet of dump trucks up here hauling sand for several weeks. We enjoyed a few good curling games with them. About the second week in March the first of our summer construction men arrived in the way of a small carpenter gang. Towards the latter part of January Mrs. John Hattie and the four children took up permanent residence in Flin Flon on account of the children's schooling.

About the middle of March, Jack and Olive Barkwell adopted another baby boy. He was three months old and they are going to call him Danny Jay. Old timers here about will be glad to hear of the arrival of a nine-pound son at the Max McConnell home, Hamiota, Manitoba, on March 15th.

March 16th was a noteworthy date in the history of exploration and development of this northern area. On that day Snow Lake started to take power from their new fifty-mile power line which taps onto our power system at Sherridon. Hats off to another group of courageous mining men with faith in this country. We hope their faith will be fully justified. More power to them.

On March 10th the local flying club got away to a fine start. Instructor Bob Ferguson, of Flin Flon, flew up and gave the first air-borne instructions. He plans to come up every Monday and stay over if necessary until Tuesday afternoon. To date those taking instructions include Cece Cameron, Neil Rutherford, Father Landry, Al McMillan, Roy Bunn, Harry Olson, Lowell Christensen, Ches Henry, Gladys Rogers and Vera Enticknap.

Company boat on Reindeer Lake.
Northern Water Transportation.
Tractor trouble through the ice.
This tractor just salvaged from 30 feet of water on Barrier Lake.

The Province of Saskatchewan has freighted in considerable building material to the settlement across the river from here, on Sandy Bay. We understand the construction of a new school and an outpost hospital will start this Spring.

Messrs. Cameron, Whiteley, Henry, Westbury, McMillan, Christensen, Shaw and Hagberg attended the big Flin Flon bonspiel. The latter four managed to win fourth prize in the Keddie Trophy.

Resting on the Portage.

Winter Freighting Scenes, 1947

Number 3 » July 1947
Dan Morasty, old timer, is now working
on the sixth unit.

HERE we are in the middle of break-up again, but like the old grey mare, it ain't what it used to be, thanks to modern aviation and engineering. We had our last plane in on skis May 3rd on the forebay. This would normally have been our last plane until open water when they could come in on floats. Not so this spring. A day or so after the planes stopped winter flying operations, Walter Leslie, our shop mechanic, got something in one of his eyes and required medical attention. Chief Pilot Alex More had the Harvard standing by on wheels on the air strip at Channing, all ready for just such an emergency. In short order he landed on, and took off from our new landing strip just as though it were a regular routine flight. Sounds very simple doesn't it, but behind this single flight stands many hours of careful planning and the application of advanced aviation engineering. And thus the anxiety of the break-up and freeze-up periods was dispelled from the minds of our citizens after seventeen years of such. If you can realize what it meant for people with small children to be isolated in the bush for a month each spring and fall, you will readily understand that May 7th, 1947, will long be a memorable date in local history. All through break-up arrangements were made with Bob Ferguson to keep us supplied regularly with mail, etc. He flew his Piper Cub on wheels between the air strips at Channing and Island Falls.

In addition to about 30 men on construction, we have a few staff changes to record. Just before the break-up Miss Audrey Rogers arrived in camp to take over stenographic duties in our general office. Prior to coming here she was employed for 18 months at the Clearwater Lake Sanatorium. Audrey's home town is Glenboro, Manitoba. Early in May, Laurie Blachford joined our operating staff for the summer. Laurie is a third year engineering man from the University of Saskatchewan. We welcome to our little community, Bert, Anna and Lorraine Pelletier. Bert is our commissary manager. He arrived here early in April immediately after his discharge from the army.

"Ches," Marge and Robby Henry, a happy family.

Fred Bowman and Ruth Bunn romped through the break-up badminton tournament with 9 wins and only one loss. There were 11 couples in this tournament. At time of writing the break-up bowling tournament is just going into the play-offs. There are 3 squares in this tournament. Roy Bunn and Audrey Rogers won one square, Harry Olson and Vera Spencer another. and the other square was won by Art Wenman and Estella Maxwell.

On April 9th the Douglas Russell family were blessed with the arrival of a brand new son, Jeffrey Douglas. Also in the vital statistics department we have much pleasure in announcing the marriage of George Barnard and Irene Virgin. They were married in Winnipeg on March 28th. Best of luck to you, George and Irene.

Oscar Webb and Charlie Heather, on duty.

Audrey Powlett enjoys a bit of sunshine.
Gus Henning, the "chef of chefs."

On May 16th Island Falls had its first operetta. It was Hansel and Gretel, presented by the Island Falls school children under the direction of Miss Estella Maxwell and Miss Vera Enticknap, our teachers. Irene Olson officiated at the piano in her usual charming and efficient manner and our genial superintendent, Mr. Davis, proved a very able chairman. After the performance the children were treated to a grand surprise lunch, served in the dance hall, under the supervision of Children's Chairman Oscar Webb, assisted by several mothers and fathers. The leading parts in this operetta were taken as follows: Peter, the Broommaker, Lowell Christenson; Gertrude, his wife, Gala Wachowich; Hansel, their son, Peter Spencer; Gretel, their daughter, Joan Broster; Witch of Ilsenstein, Nancy Spencer.

The boating enthusiasts are busy getting lined up for another big season. Harry Whiteley has a fine new cabin cruiser which he brought up from Channing last winter by Linn freight. It was formerly owned by Dr. Bob Jacques. Pelly Hagberg is anxiously waiting to try out his smart new plywood runabout.

The 6th unit construction work got under way early in April with a crew of approximately 30 men. This will be increased after break-up. We plan to report in more detail on the construction work next issue, at which time we hope to have some inter- Art Enman and Estella Maxwell

Number 4 » September 1947
Audrey Rogers of the Office Staff comes
to us from Glenboro.
Diver goes below into Discharge
Section of new Sixth Unit.

THE weather man arranged excellent weather for our Dominion Day holiday. From the flag raising ceremony at 10 a.m. through to the big dance in the evening everything went according to plan. There were races of all kinds for young and old, bingo game, dart game, crown and anchor, miniature golf, a ball throwing contest and, last but by no means least, the refreshment booth, with its cold pop, colored ice cream and those delicious beefburgers and porkburgers, with or without onions and done to any turn by that famous hamburger cook, R. W. Davis. We also had a first class mixed ball game in the early evening.

Ellen Eccles flew down to Detroit on her annual vacation in June and arrived back Mrs. Ed Hays. Ed was stationed here for a year or so during the war with the U. S. Army Weather Station and is well known locally. The best of everything to you both. Our records indicate six local girls are now happily married to men who were stationed here with the U. S. Army Weather Station during the war.

Our tailrace water is up about twelve feet higher than normal this summer in an effort to wash out Channel A about 12 miles down river from the plant; this may have something to do with the fact that the pickerel fishing doesn't seem to be as good as other years, but what we're losing on the fishing we're gaining on the swimming, for there are some dandy swimming spots right close to home this year.

The golf course has been busy since early summer. Golf chairman Ches Henry arranged several interesting events. The first called a Monopoly Novelty tournament, was won by Bert Pelletier with a score of zero for five holes, while Vera Spencer won the high side with a score of 652 for five holes. The two top numbers in the men's handicap tournament were Bill Shaw and R. W. Davis. At time of writing there is a Match Play tournament for men, as well as one for ladies on the go, but it is too early to pick the likely winners.

To mention some of our staff who vacationed at distant points, the Spencer family journeyed to Toronto, the Christensen, Olson and Grayson families to B.C., and the Barkwells to sunny California, and believe it or not they all seemed happy to be back home in Island Falls again.

Mr. and Mrs. Alf Bailey left Flin Flon on June 17th to reside in Vancouver. Alf was our shop machinist from 1932 until his retirement in June. Alf and Kitty will be greatly missed in our little community. We wish them many happy years amongst their many friends and relatives at the coast. Alf is the second member of our staff to go on pension; the first, Jerry Cure, is busying himself doing a bit of commercial fishing on Belcher Lake.

The local flying club is still going strong. On June 18th his fourteenth birthday, Lowell Christensen became the first member to solo, followed closely by Cece Cameron who now has 15 hours of solo flying to his credit. Island Falls has its first private aircraft, owned by Neil Rutherford. Early in June Neil took some of his holidays, slipped down to Port Arthur and bought himself the BUR, a Piper Cub, and flew it back to Island Falls.

Number  5 » November 1947

6th Unit construction.

Geo. Barnard, retired.

Margie and Tommy Cameron with Bud Davis.


EARLY in September saw our university men hiking back to their respective schools: Fred DuVal to medical college in Winnipeg, Stan Roberts and John McCulloch to engineering at U. of M., Winnipeg, and Lawrie Blachford back to the University of Saskatchewan to complete his last year in electrical engineering. Best of luck, boys, we're all interested in how you do. Our two-room school got under way September 2nd, with Miss Armstrong in charge of the senior grades and Miss Mills taking on the junior classes. Both teachers come from Saskatoon. We have a total enrolment of thirty children for this term. We are going to miss Gladys, Jo-Ann and Rose Olson, of Whitesand, about camp this year. Instead of coming back to school here, they are attending the girls' boarding school at Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba.

The local flying club has produced two more soloists this summer. Roy Bunn soared aloft all on his own in the Piper Cub trainer DSH on July 22nd, to be followed closely on July 30th by Audrey Rogers, the first lady member of our club to solo. Congratulations to you both. This brings the total of flying club members who are soloing for their private flying licenses to five.

Miss Mary Parker, our playground supervisor during the summer months, left for her home in Rapid City, Manitoba, on September 1st.

We are happy to announce the Wilfred Comeau home, here, was enriched by the arrival of another little northerner, Leonard Emile Wilfred, on August 21st.

Towards the end of July we received a shipment of two dozen young pheasants from the Saskatchewan government. These were released on the Island and seem perfectly happy in their new home.

Our five-hole golf course hadn't been made in par for three or four years until this summer; then, bang, four times in short order. Sid Brown established the course record in August by shooting a pretty 16, two under par. That's going to take some beating. John Spencer and Frank Ryan were the other sharpshooters who broke par this summer.

Miss Parker, playground supervisor.

A report of the journey to Island Falls by the Flin Flon Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in 1947, 
filed by C.C. Setterington:


Several members of the Branch journeyed once more to Island Falls on September 6th, where our newest "Sub" Branch, so to speak is located. As always, Cde. Reece Davis, and in fact all those at Island Falls, did their utmost to make this visit the success it was. A very enjoyable meeting was held in the evening of September 7th at which time five candidates were initiated.

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit Island Falls is well aware of the proverbial hospitality which highlights a trip in which several modes of transportation are employed across the various lakes and portages.. Some "shots" of the trip are shown on these pages.


A novel and somewhat experimental party was held in the Hall on September 12th, at which time the members had an opportunity of bringing their wives and girl friends to a mixed smoker and social evening. Some 200 were in attendance and a very sociable evening was spent enjoying variety turns, etc. Games were played for which prizes were won by a Quiz contest, followed by a lunch.

Co-pilot "Doc" Cressy and transportation master Slim Woods.

Legion members returning from Island Falls with Slim Woods at the helm.

Loaded without the help of the Royal Canadian Engineers.

Number 6 » Christmas 1947

Some beautiful frost formations on the Power and Auxiliary Dams.

Construction work on the new unit.

The Spencer family at home.


THE chief topic of conversation this fall is, of course, the weather, and what weather to be sure. I am writing this on November 2nd. On my way to work this afternoon I picked myself a little bouquet of flowers, dandelions and stink weed but at this time of the year in these parts one picks anything with flowers on it. The pussy willows are out in places and the odd shrub is starting to leaf out, this looks good to us now but it may be tragic for these plants next spring. I also noticed the Johnny Spencer family hiking out into the woods with their picnic basket. Seems to be Johnny's family must be the champion picnickers of Island Falls, they are the first out in the spring and the last to quit in the fall. Last year at this time our planes were out of the water waiting for winter flying operations to begin, but this year there hasn't been any mention of our last float trip—why go to California.

In October Ellen Hays left us to journey south to Detroit to set up house-keeping with husband Ed. Ellen will be greatly missed around the plant office where she had held the stenographic position for the past ten years. We all wish you the best of luck Ellen and Ed. Ellen's job here was taken over by Miss Maisie Gray, formerly a member of the Flin Flon office staff. Maisie is well known in athletic and cultural circles in Flin Flon, especially as a tennis player and cyclist. A few years ago she rode a bicycle from The Pas to Winnipeg, 500 miles. She was also an enthusiastic member of the Glee Club.

Grade I pupils at Island Falls school.

Old timer George Barnard went on pension last fall and moved to Victoria, where we understand he and his wife, the former Irene Virgin, plan to operate a beauty parlor business. Hope you don't get too lonesome for the snow, ice and sub-zero weather you knew so well George.

The summer construction work for the new generator is completed and most of the construction men have left. The outside work is completed on our new cement block freezer building. This building joins our commissary on the north side. The Marion shovel, in the able hands of Harold Bowman, has just about completed the excavations for a new staff house and half a dozen new houses, to be built next summer.

R.W. Davis and a group of young friends.

Congratulations to Slim and Maxine Woods on the arrival of James David, nine pounds even, stripped, on October 10th, another good boatman in the making.

The first big social event of the new season was the annual masquerade dance on November 1st. This event was well attended and a fine array of original costumes was to be seen. If this is a criterion it looks like Island Falls folk can anticipate some very pleasant social gatherings this winter.

Velma Sando and Les Saville spent an October vacation in Winnipeg returning to Island Falls last week as Mr. and Mrs. Les Saville. Congratulations and best wishes.

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.