Northern Lights

Volume 9

Number 1 March 1950

The settlement of Island Falls.


AS a friend remarked the other day, "It's just one round of pleasure after another in this country; we've just polished off the Christmas and New Year festivities and lo and behold it's time to be thinking about packing up for the Trappers' Festival in The Pas. It's hard to beat this North Country and few ever want to."

Our school children staged a fine Christmas concert a week before Christmas. Much credit is due our teachers, Miss Hazel Green and Miss Dorothy Lalond, and also to Mrs. H. Olson and Mrs. W. Hammond who gave so much of their time to the musical and singing features of the program. The children also deserve a big hand.

Pelle Hagberg and Bill Southworth in control room.

The twentieth consecutive New Year's banquet was held in the main community hall on the evening of December 31st. From general comment I feel free to say this was the most successful of them all. Of course, we've been saying that every year since they started. In the neighborhood of 214 people were seated. There were the usual toasts and responses. Many guests were present from other points. Space will permit mention of only a few: Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Roche, Mr. and Mrs. Alex More, and Mr. and Mrs. Bud Jobin, M.L.A., all of Flin Flon; Mr. K. Van Epps, Mr. M. Elliott and Mr. C. Bars of Illinois, and we felt highly honored to have with us on this occasion, the Hon. T. C. Davis, Canadian Ambassador to China, and Mrs. Davis, and Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Davis and Timmy. The Ambassador favored us with a very enjoyable after dinner speech.

"A" during stop-log replacement.

Nurse Yvonne Cross left at the end of the year to take up duties in the Association Hospital in Flin Flon. Miss Florence Fraser is our new camp nurse, arriving from Toronto the last week in December. Miss Fraser's home is in Swan River, Manitoba.

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hammond and family.

To date this winter we have had two parties of American hunters up this way. Mr. and Mrs. K. Van Epps motored from Illinois right through to Island Falls in a specially built four-wheel drive automobile. These people were our first visitors to motor right through from the United States to Island Falls. Our second party of hunters, namely: C. M. Herringer; J. F. Cedarberg and J. L. Ellinghoe, flew in from Minneapolis. Both parties went north of here and were able to shoot their full quota of barren ground caribou. Local hunters have had very little difficulty bagging the two caribou allowed on each license.

Walter Leslie and his family left here a few days before Christmas, picked up their car in Flin Flon and motored to Minitonas for Christmas. They drove back to Flin Flon a week later and report a fine trip both ways. Good old number ten highway, how times are changing. After spending the summer prospecting in the Yukon, Art "Slim" Lindsay decided it was time for a change, so he took himself off to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, for the Yuletide season. At least three of our boys, Doug. Russell, Bill Grayson and Harry Bailey, plan to take in the Trappers' Festival at The Pas.

Recent addition to south end of plant.

The snowmobile, commonly known as the bombardier type, seems to be ever popular for winter travel in this area. In addition to one operated for several years by the C.R.P. Co., we now have two more being operated by private individuals, Slim Woods and Mathew Noteweyes.

Ice tests made on the lakes between here and Flin Flon on January 9th, indicated 19 inches of excellent ice. The big Linn tractors started north on their first trip the following day. Shieff's Ltd., tractors left here the same day for Flin Flon to load supplies for their far northern post at Lac du Brochet, Manitoba.

A new northern publication has appeared, the Sandy Beach Reporter. This bi-monthly is edited by the teachers of the Sandy Beach school across the river from Island Falls at the Indian settlement. We would like to congratulate the teachers, Mr. J. H. Goertzen and Miss S. A. Nicholls, on the efforts they have put forth to produce this very interesting paper. Long may it continue to be published. We are anxiously awaiting the next issue.

Power Plant from southwest.

Number 2 June 1950


WITH the completion of No. 10 highway into Flin Flon, a number of our boys have felt the desire to possess automobiles. Messrs. Westbury, Olson, Mcinnes and Grigg joined forces and purchased a new Meteor. Neil Rutherford sold his Piper Cub airplane and bought an Austin automobile. Lyle Reid and Pelle Hagberg purchased a 1948 Dodge and Jack Barkwell and Ernie Westbury imported a 1929 deluxe model Chevrolet sedan complete with upholstery. To hop from cars to boats for a few minutes, last winter Ches Henry shipped in from Winnipeg a fine 24-ft. cabin cruiser, Bill Grayson built an 18-ft. inboard motor cabin cruiser, Sid Foden and Scotty Boyes bought nice Peterborough runabouts and 8.1 Johnson outboard motors. Ernie Westbury and Ron Simpson each added a couple of feet to the stern of their boats. New inboard motors were installed by Harry Whiteley, Stan Ferg, Ernie Westbury and Ron Simpson.

In March, Cliff Mcintyre moved from Mile 13 to Flin Flon to work on the electrical line gang. Cliff is a real old-timer on transmission line work in this northern area. He worked on the original construction of our power line between Flin Flon and Island Falls away back in 1928 and for many years patrolled the Sherritt-Gordon power line from Sherridon to Mile 13 where it taps off our power line. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Kennedy of Flin Flon moved out to Mile 13. Roy is no stranger to life in the bush. He was our patrol man stationed at Mile 38 some years ago.

Towards the end of February, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Davis and Bud left for Rochester, Minn., for medical treatment. They then journeyed on to Salt Lake City to visit with relatives and friends for a couple of months. Miss Maizie Gray left our employ March 15th to accept a position in Dr. Wheeler's office in Winnipeg. Miss Myra Pettapiece of Toronto took over Maizie's duties in the office here.

The new six-bed Sandy Bay Hospital, across at the Indian settlement, opened for business the first of April under the supervision of Matron Miazgar. Mrs. Miazgar was formerly in charge of the Cumberland House Hospital.

The two new houses started last fall were completed early this spring and are now occupied by Barkwells and Ver Wilghens. Five new bungalows and a new staff house are to be built this summer. The Roman Catholic Mission across the river at Sandy Bay plan to build a large new church this summer and the Department of Natural Resources are building a new residence for their representative at Sandy Bay.

Harry Bailey is working up a big turn-over at his fish and chip stand across at the Indian settlement. He plans to gradually add new lines such as Bailey's jumbo hot dogs. jellied ptarmigan consomme, baked sturgeon patties and toasted caviar sandwiches, etc.

Doug Russell spent a busy spring preparing his camp at Flanagan Lake for sports fishermen this summer.

One of our teachers, Miss Hazel Green, slipped down to Flin Flon over a weekend to take in the Annual Men's Bonspiel. No doubt Hazel was interested in how the stones drew, drifted, fell off, etc., but there is no doubt in our minds that her chief interest centred about the beautiful stone that landed on the third finger of her left hand. Guess we'll need a new teacher next term.

Number 3 September 1950


MISS Peggy Wilton was our playground attendant this summer. She lives in Saskatoon and attends the University of Saskatchewan.

Early in July Miss E. Atamanchuk came to Island Falls from Flin Flon to join our dining room staff. Alf Edwards arrived early in June to help with our building program. His wife and three daughters joined him here in July. Arriving from Scotland in June was Bob Smith, who has taken up his duties with his uncle, trader Alex Smith, across at the Indian settlement. We had Jerry Phillips, Ralph Wilde and Stan Roberts, all from the University of Manitoba, with us for the summer months. Stan was accompanied by his wife Winnie.

We are happy to have a couple of small statistics to report this time. On April 23rd Glenda Bunn was born in Flin Flon and on June 19th the Doug Russell home was blessed with the arrival of Virginia June.

Linemen Bill Jonasson, Angus Bear,
Charlie Ver Wilghen.
Natalie Wonitowy, early morning.
Nurse Florence Fraser. Tom Willey -- Commissary.

Early in the summer Cece Cameron slipped down to Flin Flon and purchased a beautiful 18-foot runabout boat with 16 h.p. Evinrude motor and brought it home on the boats. This is a boat built by the late Jake Otteson and is surely a masterpiece in solid oak and mahogany with not a nail in it. Needless to say, the Camerons had a great summer on the water.

The only new cabins we know of being built this summer are those of R. W. Davis and Fred Bowman about five miles up the river.

We took a census of the cars and trucks in Island Falls the other day and found we now have three trucks, one panel body delivery, two half-ton deliveries and one sedan.

A muskrat, seemingly taking the view that he was there first, stubbornly refused to move out of our swimming pool during the summer. However, there was plenty of room for us all.

Mr. and Mrs. Merv. Rush. Lyle Reid and Fred Scott
Commissary team.

Number 4 Christmas 1950

Ken Bracken

BABY Wanda Mary arrived at the home of Arthur and Tilley Wenman on August 1st. Art didn't seem to get in near as much golf thereafter.

Several of our old-timers have left for other points. The Charles Heather family left in September for Guelph, Ontario, where Charlie plans to work for the agricultural college until January 1st. Starting the first of the year, Charlie will take a three months course in poultry handling, with a view to going into the chicken business on his own somewhere in southern Ontario. The Broster family left Island Falls on October 2nd. They bought a car in Flin Flon and motored to Sedley, Sask., for a few weeks' visit, then they planned to settle in Winnipeg where Alf will follow his trade of carpenter. We miss these old-timers very much, but wish them every success in their new communities.

Mr. and Mrs. Helmar Larson and two daughters moved from Flin Flon to Island Falls in late September. Helmar took over Charlie Heather's job. Roy Thompson and Frank Kirkland, formerly of Flin Flon, have been with us since early summer. Roy is truck driving and Frank is busy in the carpenter shop.

In mid-summer Miss Myra Pettapiece was transferred from our general office to the office in Flin Flon. Miss Jean Kuleba came from Winnipeg to take over where Myra left off. Miss Gloria Kuleba, formerly of the Winnipeg teaching staff, is teaching our junior room this year. Gloria and Jean are sisters. One of our local gals, Miss Yvonne Ver Wilghen, started normal school in Winnipeg in September. Yvonne has her mind set on a far, far north Indian school when she graduates, the farther north the better, she says — a true daughter of the north for sure.

Walter Woods, chef at the
Island Falls "Waldorf."
Alf. Broster moved to Winnipeg
in October.

We lost Harry Whiteley for the summer. He went to Flin Flon in the spring to work on the new fuming plant and the new Royal Hotel, etc. He returned to Island Falls in the late autumn looking fine after a summer in the South.

Our seven new houses are all practically completed on the outside and two of them are occupied.

Angus Bear, Jr., mechanic and
tractor driver.
Carpenters Etienne McDonald and Alex. Morin.

Free trader, Alex Smith, across at the Indian settlement, has moved his trading post to what was the former Roman Catholic Church. Father Landry started conducting services in the fine new Roman Catholic church in September.

Jack Barkwell, Glenn Grigg, Jack McInnes and Stan Roberts represented
Island Falls in the Northern Manitoba Golf Tournament of The Pas.