Northern Lights

Volume 13

Number 1 » March 1954

Wanda Wenman and
Ada Ver Wilghen.
Miss Irene Lengyel.
Nothing like the crisp winter weather for Andy Goodwin.

JUST about the time curling started last fall we got in a couple of imports to bolster up our rinks a bit. One of these dark horses was Wes Adams, well known Flin Floner, and the other was Champ Russenholt of Winnipeg. Wes is on the commissary staff and Champ is operating in the plant. A few days before Christmas, Marie Locker, our steno, was transferred back to the Flin Flon Office and her place here was taken over by Miss Irene Lengyel of Flin Flon.

Between Christmas and New Year, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bailey and children, Wayne, Lawrence and Karen, moved from here to Flin Flon. Harry is working in the warehouse. This fine family is greatly missed in our little community, where they had been very active citizens for the past twelve years.

Now we have a couple of new citizens to introduce. Last August 22nd the Mel Marklinger's new son, Bradley Stewart, was born in Flin Flon, and Marcy Lee McMurdo, Mr. and Mrs. Jack McMurdo's new daughter, was born in Prince Albert, on September 1st. 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 Marian 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.

The gala social event of the season, our 24th New Year's Eve Banquet, was a happy occasion for all. Chef Bill Hessing and his staff provided an excellent turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Dinner was followed by a number of toasts and short speeches, which lasted until about 9 p.m. Dancing got under way just before midnight and continued well on into the night. Many visitors were present from Flin Flon. We were very pleased to have as our official guests for this occasion Mr. and Mrs. Mac Collison and two children from Flin Flon and Mr. and Mrs. Logan Ayre from Winnipeg. Walter Leslie was general convener and Neil Rutherford toast master.

Shortly before Christmas the Marklingers and the McMurdos were able to occupy their new homes.

Despite the very cold weather of January, our winter sports program went along fine. We have nine men's and seven ladies' curling rinks this season—this means our two sheets of ice are kept quite busy. We try to average two games per week for each rink. Our curlers are looking forward to a thrilling weekend of heavy curling when the British Consols District play-offs are held here on January 30th and 31st. The new skating rink built last year is being well patronized. Mrs. Fred Bowman holds figure skating classes regularly for the girls, and under the very able guidance of such senior bombers as Westbury, Brown and Bowman, our boys should be able to produce some classy hockey by spring.

This year we are missing the long tractor trains that used to pass through here en route between Flin Flon and such points as Reindeer Lake and Wollaston Lake. Since the Canadian National Railway was extended to Lynn Lake this traffic goes via Lynn Lake now instead of through Flin Flon.

Commissary manager, Mel Marklinger. Freddy Bowman rushing the season. Real Old-timers. Mr. and Mrs. Merasty of Pelican Narrows.

Number 2 » June 1954

Lowell Christensen gives friend
a lift on his scooter.

Diver Fred Bader dressed to descend
into sluice gate openings.

Ugh! but it's cold outside. Bowman, Jeffrey,
 McMillan, Russell, Christensen and Brown
lifted this block of ice from the forebay recently.

Who says bears don't swim.
Bruin doesn't seem to need any help.



WE have often found the weather a help in making conversation, especially when short of talking material. This time we seem to be short on news for our write-up so we decided to fall back on the weather. As we write (May 1) it has all the appearance of January 1st outside. We still have fifteen inches of snow on the level in the bush. The bombardier, snowmobiles, and airplanes are operating on regular winter schedule. It was five below zero this morning (May 3rd), and we have had nine inches of new snow this past week. This has been the most backward spring for many years.

Nurse Florence Fraser left us in April. We believe she planned to go to Florida to visit her sister, Mrs. E. Bailey, a former Flin Flon resident. Miss Barbara McClughan is our new camp nurse. Barbara graduated in Brandon a year or so ago and calls Winnipeg her home town. Mr. and Mrs. Mel Marklinger and their two children left here the middle of April. On Mel's departure Bert Pelletier took over the management of our commissary. April 30th was retirement date for old-timer Baptiste Richard. Baptiste lives at the Sandy Bay settlement and plans to continue to make his home there amidst his many friends and in the north country he loves so dearly. As I have said many time before, we never go to press without being able to report at least one new baby. This time we are fortunate enough to have two new citizens. Joy Patricia is a new member of the Bob Tanner home, born April 10th. The Ches Henry home was blessed with the arrival of a new daughter on April 27th. We would also like to introduce David Goodwin at this time. David is five years old and is the adopted son of Andy and Marion Goodwin.

One of the highlights of the spring social season was the curling wind-up smoker, held on April 24th under the able management of Walter Leslie, our social chairman. The members enjoyed smorgasbord style lunch, cards, light refreshments and music by the Harmony Trio. Supt. Rees Davis presented the curling trophies and prizes won during the past year.

Guess it's just typical of how the north is being rolled back, but it's all so sudden. A few years ago we didn't have a single motor vehicle, not even a truck, just a steady old black mare (Kate) and wagon. We were really a one-horse town then. But now nearly everyone has a jalopy, ranging from the early thirties to the late forties. I just made a mental run down one of our streets and counted thirty-two. There is also one across at the Sandy Bay settlement owned by Johnny Merasty. We haven't quite got to the parking meter stage, but we do have traffic signs and a traffic commission. Most of these old cars are used by the boating enthusiasts to commute between their homes and the boat pens on the forebay.

There was a fair amount of activity amongst the boating fraternity this spring. Leonard Ray purchased a snappy "build it yourself boat kit" from Simpson-Sears and ended up with a fine little plywood craft. Jack Barkwell is hard at work on a house-boat job. Cece Cameron, Pelle Hagberg, Kjell Hvidsten and Bill Hammond built row boats. Walter Leslie did a major alteration on his all-aluminum cruiser. He split it clean in two down the middle and made it eighteen inches wider, raised the sides and added a new cabin.

The first of June will see another fine fishing camp in operation in the Golden Lake area. Doug Russell is pioneering this venture and plans to cater to visiting sportsmen. Doug has a fine camp, surrounded by lakes that provide excellent walleye and northern pike fishing.

Summer at Island Falls is the time when children really enjoy themselves.


The Island Falls Community Club building.

During the past winter Bill Grayson built himself a home on wheels. It consists of a large, bright, plywood room on the back of a small truck. It is fixed up with sleeping and eating facilities, electric lights and air conditioning, a veritable "home away from home." The Grayson family plans to use it for a trip to Calgary in July to take in the Stampede.

That brings to mind that wonderful time of the year—vacation time. The Ernie Westbury family are motoring to the Pacific coast in August and will be visiting Phil Andrekew, a former Flin Flon senior Bomber hockey great. The Al McMillan family leaves early in June to visit in Minnesota and Wisconsin for a month. The rest of us will holiday at home—still paying for the trip we had last year or trying to save a few dollars for next year's trip.

Number 3 » September 1954


Recent view of power plant from forebay.

THE weather-man fixed us up with a beautiful day to celebrate our country's eighty-seventh anniversary. All in all it was one of the most enjoyable Dominion Days on record, right from the flag raising in the morning to the well attended dance in the evening. There was a full program of sporting events for young and old. The large bingo game was very popular but the busiest and most popular spot was as usual the refreshment booth with its hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and pop. This occasion, set aside to honor our country's birthday, was truly a memorable day here.

We are short on vital statistics this time, no births, marriages or deaths to report but we should do better next issue.

Marilyn Lommer, Miss Dutli and Elnora Lommer are teaching at Sandy Bay School.

However, we have a few new faces in our midst. We had Don Myrvold and Walter Goy, two electrical apprentices from Flin Flon with us for June, July and August. The boys finished off their apprenticeships here. Pat Mcintosh was back with us for the summer, pinch-hitting on the dining hall staff during holidays.

Our swimming pool has just finished one of its best years. June and July were hot and dry, ideal swimming weather. We had Miss Gloria Hunter of Winnipeg in charge of our children's recreational activities for the summer. She conducted a fine program, especially at the pool, having fine success with her swimming classes.

When it comes to taking a trip, you have to hand it to our chef, Bill Hessing. Last spring Bill took off by plane and kept right on flying until he reached Germany, the third day after leaving here. He holidayed with his mother and relatives throughout Germany and Switzerland. He flew home again, thus enabling him to spend four of his five weeks vacation in Germany.

Our five hole golf course was popular as usual again this summer. The new mowers purchased last spring kept the fairways in good shape—no more lost balls on the fairways. The club was well represented at the inter-town golfing tournament held at The Pas this year. Our stalwarts were Sid Brown, Glen Grigg, Walter Leslie and Art Wenman.

Sid Foden and his wife Margaret in a moment of comfort and relaxation.

Anna Pelletier and Nurse McClughan. That's Bert Pelletier chained to the kitchen sink.
There's lots of happy social life at The Falls.

There was a great program of landscape gardening here this summer and a number of fine lawns were developed. Think I'll get an agency for power lawn mowers. You won't know this modern little city this time next year. Quite a number of new cement sidewalks were laid and we have one new house under construction.

Our new Indian commissary was completed and got off to a fine start under manager Tom Willey. A new Indian change house is also in operation alongside the new store.

The local berry picking enthusiasts had a good summer. The strawberry crop was excellent, followed by a fine crop of blueberries, raspberries, and moss berries. By the way—fishing was good too—what a country!!

Number 4 » Christmas 1954

Bill Grayson's home on wheels

Constable Robert Fraser, R.C.M.P.,
and Mrs. Marian Fraser.

Staff house for single men and visitors.


The young and the beautiful enjoying the sunshine.

Moise Morin with 6'3" sturgeon weighing 100 lbs. taken from the Churchill River. He got one last year weighing 225 lbs.

  Kjell and Sissel Hvidsten
 at Hallowe'en.

SINCE the last issue of NORTHERN LIGHTS, we are pleased to announce the arrival of four brand-new citizens: Catherine Anne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bunn, born Oct. 9; Gordon Gerald, son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Grigg, arrived August 10; Cindy Margaret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack McInnis, arrived August 7; and Maria Gayle, who arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hammond, September 25.

Fred McIntosh and Ish Holmes are welcome additions to the staff. Fred is on the operating staff and Ish always has a smile for the ladies shopping at the Commissary. These two young stalwarts are proving to be a welcome addition to our curling club.

Two former members of our teaching staff, Helen Lebo and Yvonne Verhelst, have returned to take up teaching duties here again after spending the past year travelling in Europe.

Jim Dawns has taken over the duties of field officer for the Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources from Vernon Evans, who left Sandy Bay in July.

Champ Russenholt and Wes Adams have returned to further their education at the University of Manitoba after spending the past year in our midst.

The construction of the new pipeline from the plant to camp was completed in the late summer.

Our curling rink is sporting the "new look," having been all dressed up in a new coat of paint. Since our curling rink is a popular spot all winter we are enjoying the improvements made to the waiting- rooms.

Our Hallowe'en festivities were a big social success. The "young fry" turned out arrayed in weird and varied garb for their annual party, which, judging from appearances and noise, was all they hoped it would be.

Island Falls residential area.

We expect Harold Jacobson of Whitesand will be paying us several social calls this winter since he is now the owner of a Piper Cruiser airplane.

The trading post at Sandy Bay, operated by the Shieff Bros. for the past quarter century, has been taken over by Jim Ripley, our local M.L.A.

If you have a new beaver coat in mind, this is the year as beaver are very plentiful in this area. Moose also are reported to be plentiful in these parts.