Northern Lights

Volume 15

Number 1 » March 1956


THE winter of 1955-56 will long be remembered as the year of the big snow. Winter weather set in with a vengeance the first of November and by the end of the year we had recorded sixty inches of snowfall — heaviest in over twenty years. The combination of heavy snow, low temperatures and not too thick ice, brought about a bad slush condition on our lakes — the worst since the winter of 1932-33. Notwithstanding the fact that the deep snow made it difficult to get around, even on snowshoes, in the bush, our moose hunters enjoyed a good open season in December. Most of them managed to bag one of the big fellows. That's when the work begins. Only a keen hunter can enjoy skinning, dressing, cutting up and packing out a thousand pound moose, perhaps several miles to a winter road, through snow up to his waist.

Commercial fishermen in this area have experienced very trying conditions this winter with so much snow and slush and high winds filling in roads continually. These same conditions made winter travel on trap lines tougher than in normal years.

Shortly after Christmas Joanne Olson left our dining room staff to take a job at Lynn Lake. She will be closer and a bit handier to her home at Co-Op Point on Reindeer Lake. Early in January Daireen Grayson left her office job here to take a secretarial course in Regina. Lois Christenson took over Daireen's office work here.

Our Christmas school concert was a happy occasion for all who were able to take in this affair. The children supplied us (and themselves) with two hours of excellent entertainment under the talented direction of teachers Kay Oliver and Shirley Currie.

Deep snow in the early days. Howard McIntosh 20 years ago. Don't believe it, he didn't catch that one.
Island Falls transportation 1933

Each year it seems our New Year's banquet gets just a little better. Perhaps it's our years of experience at putting on this grand affair. This was our twenty-sixth consecutive annual banquet. The duties of toastmaster were ably handled by Club President Stanley Ferg. H.B.M. & S. Co. Ltd. representatives on this occasion were Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Morrice and children and Mr. and Mrs. George Kent and daughters. Much credit for the success of the evening must go to general chairman Walter Leslie and chef Bill Hessing. The delicious four course dinner was followed by a number of short after-dinner speeches. Those who spoke briefly included Stan Ferg, Otto Christensen, Constable George Morton, Fred Bowman, Margaret Jeffrey, Sid Brown, Harry Wennerlund, Jack McInnis, R. W. Davis, Bob Tanner, George Kent and Sandy Morrice. We were fortunate in having a large number of visiting guests. We hope our visitors realize how much they contribute towards the success of this happy occasion. We like to think the visitor is always "king" at Island Falls. As you know, we don't have train or bus service, nor a highway for cars but with the kind co-operation of our good friends the H.B.A.T., I think you'll agree we do pretty well at getting our visitors in and out on schedule. All our community and social activities seem to have taken on new life in recent months—just bursting at the seams as it were. People must be eating more yogurt. At any rate there is never a dull moment for young or old. The scouts under Pelle Hagberg and Bert Pelletier, have a full program of activities on the go. The Girl Guides and Brownies under Mrs. Westbury, Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Henry, have an interesting program the year 'round.

Cub Master Fred Bowman and Asst. Cub Master Scotty Boyes have built up a strong cub organization. Our Sunday School membership is at a new high under the fine leadership of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Olson, Mrs. Christensen, Mrs. Birston, Lois Christensen and Evelyn Cluff.

Square dancing was introduced for the first time last Fall and immediately became popular. There is no telling what may come out of this venture but after only six months we find we need a new floor in the hall with much stronger reinforcements under it.

Bowling, badminton, kids' hockey and figure skating are all on the go as usual. Curling is our major winter sport. We have seven men's and seven ladies' rinks in our regular curling. We had 16 in our novelty spiel and 10 in our depart- mental spiel. Stan Ferg's rink of Glenn Grigg, Andy Goodwin and Kjell Hvidsten made practically a clean sweep of our regular curling squares. Congratulations, boys.

Perils of winter freighting. Train through the ice in '33.

Our remodeled, freshly painted refreshment nook at the curling rink has proved a fine addition to this great sport. Our lady curlers operate this spot on a revolving voluntary labor contributing basis. They keep it well supplied with attractive home baking plus the proverbial "hot dogs" and coffee. Of course we give them a good deal on this concession—no charge for power and lights.

The Indian boys across the river at Sandy Bay have a large walled-in open air rink and from time to time, their hockey team swoops down on our boys at the local arena. Here, mere words fail to describe what takes place. Just think of action, then multiply that by say, ten.

Number 2 » June 1956

Island Falls Girl Guides.


The Sid Brown family.

WELL here we are enjoying the good old summer time again — swimming, fishing, golf, gardening, motoring, boating, sun bathing, etc. What a country! In fact it's hard to stay indoors long enough to get the Northern Lights report written up, but guess one mustn't get carried away with this light summer air.

We had quite a population movement in April. The Helmer Larson family left us to take up residence in Creighton. They have gone into business there in partnership with Ronnie Simpson. Helmer and family were here about six years. Prior to coming here Helmer had roamed this vast north country far and wide. He is well known from The Pas to the D.E.W. line among the trapping and fishing fraternity. Years ago he was in the wood business in Flin Flon. Locally Helmer is known as the man who introduced the automobile to the Cree Indians and thereby brought about striking changes in the lives of our native people — a dog team has become a rare sight.

Scout Master Pelle Hagberg and bert Pelletier with Scout troop.

Leaders Fred Bowman and Scotty Boyes with their Cub pack.

Ronald Simpson left us in April also. As mentioned above he has gone into business partnership in Creighton with Helmer Larson. Ronnie had lived here for eight years. He was on the operating staff for a while but in late years held down the stockroom and transportation jobs.

Before coming here Ronnie was a pilot with our H.B.A.T. for several years and prior to that had flown for the Manitoba Government out of Lac du Bonnet.

Camp Nurse, Miss Iris Kohnen left us the end of April. Iris was here about a year. It seems life just wasn't the same here after Ronnie Simpson left.

Ches and Marg Henry with Bonnie,
Bob and Terry.

Stan, Audrey and Gordon Ferg Goalie Ronnie Barkwell.

Constable Bob Fraser and family were transferred to Flin Flon last winter. Bob had been stationed here for two years. He took an active part in our Community affairs in general and was interested in all kinds of sports. He was one of our top curlers and figured consistently in the prizes. While stationed here Bob married Miss Meriam Page of Biggar, Sask., and their son Kelly was born here. Constable George Morton who came here from Dauphin is now in charge of the local detachment of the R.C.M.P.

The annual badminton tournament of northern champions was held here over the weekend of March 24th, 25th. The players arrived by chartered plane Saturday afternoon and flew out on Monday morning. There was one plane load from Snow Lake and another from Flin Flon. Tournament and social play, intermixed with social functions held sway over the weekend. Our club won all tournament events.

Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Morin of Sandy Bay. Mr. and Mrs. David Merasty
on their wedding day.

The Jack McInnis home was blessed with the arrival of another fine daughter, Suzanne on February 29th. This brings Jack's young family to three daughters now—no boys yet.

On March 21st Ross Thomas arrived at the McMurdo home. This brings the McMurdo family to Mom, Pop, Lynne, Marcia and Ross Thomas.

Mixed hockey players—Flin Flon and Island Falls

The lady curlers staged their annual curling wind-up Saturday evening, April 21st. As usual this was one of the major social affairs of the winter season. It took the form of a banquet complete with toasts, after dinner speeches and presentations. A couple of hours of pleasant entertainment followed.

The men held their curling wind-up April 28th in the form of a smoker, at which Supt. R. W. Davis presented the curling awards.

The late Mrs. Louis Morin.

On April 7th the North lost one of it's oldest inhabitants in the death of the late Mrs. Louis Morin of Sandy Bay. This remarkable old lady was virtually the mother of Sandy Bay village. She married Louis Morin, the first Hudson's Bay factor at Pukatawagan in 1883 and their twelve children were born there. After Louis' death the family moved to Sandy Bay. About fifteen years ago an accident necessitated the amputation of one of Mrs. Morin's legs. Notwithstanding this handicap she continued to get around amongst her family as usual until this past winter. She leaves to mourn her at Sandy Bay, ten of her own children—of whom the eldest is a son aged seventy two — sixty-one grandchildren, fifty-two great grand-children and two great, great grand-children. There are seventeen families living at Sandy Bay now who are direct descendants of this fine old matriarch.

Number 3 » September 1956

Garnet and Evelyn Cluff with their two sons.
Alex and Sadie Strindlund

Scotty, Wilda and
Douglas Boyes

Jack McInnis and family.

Bob and Eleanor Tanner and daughters.


With summer a thing of the past for another year we find ourselves settling down to Fall activities once again.

During June, July and August, our holiday months, we note the usual number of "trippers".

Mr. and Mrs. A. Wenman and Wanda went to take in the bright lights of New York. The Bert Pelletier family motored to the west coast in July, and the Grayson family also took a jaunt out west in their "home on wheels". Neil Rutherford and sons Jerry and Neil also motored, to Vancouver. Since some must work while others play, Slim Woods and his crew spent a busy summer on our new summer road to the South.

Towards the end of August Pelle Hagberg and his Scout Troop spent an enjoyable and very profitable time camping up the river.

We were also pleased that the Flin Flon Canoe Club—some fourteen strong—chose to pay us a visit during July.

Our July 1st celebration was the usual big success. We were favoured with fine weather. Following the Flag Raising ceremony at 11 a.m., field and track events were run off. The hot-dog stand and bingo tables drew the crowds all afternoon and festivities were brought to a close with a dance in the evening.

In the newcomers department we welcomed Margaret Wright of Saskatoon who was our recreational director this summer.

Tim Davis of Prince Albert worked here for the summer and left to resume his studies at McGill University in the Fall.

Mr. and Mrs. Eddie O'Neal and children, of Flin Flon, also spent the summer months here. Eddie is an electrical apprentice.

In the vital statistics department we have two weddings to report. On June 9th Dorothy Davis was married to Mr. William Parker in Salt Lake City. Mr. and Mrs. Davis and Bud attended the wedding. On June 28th Lowell Christenson was married to Miss Ann Rosengrew of Calgary and they spent the summer here with Lowell's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Christenson.

Each Fall we have to report more students going out to attend high school. Bob Henry is going to Caronport, Sask. Sharon Brown attended Brandon College and Ann Southworth goes to Luther College, Regina.

Oldtimer Slim Woods and family.

Roy and Ruth Bunn.


Number 4 » Christmas 1956

Mr. and Mrs. Sid Brown and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Bert Pelletier and children.

WE HAVE some interesting personnel changes to report this time. Bud Rheaume and Monty Bloomfield, both of Flin Flon, joined our operating staff in September. Lois Christensen left the office crew in September to attend Normal School in Saskatoon. We hear she is enjoying her work. After a year on our operating staff, Keith Olson left in September to attend Calgary Technical School. Early in the fall Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Christensen left here to take up residence in Caronport, Sask., where they will study for missionary work. Bruce Christensen is taking a year out of school and is holding down a spot in our stock room; Mrs. Jack McMurdo has taken on the camp nurse job.

Our two-room school got off to a fine start the last week in August under the able direction of Miss Lillian Hunter of Radisson, Sask., and Miss Shirley Hughes of Wilkie, Sask. Miss Hunter has sixteen pupils in grades 5 to 8 and Miss Hughes has fifteen pupils from grades 1 to 4. Our popular mountie, Constable George Morton, was transferred to Leask, Sask., in October and was replaced by Constable Don Brydon who comes from Melfort, Sask.

This 100-lb. sturgeon from Churchill River sold for $1.00 per lb.

Jack McMurdo and Angus Ballantine with muskeg tractor and canoes.

Our prospector friends, Slim Lindsay and Les Saville, were away all summer searching for minerals up Yukon way. They arrived back just ahead of the ptarmigan.

We graduated a fine bunch of young swimmers this past summer under swimming instructor Miss Margaret Wright of Saskatoon. The Red Cross swimming awards were presented by Red Cross president Joe Hetherington at a well attended banquet in the Community Hall.

Our new summer road is getting closer to Flin Flon each year. Slim Woods and crew extended it five miles to the shores of Lake 5 this past summer. We are very proud of this road to the south as it is a source of much pleasure to our citizens. It follows the power line as closely as possible. You have no idea what a thrill it is to be able to hop into your old jalopy and go for a 17-mile drive "down the line."

Mr. and Mrs. Doug Russell with Judy, Dale, Jim, June, Richard and Jeff.

The Hagberg family Rodger, Pelle, Gwen, Edwin.

Our linemen, Bill Jonasson and Jack McMurdo, say the new muskeg tractor is the real McCoy for travelling along the power line. It is equipped with wide rubber tracks and has proven ideal for crawling across muskeg bogs as well as climbing rocky ridges. They use it to great advantage for patrolling the power line from here to Flin Flon, a distance of sixty miles. They move it across the narrows at Mari Lake on a raft. Spraying equipment is mounted on this muskeg tractor for spraying the power line right of way with a brush killing 2-4-D chemical. The linemen completed the spraying of the line all the way from here to Flin Flon this past summer.

Tom Willey's charming daughters Judy and Betty.
Gladys and Arlene Birston.

Our boys had a good go at the moose this fall during the special Trophy season in September. Most hunters managed to topple one of the big fellows. Ruffed grouse, spruce grouse and ducks were plentiful this year but we do not havs good duck hunting near by. We have a few, very few in fact, sharp tailed grouse and a fair number of ptarmigan. Ptarmigan are rather poor eating, very dry dark meat lacking in flavor. We see few geese—seem to be off their fly way. We do not have any pinnated grouse, pheasants, Hungarian partridge or sage hens up here.

Last September Harry Olson and Ernie Westbury attended governor school at the Woodward governor plant, Rockford, Illinois. They flew both ways, had a week at Rockford and report an interesting trip all around. Merry Christmas to all.

Mechanics Ken Bracken and Joe Morin.