Northern Lights

Volume 27

Number 1 Spring 1967

Pelle Hagberg, chief statistician.
Jerry Stringer, TV expert.
Jim Haire, Power Plant operator.
Wally Ariko, Power Plant operator.

WE had no trouble getting Centennial Year off to a good start. We didn't have our usual banquet but settled for a social and dance. The ladies of the community have their Cen- tennial project well under way. A cookbook is being compiled. The idea is to get a recipe or two from every housewife who ever lived in Island Falls. We think this will be a fine souvenir to keep or pass along to friends. It is expected to sell for $2.50. Anyone interested can give us a call and orders will be filled promptly after printing. This is a non-profit project with the price of the cookbook set to cover the cost of the printing.

Automation is moving along. By the time this is published, most will have established homes in Flin Flon. It is expected all families will be moved out by the end of March. Some will be moving in early February. The men will continue to live here in their present homes with just the bare necessities in the way of furnishings until the automation work is com- pleted some time in August. Meals are to be provided at the Company dining room.

Gordon Dash made a trip to Montreal early in January in connection with automation.

We just nicely had Chuck and Isobel Hill moved from here to Snow Lake in the last issue when we heard they had moved on to Esterhazy. Chuck has a warehouse job out there with International Minerals and Chemi- cals.

Just before Christmas the Jim Wandrasek family left to make their home in Esterhazy where Jim will be working with Chuck at the warehouse in the big potash town. Best of luck fellows.

The big sports classic of the winter, the Ladies' Novelty Bonspiel is being held a month earlier this year, over the weekend of January 28-29 with about the usual entry of fifteen rinks. It is a two-way spiel. The primary is known as the Doctors' Event. Dr. Percy John- son and Dr. Peter Premachuk kindly donated a fine trophy for it. This happy social affair helps to thaw out our long winter a bit.

Our British Consols rink of Stan Ferg, Wally Ariko, Jim Haire and Jack Fraser took part in the playoffs in Flin Flon in January and report a pleasant weekend. We had high hopes for this rink, because early in the new year, Stan and Wally each won $1,000 in Flin Flon draws and it looked like their year. It was the second grand prize for Wally. He received word of his first win just as he was starting out on his honeymoon a few years ago.

Despite early heavy snowfall, our winter road to Flin Flon developed into a fine highway by mid-January. It was nice to see Frank Blackmon back at the controls of the big freighting truck.

We understand the Hanson Lake-Island Falls road is now into Pelican Narrows and is to be pushed on toward Island Falls this winter.

Ken Bracken and Jack Barkwell are solving the housing problem in Flin Flon with mobile homes. Ken recently purchased one and Jack built his in his back yard here. He will move it out this winter. The Des Pyne family enjoyed a few weeks at the Pacific coast over the Christmas season.

Roy Bunn, installation of automation equipment. Jack McMurdo, Power Plant operator.
Gene Kostuchuk, pipefitter foreman. Stan Ferg, automation electrician.

Number 2 Summer 1967

"The House that Jack Built." Jack Barkwell's new mobile home was moved down and located in Creighton.


IF there was ever any question about this being a man's town, all doubts have been removed. As of the end of April our population stood at 35 men, eight women, no children and three dogs.

Our automation program was moving along very smoothly and very quickly. Everyone involved is working hard on this project and as a result the work was on schedule and the system expected to be operative by August.

Reliance Services Limited of Flin Flon moved in with their big vans early in February to begin "Operation Big Move." They moved out on an average of three families a week and had the job all completed by the end of March, The whole operation was handled quickly and efficiently.

In the case of this correspondent, the movers started packing us up at 8 a.m. and were finished at noon. The following day the van pulled up to the front door and the loading began. It was all completed by 5 p.m., and our entire household effects were on the way to our new home in Flin Flon that same evening. The winter road from Island Falls to Flin Flon is approximately 75 miles long. There are a dozen portages, the rest of the route being over lakes. It is interesting to note that all these many, many tons of furnishings were moved with only superficial damage in the odd load.

A 14-ton load of household effects all
packed and ready to roll to Flin Flon.

Three generations of the Southworth clan
are shown here. Right to left are Mrs. Bill Southworth, with daughter Ann and granddaughter Signi Frederickson.

Early in February, power plant operator Jim Haire left us to take an apprenticeship with the Manitoba Telephone System in Winnipeg. Good luck James.

When the movers cleared her house out, Mrs. Roy Thompson decided she had better go along too, so we have been minus her valuable services in the general office since mid-March. Our No. 1 Commissary was closed the end of March and all retailing transferred to Commissary No. 2. At this time also, our Commissary No. 1 manager, Garnet Cluff was transferred to the warehouse in Flin Flon.

One of our pictures shows Jack Barkwell's mobile home being moved from here to Creighton on a low bed trailer. There was quite a hangover at the rear. This is "The House that Jack Built" in his back yard, starting last spring just after the snow left. This "trailer" is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide and weighs about eleven tons. It was moved and set up on Jack's lot in Creighton without mis- hap.

Our two schoolrooms were closed at the time of the Easter holidays in late March. Senior room teacher Mrs. Garnet Cluff moved to Flin Flon with her family, and Junior room teacher. Miss Jean King, is taking an educational course in Regina.

The second busiest spot here now is the staff dining room. They are feeding approximately 30 to 40 men at present and this most necessary and vital work is being ably handled by our local ladies, namely, Margaret Jeffrey. Edna Einarson, Margaret Hammond, Delia Benge, Myrtle Leslie, Phyllis Jonasson and Alice McNeil.

Late in the winter, Constable and Mrs. Jack Fraser were transferred to Buffalo Narrows over on the west side of our province. At this time also, Constable John Forai of Buffalo Narrows arrived to take charge of the local detachment.

Our good friend Alex Moore of Hudson Bay Air Transport retired April 30th. Just a few days before his retirement we were pleased to have Alex fly up for a little farewell at which time our Community Club presented him with a token of remembrance and wished him many happy years of retirement.


A familiar sight at Island Falls during February and March in "Operation Big Move."
Begun early in February, the Big Move was completed by the end of March.

Another key figure in our transportation system retired April 30th. On that date Slim Woods decided to leave our Company in order to spend all his time looking after his business interests across the way, in our sister community of Sandy Bay. Over the past quarter century. Slim has been closely associated with our ground transportation. In years gone by he operated the boats on the run between here and Flin Flon, switching over to bombardier transportation in the winter months.

All in all, Slim has had a varied career in our northland. Many years ago he spent several years trapping north of Island Falls. It seems that is where he got his start in the transportation business — mushing dogs. At present Slim is operating a modern retail store in Sandy Bay.

Our little community was shocked to learn of Bill Hessing's death in Saskatoon on April 7th, his 65th birthday. For many years Bill was our genial, cigar-smoking chef. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his beloved wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Marlene.

Number 3   Autumn 1967

Dining Room Staff - This fine group made a major contribution to the automation program. The group includes Margaret Jeffrey, Edna Einarson, Margaret Hammond, Della Berge, Myrtle Leslie, Phyllis Jonasson, Alice McNeil, Mrs. Broster.
Four generations here: Mrs. Herb Stevenson holding great-great-grand-daughter Leslie Ann Marcuk, with daughter Myrtle Leslie and grand daughter Carol Marcuk to her left.
The distaff side of our office personnel, left to right, Barbara Smith, Rose-Marie Ariko and Margaret Warga.
Ted Berge, "Planting Petunias". Constable John Forai, in charge local detachment R.C.M.P.

NEARLY all our personnel changes of late seem to involve the office staff only.

Towards the end of May, Don Dempsey left us to take a job out west. His place at the Transportation desk was taken over by Bert Pelletier junior, of Flin Flon. It was a case of "welcome back" for Bert who spent his early childhood here. His dad was our Commissary manager for some years.

In June, Gerry Thomas, our accountant, left to take a job in Brandon. His duties were taken over by Mrs. Wally Ariko. At this time too, we were very fortunate in having two fine young ladies from Flin Flon join our office staff, Miss Barbara Smith and Miss Margaret Warga. Early in July, Mrs. Alf Broster joined our dining room staff.

Automation is moving along nicely and should be pretty well completed by the time this appears in print.

The new $100,000 addition to the Sandy Bay School is almost completed. This will add three new classrooms and a couple of auxiliary rooms.

It looks like our sole representation at Expo 67 is to be Nurse Ellen Wyatt of Sandy Bay Hospital. Ellen headed for Montreal early in July.

Ken and Doris Bracken spent a busy two weeks in July setting up their fine new mobile home in Creighton. Most of our employees with families in Flin Flon spent their holidays fixing up their new homes, this being the only opportunity they have had for this kind of thing since their families moved into Flin Flon last winter.

All indications pointed to another good crop of strawberries and raspberries and blueberries. Fishing was good too, and those fresh pickerel fillets fried in butter are sure easy to take.

Frank Ray and his surface maintenance crew.

Gregg and Wayne Brazier with "low-flying" Honda.

Number 4 Christmas 1967


BY the middle of October, our new control centre in Flin Flon was functioning normally and we were able to operate the power plant at Island Falls by push button from Flin Flon. There are a few operations at Island Falls that are not automated, so a small crew will be stationed there to attend to such matters and take care of necessary maintenance duties. These crews will be going in and out of the Falls on a revolving basis.

The power and water were turned off at the campsite the end of October, so as of that date the campsite virtually became a ghost town.

All Commissary retail sales were closed the end of September. The Commissary building, containing the dining facilities and the staff house, will be used to feed and house the work crews.

In the late autumn, Grant Berge left our operating staff to continue his education in Saskatoon. Jim Woods joined forces with his dad in their business at Sandy Bay, and Jim Russell moved over to his new home at Sandy Bay. Wayne Brazier left in early September to resume his studies at the University of British Columbia. A large percentage of the Churchill River Power employees from Sandy Bay have taken jobs in the numerous departments of the Company in Flin Flon.

September 25th was retirement day for our genial carpenter foreman, Alf Broster. Alf joined forces with the CRP in the Spring of 1934, He and Doris Paye were married at the Falls in 1935. They have two daughters, Joan of Calgary and Mrs. V. Rowe of Trinidad. Over the years, Alf made a generous contribution to the musical life of our community. Definite retirement plans haven't been settled yet.

Gene Kostuchuk left our employment the end of September to branch out on his own. He acquired an interest in the Arctic Beverage bottling plant in Flin Flon and will manage the business. Gene was plumbing foreman with the CRP the past eight years. Best of luck in your new venture Gene. Don't forget to send around a few samples from time to time.

Superintendent Otto Christensen retired on October 31st. "O.C." as he was widely known, came to the Falls in 1931, shortly after graduating from Calgary Tech. He started out as an operator, but over subsequent years was chief electrician, chief operator, assistant superintendent and, in 1958 was appointed Plant Superintendent.

The three Christensen children, Lowell, Lois and Bruce, were born at Island Falls. Mr. and Mrs. Christensen have acquired a home at Red Deer, Alberta and plan to make their new home in the sunshine province. We would like to wish them many years of happy retirement.

One of the largest groups to go through the Company's surface plants in 1967 was the more than 200 local high
school students in October. The visit by the students served to bring them into direct contact with the operations of  Flin Flon's largest industrial complex. HBM&S staff members acted as guides and commentators for the students who toured the plant in groups of 12. A lineup is shown above leading to the Watchmen's Office, where the young  visitors were equipped with safety headgear before starting out on the tour.

The Saskatchewan Department of Industry and Commerce sponsored Index 67 tour group made a visit to
Flin Flon this Summer and was taken through the Surface plants of the HBM&S. They are shown above,
outside the Watchmen's Office after the tour. Index 67 was designed to bring Saskatchewan businessmen
into direct contact with industries contributing to the economic life of their province.