Great Bear Lake - Evening Guide Newspaper - January 1942

Harold Written by 

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Port Radium Mine Port Radium Mine
A wonderful glimpse into the "social media" of the 1940's …from the Port Hope Ontario - Evening Guide - Monday January 23, 1942.

"Lions Club held unusally interesting meeting on Thursday night.

The Lions Club held their fortnightly meeting at Seaton Hall yesterday evening.

After the dinner the hockey draw took place for the game on Saturday and Bill Lowthian of 42 Pine Street was the fortunate winner.

Bob Wickett on behalf of the Club presented Hugh Coleman [married Gwendolyn Oke] with a lovely coffee table as a wedding gift.

Dr McDerment then introduced the speaker of the evening, Mr Ross, production manager at the Eldorado Gold Mines who spoke on the Great Bear Lake radium mine, where he had been stationed in 1939.

This mine is one of the few in the world that produces radium active minerals. It is also one of the farthest north, lying on the east shore of Great Bear Lake in the Mackenzie River basin. It is situated 15 miles north of the tree line and in winter the temperature falls as low as 68 degrees below zero.

The mine itself consists of a mill power house, dining room, bunk house and three company houses as well as a signal station and post office located a few miles distant.

The mine staff numbers about 100 men and in the neighbourhood are about 400 Indians. In their spare time the staff can fish, ski or use dog teams for recreation. Many of the men have cameras and a favourite subject is the midnight sun which for a period of time in mid-summer never sinks below the horizon.

The mine itself is 800 feet deep and 125 tons of ore can fee moved each day. The most important problem of the mine is transportation. Aeroplanes from Edmonton carry in passengers, mail and light freight and give a year round service except at freeze-up and a period of about a month and a half during the spring break-up.

Food and supplies are brought in from the rail head to the south by water transportation and radium ore is carried back. As a result all planning must be done 1 year in advance. If some item is not brought in before freeze-up it will have to be flown in at great expense.

This far north area known as the Mackenzie River basin is rich in minerals. Great deposits of copper are known to exist in the Coppermine River district and gold, oil and coal have already been discovered.

Mr Ross showed colour films of the district which revealed the rocky, rugged cliffs of Great Bear Lake where the mine is situated. Sunset brings wonderful colour effects. The higher hills remain snow covered throughout the year but lower down, small trees grow

Fishermen will be glad to know that here the fishing is excellent and catches of 15 salmon trout weighing 5 to 25 pounds are quite the order of the day.

Geoff Clack thanked the speaker for his interesting talk and beautiful films.

Secretary Bruce Hyne read the minutes of the last meeting. Several letters were read from soldiers overseas who thanked the Club for the cigarettes they received. A donation to the Chinese Relief Fund was then voted and a proposal to buy jackets and caps for the convention in Toronto was postponed for discussion at the next meeting. R Roberts gave a fine report on the work of the Safety Club with several suggestions for improvements.

The meeting was then brought to a close."

Last modified onThursday, 14 November 2013 17:23
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