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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 2:28 PM
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Dying Memories

What events, disasters, etc. are at risk of being forgotten by time in your province?

The Suzanne E


https://www.redriverancestry.ca/SUZANNE-E.php

The Suzanne E was a small fishing vessel that plied the waters of Lake Winnipeg from 1946 to 1965. She was only 27 metres in length and 75 tons, much smaller than some of the steamboats that also made their way up the 400+ km length of Lake Winnipeg like the famous SS Keenora.

On Friday, September 24th, 1965, the Suzanne E headed out with a crew of ten for the Saturday catch off of McBeth Point in the north basin of Lake Winnipeg.
On-board "Suzie" was Captain Richard Charles Johnson, 32, of Stonewall, First Engineer William Petoski, 24, of Hnausa, Second Engineer Richard Zillman, 63, of Hodgson, Cook Christine Settee, 58, of Riverton, Crewmen Bjorgvin August Holm (58, Arborg), Tache Everett (23, Berens River), Allan Clemons (20, Selkirk), Deckhands Clifford Everett (24, Berens River), Charles Donovan Cook (19, Selkirk) and Passenger Peter Goosehead, 25, of Jackhead Harbour.

That Friday started off with a beautiful morning, but the barometer was dropping quickly that day according to the Goldfield's captain, Clifford Stevens. Stevens took the Goldfield out that morning from Princess Harbour but soon took refuge at McBeth Point, the barometer dropped so low it was clear a storm was brewing. The Suzanne E seemed to have ignored the readings of its barometer, making its way past Gull Harbour where it could've taken refuge, but instead continued northward.
Early in the evening, that beautiful day took a turn, winds exceeding 100 kph whipped the lake. Clifford Everett would later testify that he went to bed shortly after supper but was awoken by the turning of the boat. The boat was violently rocking and the Captain decided to turn the boat back towards Gull Harbour, but soon, the Suzanne E was on its side, submerging the side hatch which was left open and the only door to the bunkhouse, where most of the crew had been. Within two minutes, the Suzanne E was gone. Cook Christine Settee was seen face down and swept away into the waters, but Captain Johnson, Clifford Everett and Allan Clemons clung to some wreckage, a makeshift raft. When they neared Deer Island, Allan Clemons slipped into the water. Captain Johnson and Clifford Everett drifted southwards through the channel, it snowing on and off, towards Gull Harbour, where a boat, perhaps the Lady Canadian, passed them in the dark night. Despite yelling for the ship, they were not heard and continued drifting. Some eight to nine hours after the disaster, Captain Richard Johnson succumbed to the chill waters, the air temperature also below zero. Alone, Clifford Everett was carried onto the shores of Black Island and dragged the body of Captain Johnson onto the beach on the morning of Saturday, September 25th. Everett saw the lights of a fishing cabin on the island and notified them of the disaster that took place the night before. Soon, news of the Suzanne E's loss spread to the entire Lake Winnipeg fishing community.

Over the following two years, the bodies of some victims were recovered, the bodies of William Petoski, Richard Zillman and Peter Goosehead were washed ashore in 1966. Two attempts were made to raise the Suzanne E from its shallow grave only three kilometres north of Grindstone Point, where it lay at the bottom of Lake Winnipeg at a depth of only 14 metres. On one of the unsuccessful attempts in 1967, the body of Bjorgvin August Holm floated to the surface. The bodies of Tache Everett, Clifford's younger cousin and that of Allan Clemons were never found.
Clifford Everett died in 1998 at the age of 57, the sole survivor of Lake Winnipeg's worst tragedy, he was quiet about his experiences in the years after the disaster, but he spoke to the CBC in 1996 for a short documentary about the Suzanne E, which can be watched at the following link http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2676229174

Lake Winnipeg's worst tragedy seems to be little known and being forgotten over the years. Some have called it the "Edmund Fitzgerald of Lake Winnipeg", yet there is no plaque, no commemoration, no book, just the memories that seem to be following the path of the Suzanne E.
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 2:45 PM
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Generally, we are very good at remembering our history - especially events that are at all significant.

For us, the things most under threat here are those which occurred prior to Confederation but for which Canada has an equivalent. Students here probably learn about Canada's suffragettes, not our own. Students today probably learn more about Winnipeg's strike than the St. John's sealers strike, despite the fact the latter had a far greater impact here (and truthfully, probably in Canada). Names and dates for every mark of progress are different - we were a separate country, and usually had a completely different process for just about everything Canadians learn about Canada pre-1949. There are lots of little things that will be forgotten over time - for example, during the Holocaust we took in Jews rejected by the United States and Canada.

But as I said, even then, we largely remember.
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 7:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Generally, we are very good at remembering our history - especially events that are at all significant.

For us, the things most under threat here are those which occurred prior to Confederation but for which Canada has an equivalent. Students here probably learn about Canada's suffragettes, not our own. Students today probably learn more about Winnipeg's strike than the St. John's sealers strike, despite the fact the latter had a far greater impact here (and truthfully, probably in Canada). Names and dates for every mark of progress are different - we were a separate country, and usually had a completely different process for just about everything Canadians learn about Canada pre-1949. There are lots of little things that will be forgotten over time - for example, during the Holocaust we took in Jews rejected by the United States and Canada.

But as I said, even then, we largely remember.
Oh yea I remember learning about a vessel full of Jewish refugees that were turned away from Canada in 1939. Did it make contact with NL after?
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 7:34 PM
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Oh yea I remember learning about a vessel full of Jewish refugees that were turned away from Canada in 1939. Did it make contact with NL after?
There may have been other cases but you're probably thinking of the MS St-Louis, which AFAIK went directly back to Europe.
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 7:41 PM
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Oh yea I remember learning about a vessel full of Jewish refugees that were turned away from Canada in 1939. Did it make contact with NL after?
Oh no, not on that grand a scale - that ship alone had more Jewish people than we let in. It may not have requested to land here - a lot of vessels didn't realize St. John's could give a different response than London.

Speaking of WWII - today is a big anniversary for an event that's often overlooked. Churchill and Roosevelt met in Newfoundland in secret, before the United States even joined the war, to plan what the world would look like once they won:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Charter
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Aug 14, 2018 at 7:51 PM.
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Oh no, not on that grand a scale - that ship alone had more Jewish people than we let in. It may not have requested to land here - a lot of vessels didn't realize St. John's could give a different response than London.

Speaking of WWII - today is a big anniversary for an event that's often overlooked. Churchill and Roosevelt met in Newfoundland in secret, before the United States even joined the war, to plan what the world would look like once they won:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Charter
That’s why it’s always been overlooked.
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Highway expansion (especially going from undivided 2 lanes to divided 4 lanes), practically speaking, is all about political will, not AADT.
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Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 11:31 PM
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The VE Day Riots, the tradition of hanging pirates' skeletons along the Harbour as an anti-piracy effort, the Second Halifax Explosion and resultant minefield that exists to this day, most things about McNab's, George's, and the other Harbour islands, the two collapsed bridges and related Mi'kmaq prophecy, Nova Scotia's connection to the founding of Sierra Leone, specific details on local Treaties, the once-significant manufacturing presence, the once-expansive railway network, the significance of Whitney Pier, various events related to the major American wars, where all those tunnels under Halifax came from and how they were made.
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