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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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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
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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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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Old Posted Aug 21, 2018, 1:52 PM
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Interesting story about the Suzanne E, I've spent a lot of time around Lake Winnipeg but I had never heard of it. My Dad is from a place not too far from Hecla Island and I don't recall him ever mentioning the incident either...
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2018, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
Interesting story about the Suzanne E, I've spent a lot of time around Lake Winnipeg but I had never heard of it. My Dad is from a place not too far from Hecla Island and I don't recall him ever mentioning the incident either...
I also had a lot of family from the Gimli area but none of them seemed to recall hearing about the Suzanne E either. It's surprising how many disasters seem to be forgotten over the years, two other notable ones I can think of is a plane crash that killed eight residential school students and a pilot when going home for summer in 1972 and the Battle of Mepawaquomoshin that killed 597 Sioux in 1851.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2018, 5:54 PM
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide.
Obviously along time ago and no one would be even remotely alive today directly or indirectly but I’m suprised by how many people pass by the area numerous times and have little or no idea of the event.
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Old Posted Aug 26, 2018, 8:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kel View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide.
Obviously along time ago and no one would be even remotely alive today directly or indirectly but I’m suprised by how many people pass by the area numerous times and have little or no idea of the event.
And there is an awesome interpretive centre at the site, operated by the Province of Alberta.

https://frankslide.ca/
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Old Posted Aug 30, 2018, 8:19 PM
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And there is an awesome interpretive centre at the site, operated by the Province of Alberta.

https://frankslide.ca/
Even worse is that we learned about it in elementary school as part of school curriculum. This is more of a sad indictment on people.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 1:46 AM
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Newfoundland has so many marine disasters, including many sealing disasters that are mostly forgotten, too many to even list here. "The most horrific of these occurred in 1914, when 251 of the country’s sealers died in two separate but simultaneous disasters involving the SS Newfoundland and SS Southern Cross."
https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/...aster-1914.php
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 3:55 PM
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Not from Regina, only been there once, but this event has always been in the back of my mind, possibly because Edmonton also has experienced a catastrophic tornado

Regina Tornado of 1912: Link
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kel View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide.
Obviously along time ago and no one would be even remotely alive today directly or indirectly but I’m suprised by how many people pass by the area numerous times and have little or no idea of the event.
I came across the Frank Slide by accident driving the Crowsnest Pass about 15 years ago. Very impressive just how much of the mountain came down and how it changed the valley. We stopped at the interpretative centre and were very impressed about the quality of the exhibits.

I had never heard of the Frank Slide before happening upon it, and seeing the resulting devastation which is still obvious today. I consider myself fairly well informed on Canadian history, so this was quite a surprise. It just goes to show how one can be influenced by ones own hubris.......
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 4:58 PM
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A big one for me would be the early gold & silver mining in the BC interior. Way back when I was a kid, there was a show called Gold Trails & Ghost Towns that was produced at CHBC TV in Kelowna, hosted by local media personality Mike Roberts and featured historian Bill Barlee. The show featured many of the early mining towns and routes in central BC. Since then I've become quite interested in the abandoned mining towns and sites in the Kootenays, and we've traveled many hydro and fire roads visiting these sites. As time goes by it's getting harder to find preserved mementos of that time in history. My dad still has the Gold Trails set on DVD. Next time I'm back home I think I'll borrow it from him

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_T...nd_Ghost_Towns
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 5:31 PM
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Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
I also had a lot of family from the Gimli area but none of them seemed to recall hearing about the Suzanne E either. It's surprising how many disasters seem to be forgotten over the years, two other notable ones I can think of is a plane crash that killed eight residential school students and a pilot when going home for summer in 1972 and the Battle of Mepawaquomoshin that killed 597 Sioux in 1851.
I always thought that battle took place further south in North Dakota. I've driven by that place hundreds of times and never knew there was such a battle that took place there.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 6:56 PM
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Recently I was walking through the intersection of King West & Simcoe in Toronto's entertainment district and thinking how it's a shame that probably less than a fraction of a percent of the people crossing that intersection knew that it was once referred to "education, legislation, salvation and damnation": https://www.blogto.com/city/2012/10/...ng_and_simcoe/

It would make for a more interesting city if we remembered and commemorated such little local quirks. I think a plaque would do.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2018, 12:28 AM
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1946 American Overseas Airlines Crash

All onboard were killed, 39 people. The flight was made up of primarily family members of US military personnel headed from New York to Berlin where they were stationed. The flight stopped for refuelling/crew rest at Stephenville. On take-off the plan failed to gain enough altitude or make the necessary course trajectory change to clear the mountains that surround the town. The plane flew straight into the mountainside at 1100ft.

The crash site is virtually unreachable today, as it was at the time. Bodies of the victims were buried on the hillside and a small cemetary remains. If you can reach the site by foot it's a chilling experience. The wreckage was left there entirely and part of the mountain was dynamited above the site in order to bury it. But many artifacts remain on the surface.

The most prominent reminder in the airfield itself. After the crash, the runway was decommissioned and runway 09/27 became the main runway as it aims straight through valley in the hills. The old runway in still visible on the north and south sides of the main runway today, and the south end is frequently used by tourists as a free campsite in the summer.
Airport satellite view

1868 Arran Stowaways
7 Scottish boys aged 11 to 22 boarded a ship, the Arran, at Greenock in Scotland bound for North America. They were put to work as deckhands, but after becoming seasick they were starved by the crew because they felt it was a waste to feed them since they couldn't keep anything down. After a month at sea the ship drifted in Bay St. George, Newfoundland. The stowaways were ordered overboard when the ship became stuck in ice and forced to walk 10 miles over sea ice to land. 1 fell into the water, another gave up and froze to death on an ice pan.

The BBC did a great story on it this year when the Highlands, Newfoundland historical society unveiled an interpretation site commemorating the event.

The Boys on the Ice
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Old Posted Sep 5, 2018, 8:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kel View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Slide.
Obviously along time ago and no one would be even remotely alive today directly or indirectly but I’m suprised by how many people pass by the area numerous times and have little or no idea of the event.
The last survivor died not all that long ago. It was very famous when I was a kid - on a par with something like the Halifax Explosion or the Springhill Mining Disaster.
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