Article: A Notable Achievement

  • God's Lake
    October, 1935, Canadian Airways Limited Bulletin

    Three summers ago, Mr. R. J. Jowsey, a well-known Canadian prospector, flew into God’s Lake area, Northern Manitoba, and, acting on information published by the Dominion Geological Survey, immediately made a sensational gold discovery. After preliminary investigation followed by drilling and exhaustive exploration, it was decided to erect a mill.

    Elk Island, where the discovery was made, is situated approximately 120 miles from the Hudson Bay Railway and 160 miles from Norway House, to which point a good lake route is available for transport of supplies from Winnipeg. It was decided eventually to freight the heavy machinery in from Ilford on the railway by means of caterpillars, and as these could be used only during a two-month period in the dead of winter, the whole campaign required careful organisation.

    From the beginning, aircraft were used for transportation of officials, prospectors, drillers, urgent supplies, mail and emergency requirements. Operating both from Ilford and Norway House, planes maintained constant communication all year round, except at the short periods of break-up and freeze-up. The difficulties overcome by the ground transport organisation would fill a volume, but we are only directly concerned with the part played by aircraft in the bringing of this mine into production. For two years, a regular service has been maintained from the railway and from Norway House, in which at times six Canadian Airways craft have been engaged when there was a rush to obtain supplies.

    Today the mill at God’s Lake Gold Mines is completed, and during the weekend September 14-16, any prominent mining men, business executives and representatives of the provincial government of Manitoba gathered at God’s Lake dock on Sunday evening, were presented with a scene of aerial activity almost without precedent in rural Manitoba. Aircraft were alighting and taking off every few minutes. Amongst those present were Ruddy Heuss (Fairchild, G-CAVV), Paul Davoud (Fokker Super, CF-AJF), Malcom “Jock” Barclay (Junkers, CF-AQW), Ron George (Junkers, CF-AQV), and Engineer Paul Davis. The Honourable J. S. McDiarmid, Minister of Mines, Manitoba, and party, travelled in the new Fairchild, CF-MAI, recently purchased by the Manitoba Government Air Service, with Pilot Uhlman at the controls. In addition there were several planes belonging to other companies engaged in commercial transportation in the area.

    Mr. Jowsey and the officials of the mine were congratulated on their achievements by Hon. J. S. McDiarmid and other visitors at a dinner held in the staff canteen during the evening.

    On Monday, September 16th, parties were conducted through the mill and the working, while others took advantage of the seaplane service and visited developments at Knee Lake, 40 miles distant, also to the plant at Kanuchuan Rapids, from which power is derived, about 35 miles distant from the mine. The hydro-electric plant was constructed by the company at a cost of approximately $750,000. Altogether nearly $2,000,000 has been expended to date on the mine and its accessories.

    Mail is delivered twice per week, and Canadian Airways radio station in charge of Hector McKenzie provides instant communication with the station at Stevenson Airport, Winnipeg, in addition to being in constant touch with other Airways stations in the north. Air distance from Winnipeg to God’s Lake is 370 miles.

    This article originally appeared in the October, 1935 edition of the Canadian Airways Limited Bulletin.

One Response and Counting...

  • Karen 08.11.2015

    My grandfather, J.D. Perrin (1890-1967), the developer and longtime President of the San Antonio Gold Mine at Bissett, Manitoba, has been credited as the first person in the world to hire an aircraft to access a remote mining site, as early as 1919. I should add his second daughter, Miss Sally Perrin, a pioneer female aviator, was tragically killed in a plane crash at age 19 as a flying student at Stephenson Field in 1941. My grandfather was one of the organizers of Wings Ltd., which was later sold to Canadian Pacific Air Lines. John Perrin

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