February 18, 1939

c/o C. M. & S. Co. Ltd.

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

Feb. 18, 1939.

Dear Mother:

My thanks to all of you for my birthday letters.  I don’t know why it is but whatever the occasion your letters arrive on the correct date.

It is too bad that you don’t get a little of our cold weather in exchange for some Okanagan warmth up here.  This weather is much more severe than last year and the cold hardly abates at all.   One morning the thermometers on the two planes here said -60 and -63.  No one here has a good recording thermometer like the one we used to have on the verandah.  The one on the staff house is always ten degrees out.  The days have been brilliantly sunny lately and at noon the temp. is up to about -20 which is quite pleasant if there is no wind.

Gray is back from the Ptarmigan Mine now and for the last few days we have both been busy on the payroll.  Consequently we can take this afternoon and tomorrow off and still have the payroll out ahead of time.  So for the rest of February we should have a very slack time.

We are buying caribou and moose-meat nearly every day now from the Indians to the disgust of most of us in the office.  We have plenty of good beef and mutton stored at Burns & A. and yet we are fed caribou nearly every day.

The latest acquisition of the Con Athletic Association is a piano bought from the defunct Camlaren Mine at Gordon Lake.  This piano arrived just in time for a sing song and dance in the recreation hall last Friday.  The sing-song until [sic] the able direction of our talented surface foreman as master of ceremonies was the more successful half of the program although some of the solo songs could have been improved upon.  Mrs. Ommanney played the piano and did so extremely well.  The floor is not the best for dancing as the nails are beginning to come up and a few of the ladies were losing their shoes regularly.  Mocassins are the only thing to compete with this sort of surface.

Re. the insurance.  As you guessed it was billed direct to me by the Vancouver office last August when I paid it.  I knew you had said you were to take care of it and decided you were by virtue of the deposits to my bank a/c as these come to within a few cents of the premium.

I don’t expect I will wait until C. M. & S. reaches 80 before selling but will probably be satisfied before they reach seventy.  During the last year I don’t remember seeing them much above sixty.  Frequent small gains—a quick turnover—is more profitable if you can take the trouble which I can’t say I am.

Our liquor has not arrived yet.  This is probably due to the R. C. M. P.  as they seemed to wait until they have several permits before sending them in.  However as long as it arrives before break-up it is O.K. with us except that even now it will probably come in under the new and higher air freight rates.

The last show I saw was “Tom Sawyer”.  It was another good show but the program is always spoilt by a western serial which drags on.  Also it seems to take about two or three minutes to change the reels in the feature and between shorts and during these times the audience sits in the darkness and listens to music.  Many people smoke despite signs to the contrary and every time a cigarette is lighted a voice from the back says “no smoking please”.  This has no effect whatsoever.

A Junkers landed here today with a patient who had had both feet badly frozen.  He had put both feet through some ice I think but then had to walk five miles to get home.

Doug. Wilmot should be coming in again on the next plane.  I did not really expect to see him with the company again but glad he is.  I am afraid he won’t get any flying here for awhile as there is not nearly enough flying for the older pilots as it is.  Ben Harrop’s near flying accidents may not have accelerated his decision to retire but he is now working in a soft spot in the fertilizer plant in Trail.  He had been a war pilot.  I think his ship is to be sold to another company for the Vancouver Zeballos run.

with love from


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