June 6, 1939

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

June 6th, 1939.

Dear Father:

Thank you very much for a most excellent description of your visit to Kamloops to see the King & Queen.  It must have been well worth the trip, particularly to see the Queen who form all reports seems to have a most charming personality and a beauty that is not truly recaptured in photographs & paintings.

And many happy returns of the day, for today is your birthday, isn’t it.  I should really have written this letter a few days ago.

Today is some kind of a red letter day for me also as I think and hope that it marks my last day as timekeeper and semi-paymaster.  Tomorrow morning I start to work on a pile of invoices that has been accumulating since flying was resumed.  I have been playing around with them in my spare moments during the latter part of breakup so that the work is not entirely new to me.

Page McPhee has made three trips now bringing passengers each time so that practically all the holidayers have returned well-tanned and fresh for another year—presumably.  Gray came in on the second trip and it is he who will be taking my old work over.  He bought a radio while he was out and it should be in on Thursday.  Oddly enough the most practible [sic] place for it seems to be just over my bed.

Four mining engineers from the U. of A. came in lately for the exploration department.  Two of them were up here last year and have told me where a lot of my friends have gone etc etc.

Eric Randall & John Helliwell, the auditors, are here now, probably for a week or so.

A week ago Sunday we went for another days outing in the sail boat—up the Yellowknife River this time.  We were fortunate in getting a tow up the river as far as the Ptarmigan Mines wharf which is about seven miles from here.  Our goal was the rapids and we were giving [sic] directions which we promptly forgot and with a good tail wind set sail.  Just when we were going to admit that we were completely lost we heard the noise of the rapids.  I should explain that the river continually widens into lakes dotted with Islands and it is often impossible to see where the outlet is—or conversely there are three outlets equally inviting.  There was quite a crowd of Sunday fishermen at the falls some of whom were having great success bait-casting and catching ten to fifteen pound lake trout.  We had our lunch here and fished for a while but without success so we pushed off again.  This time we had to beat up against the wind and had a most frightful time as we could only take very short tacks and the depth of water was most irregular so that in places we touched bottom even without the centre board.  The wind was getting stronger but after a while we couldn’t use the sail at all as the water was to [sic] shallow and we paddled most of the way.  Ptarmigan dock is really off the main route so we didn’t expect to see it again but after paddling through and around two or three lakes we suddenly found ourselves back at Ptarmigan instead of halfway to town as we thought.  I have never been so completely lost in my life and so it was with a great sense of relief that we found the boat that towed us up was still there.  It was about 5:30 then and we decided to walk the two miles to the camp and get something to eat.  We were in sight of the headframe when we met our escort so back we went to the boat and got towed out to the mouth of the river.  From there we started off for town with a perfect sailing wind—too good to last and we finished up with paddles.  It was then about 8:00 and we were very hungry so stopped in at the Wildcat before tackling the last lap.  After supper the wind was up again and we started off at a brisk pace but as before—too good to last.  The wind had brought the ice back with it and the bay was packed solid so that there was no possible route.  We walked home.

This last Sunday I went to Ptarmigan again—this time to play softball.  About thirty went up most us [sic] being in a narrow scow about 30 feet long and driven by a one cylinder in board.  It was dreadfully slow and we arrived en masse just at the lunch hour.  The cook didn’t expect nearly so many but the famous Ptarmigan meal was really good.  The Ptarmigan camp is exactly opposite to this as there is very little surface rock or muskeg and the place looks more like a park than a mining camp.  There are lots of trees around and most of the underbrush has been cleared away so that it really is a gem of a place for these parts.  We were badly beaten in the softball.

There are a couple of things I would like sent in which Dick should be able to find.  One is the Alberta Companies Act and the other my notes on Commercial Law.  I want these as soon as I can get them.

With love from


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