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Bell Island Submarine Miner
Excerpts From
June 1954



The following appointments were announced by Mr. H. P. Dickey, Vice President and General Manager of Dominion Wabana Ore Limited, on May 31st, to be effective June 1st.



H.D. CAMERON was born at Halifax, N.S. on October 17th, 1904. After completing his early education at Halifax County Academy he entered Dalhousie University and graduated from there in 1927 with a diploma in Engineering and a B.Sc. in Geology. He first worked at Wabana during the summer of 1928 and left in the autumn to complete his studies at Nova Scotia Technical College graduating from that institution as a Mining Engineer in 1929.

From 1929 to 1936, Mr. Cameron acted as Assistant Mine Captain, under both T.J. Gray and the late Mr. E.J. Kent. After this assignment he was appointed Mining Superintendent in which capacity he served until his promotion to General Superintendent of Mines on June 1st.



Fred REES was born on Bell Island in Sept 1915, and received his early schooling at the Church of England Academy, Bell Island, and Bishop Field College, St. John's. From the latter, he enrolled at Memorial University, St. John's, as a pre-engineering student and upon graduation from there entered Nova Scotia Technical College to complete his studies receiving his degree in Mining Engineering from that institution in 1938.

Mr. REES entered the employ of the Company in 1938 as a Junior Engineer. In 1940, he was appointed Assistant Overman, No. 4 Mine and in 1943 left Bell Island to take charge of the Bathurst Iron Mine. Upon his return to Bell Island he was appointed Superintendent of Nos. 2 and 3 Mines, the position he held up to the time of his appointment as Assistant General Superintendent of Mines on June 1st.



J.N. GILLIS was born at New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, on November 1st, 1920. He was educated at St. Johnís Academy in his home town and received his pre-engineering training at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S., from where he left to join the Canadian Forces in September of 1939. During the war he served overseas with the West Nova Scotia Regiment and later with the Cape Breton Highlanders. Upon his discharge in September, 1945, with the rank of Sergeant, he entered Nova Scotia Technical College to complete his studies and graduated from there with a degree in Mining Engineering in 1951. He accepted a position with this Company and arrived at Wabana in May of the same year to take up his duties as Junior Engineer. After serving in that capacity for some time, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent of No. 3 Mine under Mr. Fred REES, whose former position he now assumes.



Thomas Kent was born on Bell Island on Dec 22, 1911. He received his early education at St. Michaelís Boys School, Bell Island and later at St. Bonaventure College, St. John's. He entered the employ of the Company in July 1931 and joined No. 6 mine force in November of the same year. "Tom", as he is familiarly known, made steady progress, and when he left to join the Royal Air Force in December of 1941, he held the position of Assistant Captain, No. 6 Mine. Upon his discharge from the Air Force in February, 1946, he returned to his former position and on March 1st, 1950, was promoted to Mine Captain, the position he held prior to his promotion to Superintendent of Nos. 4 and 6 Mines on June 1st.



John MANSFIELD was born at Tilt Cove, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, on April 2nd, 1898, where he received his education. He joined the Company in 1913, and he worked continuously since then except for a period during World War I when he served overseas in the Armed Forces. During his 41 years of service with the Company, Mr. Mansfield has acquired a broad knowledge of all phases of mining and the experience he has gained down through the years will be invaluable to him when carrying out his new responsibilities as Captain of No. 6 Mines.


T. SMALE was appointed development foreman for the Dominion Wabana Ore Limited on April 19th, by Mr. J.M. BRACKEN, Assistant Manager. Mr. SMALE is well known here having been employed with the Patrick Harrison Construction Company prior to his appointment. In his new job he will supervise the work of various development projects undertaken by the Company.

Mr. Obediah BUTLER, who retired recently after 47 years of service with the Company, was honoured by his co-workers on May 22nd, when they gathered at the East Fire Hall. Mr. Walter SELLARS, chief clerk of the Mechanical Department, read an address which voiced the sediments of those present following which Mr. Sidney RATFORD presented the guest of honour with a beautiful electric mantle clock.



Mr. A.R. PROUDFOOT, General Superintendent of the Dominion Wabana Ore Limited, retired on June 1st, after 51 years of service with the Company. Mr. PROUDFOOTís retirement brings to a close a long and outstanding career in the service of DOSCO. Born at New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1884, he joined the Company in 1903 as an invoice clerk with Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co., Limited, New Glasgow, and later became Cashier of that Company. In 1908 he was transferred to Wabana as Assistant Accountant for the Scotia Company and five years later, was appointed to the position of Chief Accountant. When the Scotia and Dominion Companies merged in 1922, Mr. PROUDFOOT was made Assistant Accountant and in the same year was appointed Chief accountant in which capacity he served until 1939 when he was appointed to the important position of General Superintendent of Wabana Operations.



During his 46 years on Bell Island, M. PROUDFOOT has played a vial and prominent part in the industrial and social life of the community being closely associated with practically every activity undertaken for the betterment of the Island. It pleases us to know that Mr. PROUDFOOT will be remaining on Bell Island and we feel sure that the vast knowledge and experience he has gained down through the years will be available to those who seek his advice.

29 employees retire after lengthy service

Since the first of the year, 29 employees of the Company have retired on pension. These employees served the Company faithfully for many many years, and although they bowed out from their various occupations without fanfare, their contribution to the industry here does not go unrecognized. The "Submarine Miner" salutes them and in so doing extend to each best wishes for continued good health and many happy years of retired life.

The following is a list of these employees, their occupation upon retirement and their number of years service with the Company.

  • Daniel BRAZIL, Mine Captain, 53 years
  • Obediah BUTLER, Cable Man, 47 years
  • George CLARKE, Face Cleaner, 52 years
  • Miss N. FORWARD, Staff House Matron, 23 years
  • Thomas J. GRAY, Mine Captain, 40 years
  • Bert GOSSE, Dryhouse Man, 44 years
  • Samuel GEORGE, Timberman, 29 years
  • Michael HICKEY, Deck Repairman, 50 years
  • Michael HIBBS, Dryhouse Man, 28 years
  • Michael HAWCO, Dryhouse Man, 42 years
  • William JANES, Magazine attendant, 47 years
  • Peter KENT, Electrical Superintendent, 58 years
  • Josiah KELLOWAY, Safety Man, 45 years
  • Harvey KITCHEN, Scotia Barn Attendant, 45 years
  • Walter LAHEY, Overman, 53 years
  • Michael MURPHY, Mechanical Repairman, 46 years
  • Thomas MYLER, Dryhouse Man, 29 years
  • Charles NORMORE, Electrican, 52 years
  • Benedict PENNEY, Face Cleaner, 51 years
  • James RYAN, Deck Foreman, 55 years
  • Leonard REES, Dryhouse Man, 50 years
  • Ananias REES, Pier Mechanical Superintendent, 54 years
  • Naaman RYAN, Overman, 45 years
  • James ROBERTS, Deck Repairman, 40 years
  • Elisha REID, Carpenter, 49 years
  • Nelson SHAVE, Chief Cost Clerk, 35 years
  • Timothy SNOW, Carpenter, 26 years
  • Algernon TUCKER, Paymaster, 49 years
  • William THISTLE, Dryhouse Man, 39 years

The Dominion Wabana Ore Limited sponsors of the DOSCO News, are considering replacing the Saturday night news broadcast with a programme featuring local performers. Recorded highlights of special events and happenings on Bell Island would also be featured from time to time.

Bell Island has always been noted for its wealth of musical talent, and it is felt that if this fifteen minute period on Radio Station CJON were made available to our local entertainers, it would not only lend encouragement to their efforts but also provide a new source of entertainment to many thousands of listeners throughout Newfoundland.

The "Submarine Miner" is anxious to know how you feel about this proposed undertaking. Please drop a note to the Editor giving us your views on the matter Ė they would be appreciated.

The many friends and co-workers of Herb LAURIE and Dave GALWAY will be pleased to learn that they are both improving satisfactorily at the Sanatorium where they are receiving treatment.

Ed STOWE, a former employee of the Company left Bell Island recently to take up residence at Corner Brook.

Miss Ella SOMERTON of the Personnel Department is presently on a leave of absence

Messrs. John FILLIER, Edward QUIGLEY, Rene PEARLE, Gordon DECKER, Michael MURPHY and Pat SKANES, who served in the Korean War, are back on the Island working with the Company

Wilson GRAY, Welder Foreman, is reported to be improving after undergoing several operations at the General Hospital, St. Johnís

Mr. George WHALEN of No. 4 Mine recently left Bell Island for England where he will make his new home.

Congratulations to the following employees who were married recently:

  • William REES on April 17th
  • William JACKMAN, April 19th
  • Maxwell COLE, April 20th
  • Leo GORMAN on May 30th

Largest Ship Ever to Load Ore at Bell Island

The M.S. "River Afton" owned and operated by the Ayshire Navigating Company of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England and managed by Mungo CAMPBELL and Company of the same place, is the largest ship ever to load ore at Bell Island. She was built in 1953 by Lithgows Limited of Port Glasgow and carries a complement of 47 officers and men under the command of 48 year old Captain J.P. JOHNSON.

The "River Afton" has an overall length of 513 feet, a beam of 69 feet 5 inches and a depth of 39 feet 1 inch. She has a dead weight capacity of 16,500 tons and it is estimated that when the 1954 shipping season closes she will have transported approximately 170,000 tons of Wabana Ore to Europe. (Pictures shown were taken while she was in port on May 28th).


"Reprinted courtesy of The Submarine Miner"
A publication for the employees of the Dominion Wabana Ore Limited.
Any monetary or commercial gain from using this material is
strictly prohibited and subject to legal action.



Page Contributed by: Coleen Murrin-Norcott-Pieczewski

Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013)

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