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Bell Island Submarine Miner
October 1954


General Plant News

Deepest sympathy is expressed to Andrew SOMERTON, an employee of No. 6 mine, on the passing of his wife Sept 19th, after a prolonged illness.

Sid RATTFORD, cable inspector with this Company and Mrs. RATFORD returned to the Island during September from a vacation trip to the Canadian mainland and United States cities. While in Detroit, he visited brother Fred who he had not met since 1924. Sid also visited his sister in Toronto, and while in that city attended the Canadian National Exhibition.

The S.S. "Wabana," Captain BAGNELL master, of the Dominion Shipping Company Limited, which had been engaged in the Limestone trade between Aguathuna and Sydney this season, visited here in September and took a cargo of iron ire to Syndey. The "Wabana" has been associated with the ore-carrying trade between this port and Sydney since 1946.

Birthday greetings are extended to the following pensioners of the Company who celebrated the happy occasion in September
Peter KENT, 70 on Sept 1st
Arch CURNEW, 78 on Sept 1st
Maurice GORMAN, 93 on Sept 3rd
James FITZGERALD, 62 on Sept 9th
Dennis SHEEHAN, 66 on Sept 10th
Walter BARNES, 50 on Sept 10th
Obediah BUTLER, 65 on Sept 12th
Noah POTTLE, 73 on Sept 12th
John DWYER, 69 on Sept 15th
Leonard PARSONS, 71 on Sept 15th
Henry POTTLE, 75 on Sept 17th
George SOMERTON, 64 on Sept 18th
Luke ROBERTS, 68 on Sept 18th
Bern BARRON, 76 on Sept 20th
Tom CONWAY, 77 on Sept 26th
Harry MERCER, 80 on Sept 28th

Dr. Bernard J. EAGAN and family returned to the Island during September, after an extended holiday in Ireland.

The following students who were employed with this Company during the summer months, have now returned to University

Congratulations are extended to Mr. A.W. REES, former Mechanical Superintendent at the Piers, and Mrs. REES, on the occasion of their 49th wedding anniversary on Sept 23rd.

Donald MORGAN, son of Albert MORGAN of the Construction Department, and Walter HAMMOND, son of Fred HAMMOND, Overman at No. 3 mine, recently entered Queen’s College to study for the Ministry.

The first shipment of coal for this season, arrived from Sydney by the S.S. "Arthur Cross" in September.

The British ore-carrier "Zinnia", although a comparative new comer to the Wabana trade, has been in continuous operation between this port and the United Kindgom since Dec 1951. During that time she made 25 round trips and transported 250,000 tons of iron ore across the Atlantic to our British markets. Captain IRWIN, master of "Zinnia," expects to be continuously engaged in this trade until the end of 1954.

Dr. Jim SQUIRES, a former Bell Islander, now living in Winnipeg, accompanied by his family, visited here in September.

George STONE, son of Eric STONE, Section Foreman in No. 6 mine, and Michael GORMAN, son of Patrick GORMAN who is also employed in No. 6 mine, left for Vancouver during September, to take up residence there.

Edward CLARKE, No. 3 Mine employee, was injured in an automobile accident near Bennett St., Bell Island, on Sept 22nd and entered hospital in St. John’s.

The Norwegian ore carried "Siredal", employed in the Wabana trade this season, was damaged in an Atlantic crossing in September, and had to proceed to St. John’s for repairs.

John NEARY of the Accounting Department left on Sept. 23rd to visit relatives in Boston, New York and other mainland cities.

The first March of Dimes campaign, held on Bell Island to raise funds in the fight against poliomyelitis took place during September. The committee reports a successful campaign, having collected approximately $1,200.00.

Miss Nellie FORWARD, former matron at the Company’s staff house, visited the Island in September.

Arch CURNEW, No. 6 Mine employee, who was injured in an underground accident, entered hospital in St. John’s during September.

Miss Ella SOMERTON, formerly employed in the Personnel Department, is now working at Hmilton, Ontario.

Congratulations to James DOHERTY, No. 3 mine employee and his bride. They were married on Oct 2nd. Also to Vincent and Mrs. DALTON, who celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary on Sept 20th.

Congratulations to the following employees, who were visited by the stork in September:
Gerald CONWAY, a girl on Sept 17th
Leonard KENG, a girl on Sept 18th
William J. O’BRIEN, a girl on Sept 18th
Elic STANFORD, a girl on Sept 25th

The "Blue Peter 11" discharged a part cargo of dynamite for mining purposes, at Dominion pier during the last week of September.

The last of the three mooring buoys used to anchor ore ships, while waiting for convoy, inside the anti-torpedo nets which were placed around the piers, following the sinking of four ships on the Bell Island anchorage by submarine warfare in 1942, was taken ashore at Dominion pier on Sept 23rd. The buoy moved from its original position near Scotia Pier when caught in heavy Arctic ice coming into Conception Bay during the Spring of 1952, which parted it from its anchor on the ocean floor. The buoy drifted with the ice to the anchorage, where the long mooring chain became entangled in one of the sunken wrecks, where it held fast until released last month and towed ashore by the pier motor boat. The other two buoys had previously been carried away by heavy ice, and were eventually hoisted onto the pier.

Greetings are extended to Jack FARRAR, of the Mechanical Department, and Mrs. FARRAR on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept 28th.

Also, Bert STARES of the Accounting Department and Mrs. STARES, who celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary on Sept 11th.

Oiler, S.S. Louisburg

The lights of the Ore Pier are shining and bright,
The exhaust from the grabs break the still of the night.
The reason for the din, the rumble and roar
Is the carrier ship "Louisburg" discharging her ore.

The empty cars waiting lined up on the road,
All oiled, greased, inspected, prepared for the load.
The grabs descend slowly, the jaws opened wide,
To hoist the red cargo to the hoppers so high.

The dumping of redrock makes everything quake,
As the ore dock itself starts to shiver and shake
And the shunting and shifting makes an awful loud din
As the loaded cars roll to the Blast Furnace bin.

Soon the holds are emptied ­ it doesn’t take long
And the whistle for the pilot begins its sad song
The sound of that whistle, we all hate to hear
For it calls us from home and the ones we love dear.

It’s a scant eighteen hours since we tied to the Pier
Now the lines are on board and the decks are all clear
She backs out in the harbour and swings her bow ‘round
With engines "full ahead" for Bell Island we’re bound

Outside Sydney Harbour, the Gulf we then face
And good Captain Williams sets course for Cape Race
From there up the coast to the Bay called Conception
And thence to the Pier where we get a reception

Chief Clarke speeds the pumps which makes the ballast fly
Before the holds are loaded the tanks are nearly dry
Without changing watches we’re out and on our way
Bound for Sydney Harbour as we steam out the Bay

Down the Newfoundland coast on a night thick with fog
The whistle blows each minute and the Mate checks the log
The Third Engineer’s ready for he knows that in his hand
Lies the fate of the "Louisburg" and the safety of each man

As we leave Newfoundland and the weather turns fair
Way off on our starboard is the Isle, St. Pierre
The schooners on the Banks tack up and tack down
Keeping watch o’er the dories on the old fishing ground

We see the lights of Scatarie, Flint Island and Glace Bay
By the coast of New Waterford plowing our way
With our speed at ten knots we see at Fairway Light
The "Highlander" riding the swells in the night

The Pilot Danny Campbell from old Whitney Pier
Gives the A.B. at the wheel directions to steer
Then he rings to the engine room "full speed ahead"
As she steams up Sydney Harbour like an old thoroughbred

A round trip’s ninety hours if the weather is fair
And this is our job for most of the year
So all you kind people who bemoan your lot
Just think of the pleasures we sailors have not

Bell Island's Oldest Citizen


Mr. J. T. Lawton, who was born at King's Cove, Bonavista Bay, on October 20th, 1860, is Bell Island's oldest citizen. In 1890 he graduated from the Royal University of Dublin, Ireland, and from then until 1899 taught school in Northern Ireland after which he returned to Newfoundland. For the next eight years, he taught school at Harbour Grace and from there moved to St. John's to take up a position as Editor of the St. John's Evening Herald. In 1910 he came to Bell Island and eventually joined the staff of the Tenements and Watchmen's Department. On the death of the Superintendent of that Department, he was appointed as its head, a position he held until the date of his retirement on May 1st. The "Submarine Miner" joins with his many friends in wishing Mr. Lawton many more years of health and happiness.


"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 (July 13, 2003)

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