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Bell Island Submarine Miner
April 1955


General Plant News

We recently received a letter from the National Library of Canada requesting a copy of the "Submarine Miner", for listing in the monthly bibliography, "Canadiana," in which books of Canadian interest are listed. "Canadiana" is distributed to libraries throughout Canada and abroad. A copy of our Plant Magazine has been forwarded to the National Library.

Norbert, son of William BURKE, No. 4 Slope, entered the General Hospital in St. Johnís during March as the result of a head injury received while employed with a Construction Company working on Bell Island. Norbert was released from hospital on March 24th and is now reported to be feeling fine.

Robert FOWLER, No. 3 Slope, who was on the sick list for some time, returned to work during March.

Joan, 10-year-old daughter of John CONNORS, Scotia Pier, underwent a tonsillectomy operation in a St. Johnís hospital during March.

Herbert HANEY, No. 6 Slope, is still receiving treatment at the Grace Hospital in St. Johnís.

Gerald NOLAN, No. 3 Slope, entered hospital in St. Johnís for a checkup during March.

Ted SMALE, who received third degree burns in a flash fire, underground during December 1954, returned to work on March 28th.

Gregory, 8-year-old son of Edward OíQUINN, Mechanical Department, entered the Grace Hospital in St. Johnís for a tonsilectomy operation in March.

Deepest sympathy is expressed to James RYAN, No. 3 Slope, on his sudden and tragic passing of seven-year-old son Raymond, at his home, Bell Island, on March 27th, as a result of an injury received on the previous day, when a wheelbarrow he was pushing collided with a pole.

Also to Fred EARLE of the Cable Shop and Ches EARLE of the General Surface Department, on the passing of their mother, Mrs. William EARLE, Bell Island, on March 28th, in her 75th year and to Joshua PARSONS, No. 6 Slope on the passing of his infant son, at his home. Upper Island Cove, during the month of January.

Sincere sympathy is expressed to Miss Annie MURPHY, Cashierís Department; Patrick MURPHY, Chief Engineer and James MURPHY, Traffic Supervisor, on the death of their step-mother, Mrs. Andrew MURPHY, who passed away at her home Bell Island, on April 1st, in her 68th year.
Also to pensioner James JONES and to Jerry JONES, No. 4 Slope, on the sudden passing of Mrs. Veronica JONES, at her home, Wabana, Bell Island, on April 3rd, in her 66th year.

The following pensioners celebrated birthdays during March:
James J. JONES, 71 on March 1st
Henry BICKFORD, 77 on March 2nd
George George, 68 on March 4th
Elisha REID, 68 on Mar 5th
Charles WHITE, 76 on March 7th
James BYRNE, 75 on Mar 9th
Edward WALSH, 81 on Mar 10th
Pat TAPLIN, 73 on Mar 10th
Tom MYLER, 67 on Mar 12th
William Johnson, 72 on Mar 13th
Henry STARES, 74 on March 14th
Leander NOSEWORTHY, 80 on Mar 16th
Reuben BENNETT, 78 on Mar 20th
John Petrie, 84 on Mar 27th
Peter J. FITZGERALD, 71 on Mar 31st

The following employees and their wives celebrated wedding anniversaries during the month of March
Mr. and Mrs. John YETMAN, their 41st anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. Sam NOLAN, No. 3 Slope, their 6th anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. Robert LOCKE, No. 3 Slope, their 7th anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. Louis HYNES, No. 6 Slope, their 14th anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence KENT, Electrical Department, 25th anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel SHEPPARD, retired pensioner, 43rd anniversary

The homes of the following employees received a visit from the stork in February and March:
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh CONNORS, a son on Feb 27th
Mr. and Mrs. Dolph KENNEDY, a son on March 5th
Mr. and Mrs. Fred BRYANS, a son on Mar 16th
Mr. and Mrs. Rupert DAVIS, a son on Mar 16th
Mr. and Mrs. Leslie BLUNDELL, a daughter on Mar 18th
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph KITCHEN, a son on Mar 19th.

Employee members of the Bell Island Senior "B" hockey team, 1955 All Newfoundland champions of that division, were granted leave of absence for the teamís visit to Corner Brook, where the team played an exhibition series against the Grand Falls Senior "B" team in the new Corner Brook stadium. Two games were played, with the total number of goals deciding the issue. The paper towners won the opening game by a six to five score. The Bell Island team won the second game by a two to one score, which tied up the number of goals scored by the two teams. A "sudden death" overtime period was then necessary to decide the winner. The breaks of the game went in favour of Grand Falls, they scored first and won the series by a single goal.

We wish to acknowledge a letter received in March from former Bell Islander Dick BUDGEN, Toronto. We are always pleased to hear from former Bell Islanders. We also wish to thank John J. HUNT, Dedham, Massachusetts, for an Easter greeting card.

Tom BROWN, Scotia Pier, who was confined to his home through illness during the past 3 weeks, has now returned to work.

John BENNETT, No. 3 Slope, who was also on the sick list during March, has now returned to work.

Louis COSTELLO, General Surface Department, recently enrolled with the International Correspondence School and is now studying Mine Surveying and Mapping with the institute.

John C. REES, Mechanical Department, has also enrolled with the International Correspondence Schools and is taking a course in Drafting and Machine Design.


Since March 10, 1952, the "Dosco News" sponsored by the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation Limited and its subsidiary Company, the Dominion Wabana Ore Limited, has been a nightly feature from 9:35 to 10:00 oíclock on radio station CJON, St. Johnís.

Prior to its inauguration, Bell Island and others around Conception Bay such as Carbonear, Harbour Grace, Island Cove, Spaniardís Bay, Bay Roberts, Brigus, Conception Harbour, to mention but a few, were without medium through which daily happenings and events could be reported. That the fifteen minute bulletin has proved to be a popular news service is evidenced by the fact that over 60% of radios in the area are turned nightly to the "Dosco News" as reported in a recent survey made by leading Company of Canadian radio analysis. Also, the Radio Station receives an average of some 60 to 70 letters daily and hundreds of telephone calls weekly concerning items for broadcast on the "Dosco News". At times, it is somewhat difficult, and often impossible, to give coverage to all the material submitted.

Besides giving the community news every day, it is a most helpful medium through which relatives and friends are given up to the minute reports on the condition of people in hospital, Church groups, public welfare associations, service clubs and many others are afforded the benefit of the bulletin to publicize their various community undertakings. Also, the "Dosco News" carries from time to time important Company announcements concerning operations which reach employees more quickly than is possible by any other means of communication.

The general reaction to the "Dosco News" has been very favorable. Among many who have recognized its worth is Premier R.J. Smallwood, who publicly stated "Dosco News" is an example of one of the finest public service efforts by any company in Newfoundland and every night serves the community as a newspaper.

The 115th bulletin was read over radio station CJON on May 3rd this year. Although the actual reading takes only 15 minutes each night, many hours of work in gathering, compiling and editing the news are spent before the completed script is ready for presentation on the air. Correspondents are employed in strategic areas of Conception Bay. On Bell Island, Phonse HAWCO gathers the news; Carbonear and area, Mrs. G.F. SAUNDERS, Harbour Grace and vicinity, Mrs. William SHORT, while the North Shore area of Conception Bay is covered by Mrs. Isobelle TILLEY and Paul EMBERLEY. These correspondents keep an around the clock watch on events and have an unfailing determination to make the "Dosco News" as complete as possible.

When news items are received at the radio station, they are passed to one of three news editors on duty who edit and compile the material for presentation. These editors are Jack WHITE, who has been in the news field since 1940; Jim Thoms, a three-year radio newsman, and Edsel BONNELL, a former newspaperman who turned to radio news writing recently. Another man, who quite naturally, has an interest in the programme is Bern WALSH, Chief News Editor of Radio Station CJON. Last but by no means least of those associated with the preparation of the "Dosco News" are the switchboard operators, one of whom is Lorraine DILLON. Each week these girls handle scores of calls for the "Dosco News" and quite often have to relay last minute items for inclusion in the broadcast.

At 9:45 p.m. the announcers take over and the voices of John NOLAN, Bill ALLEN, Jim REGAN, and Greg BONNER who alternate in reading the news and familiar ones to thousands of listeners.

"Submarine Miner" wishes to extend a word of praise to the people whose combined efforts make the "Dosco News" the public service it was intended to be.

Wabana Flashbacks

Forty years ago, Bell Island was marooned from the nearby mainland by an Arctic ice blockade, similar to that which disrupted communications between the Island and Portugal Cove, during the month of April of this Year. One of the first to cross over the ice at that time was Mr. Benjamin BUTLER, now a Pensioner of the Company, who is enjoying excellent health at the age 66.

Sincere sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives of the following employees, who died recently.
Pensioner Matthew POWER, who passed away at his home, the Front, Bell Island, on Apr 6th.
William CRANE, No. 3 Slope, who passed away in a St Johnís hospital

Bell Island Blockaded by Ice

On Monday, April 11th, heavy Arctic ice drifted into Conception Bay and by Tuesday noon the channel between Bell Island and Portugal Cove was completely blocked. The two ferries, M.V. "Maneco" and M.V. "Kipawo," were unable to operate. On the following Sunday, April 17th, the ice loosened a little and the "Maneco" managed to make three trips to the Island before there was a severe snow storm which blocked the road from St. Johnís to Portugal Cove, and scores of residents of Bell Island who were marooned in St. Johnís were unable to get to the ferry terminal in time to make connections. Also, there was insufficient time to get foodstuffs and supplies from St. Johnís. The Island was completely isolated from April 17th to the 25th when the latter date the Management of the Company, through the co-operation of the Federal and Provincial Governments, secured the services of a helicopter which on Monday evening, Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon provided transportation for scores of residents of Bell Island, who had been caught by the ice blockade to St. Johnís. Priority on the flights from Bell Island to St. Johnís was given to the people in need of hospital care.

On Wednesday the Federal Government icebreaker, the "Saurel" carrying a few passengers, foodstuffs and miscellaneous supplies, cut her way through the ice from St. Johnís to Bell Island and tied up at Dominion Pier. The following day, she opened up a channel between Portugal Cove and the Island, enabling the two ferries to resume their regular service.

On Friday, the "Saurel" broke a passage through the heavy ice for the M.V. "Trepassey" which had sailed from St. Johnís with badly needed foodstuffs and supplies for the Island. On the same day the busy Icebreaker assisted the S.S. "Arthur Cross" to enter port when she loaded the first ore cargo of the shipping season.



George Cobb is a senior employee with the Electrical Department. He was born at Pilley's Island in 1895 and commenced employment with the Company in 1910. He has been continuously employed since that time, except for a period while serving overseas during the Great War 1914-1918.




Sincere sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives of the following employees who died recently:
Pensioner Matthew Power, who passed away at his home, the Front, Bell Island, on April 6th, in his seventy-fourth year, after a short illness.
William Crane, No. 3 Slope, who passed away in a St. John's hospital on April 20th, in his fiftieth year, after a short illness.


"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 19, 2003)

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