Souris wins Bantam BB Provincial baseball 1962

   CPR Store­keep­er Gor­don Crowe (no rela­tion to Mor­gan & his broth­er Gor­don) came to work in CPR stores at Souris in mid 1950’s. He was from Win­nipeg and intro­duced “Lit­tle League” base­ball to Souris. There were 4 teams estab­lished, name­ly, CPR, Legion, Kiwa­nis & Elks. Short­ly after the Legion, Kiwa­nis & Elks agreed to donate $500.00 each for a Recre­ation­al Direc­tor for July & August. The first one hired was Al Robert­son from Hamiota.
I remem­ber ask­ing CPR Engi­neer Bill Roney, what he thought of our new Rec.Director, and Bill replied “Any­one who can work my son (Allan) for 2 hours on a ball dia­mond and then when Allan comes home at noon and sleeps for an hour, is an OK per­son as far as I’m concerned”.
    Gordie Lyall was the Rec. Direc­tor in Souris from July 1 to Aug. 15, 1962. I was CPR Sta­tion Agent at Nes­bitt (22 miles East of Souris) and as a Past Pres­i­dent of Souris Lit­tle League I kept in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with them. 

   Jim Down (broth­er to Souris Butch­er Har­ry Down) used to bring his Bran­don Lit­tle League team to play our Nes­bitt team once a year for an exhi­bi­tion game. After the game he told me that  we should enter our team into the Provin­cial Play­downs because he thought we had one of the best pitch­ers in Man­i­to­ba. I called Pres­i­dent Al Richard­son at Mor­den to see if we could get entered, but he said that the draw was already made and mailed out. I said that I felt that I was respon­si­ble for these play­ers los­ing the chance to com­pete in the play­offs. He sug­gest­ed that I take play­ers to clos­est team entered. I asked about tak­ing them to Souris. And he said that was okay.

  I met Gordie Lyall and Bob Sander­son lat­er and asked them if they had the full com­ple­ment of 18 play­ers on their team. They said they had room for 4 more and I asked them if they want­ed to win the Provin­cial Cham­pi­onship, because I had some play­ers that could help their team out. They said bring them to their next game. The four play­ers I had in mind were Mark Fish­er (a good Nes­bitt Pitch­er & good bat­ter), Grant Ever­ard (anoth­er good pitch­er), Don Brown ( a relief pitch­er) and Greg Leach­man (a third base­man who was also good at bat).The last 3 boys were from Wawanesa.

    We won the Man­i­to­ba Provin­cial Ban­tam BB Cham­pi­onship in Morden,MB Sep­tem­ber Labour Day week­end of 1962. The Souris Elks Lodge host­ed a din­ner and donat­ed indi­vid­ual tro­phies to each play­er. Two play­ers on this team were sons of CPR employ­ees, name­ly George Davis (son of Engi­neer Norm Davis) and Paul     Eliuk (son of Sec­tion­man Con­rad Eliuk) also Gary David­son was son of CPR Watch Inspec­tor Allan David­son. Anoth­er boy who would have been on this team was Andy Mur­ray (who lat­er became NHL hock­ey coach) but he was on vaca­tion dur­ing this play­off session.Later in life, Gar­ry David­son would become own­er of Junior Hock­ey team, (The Port­land Win­ter­hawks), Greg Cameron, Grant Ever­ard, Mark Fish­er and Gordie Lyall would become induct­ed into the Man­i­to­ba Base­ball Hall of Fame. Please see pho­to below. Click your cur­sor on it to enlarge. Click a 2nd time and it will enlarge more. I have added 2 notes at top right hand cor­ner and bot­tom right hand cor­ner of the pho­to about Lit­tle Lea­guers Kei­th Edwards and Bob Neufeld.

    There was anoth­er play­er named Kei­th Edwards who would have been on this team. I left this part of the sto­ry for the last of this arti­cle. Kei­th was play­ing ball in June 1962 when he devel­oped a strong headache, and his coach Mur­ray Zuk took him out of the game. He went home com­plain­ing of a bad headache. He died in an ambu­lance enroute to Win­nipeg. The attend­ing Dr. declared that Kei­th had suf­fered from a rup­tured aneurysm.The team and man­age­ment along with the Souris B.P.O. Elks Lodge #21 decid­ed that a posthu­mous tro­phy be deliv­ered to Kei­th’s fam­i­ly at an appro­pri­ate time. It was the sad­dest Christ­mas Eve of my life. I went around to the Edwards home just before mid­night Dec. 24th 1962, after Kei­th’s Sis­ter Joan & younger Broth­er Clare were in bed. His Moth­er Flo­rence was busy putting togeth­er a bike for Clare for Christ­mas and I helped her. Final­ly, I said to Flo­rence that I had a sad duty and pre­sent­ed her with the tro­phy. Sur­pris­ing­ly she was very hap­py to receive it. We cried and we hugged. It was placed on their man­tle. Trainman/Conductor Al Edwards (father to Kei­th) was out on a CPR run at the time. They were very proud and hap­py to receive it. (This sto­ry was writ­ten by Ferg Devins)

About the Pocket Watch, a very interesting story

f you were in the mar­ket for a watch in 1880, would you know where to get one? You would go to a store, right? Well, of course you could do that, but if you want­ed one that was cheap­er and a bit bet­ter than most of the store watch­es, you went to the train sta­tion!
Sound a bit fun­ny? Well, for about 500 towns across the north­ern Unit­ed States , that’s where the best watch­es were found.

Why were the best watch­es found at the train sta­tion? The rail­road com­pa­ny was­n’t sell­ing the watch­es, not at all. The tele­graph oper­a­tor was. Most of the time the tele­graph oper­a­tor was locat­ed in the rail­road sta­tion because the tele­graph lines fol­lowed the rail­road tracks from town to town. It was usu­al­ly the short­est dis­tance and the right-of-way had already been secured for the rail line.

Most of the sta­tion agents were also skilled tele­graph oper­a­tors and it was the pri­ma­ry way they com­mu­ni­cat­ed with the rail­road. They would know when trains left the pre­vi­ous sta­tion and when they were due at their next sta­tion. And it was the tele­graph oper­a­tor who had the watch­es. As a mat­ter of fact, they sold more of them than almost all the stores com­bined for a peri­od of about 9 years.
This was all arranged by “Richard”, who was a tele­graph oper­a­tor him­self. He was on duty in the North Red­wood, Min­neso­ta train sta­tion one day when a load of watch­es arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pock­et watch­es. No one ever came to claim them. So Richard sent a telegram to the man­u­fac­tur­er and asked them what they want­ed to do with the watch­es. The man­u­fac­tur­er did­n’t want to pay the freight back, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. So Richard did. He sent a wire to every agent in the sys­tem ask­ing them if they want­ed a cheap, but good, pock­et watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a hand­some prof­it. That start­ed it all.
He ordered more watch­es from the watch com­pa­ny and encour­aged the tele­graph oper­a­tors to set up a dis­play case in the sta­tion offer­ing high qual­i­ty watch­es for a cheap price to all the trav­el­ers. It worked! It did­n’t take long for the word to spread and, before long, peo­ple oth­er than trav­el­ers came to the train sta­tion to buy watch­es. Richard became so busy that he had to hire a pro­fes­sion­al watch­mak­er to help him with the orders. That was “Alvah”.  And the rest is his­to­ry as they say. The busi­ness took off and soon expand­ed to many oth­er lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train sta­tion and moved their com­pa­ny to Chica­go — and it’s still there..

YES, IT’S A LITTLE KNOWN FACT that for a while in the 1880’s, the biggest watch retail­er in the coun­try was at the train sta­tion. It all start­ed with a tele­graph oper­a­tor:
Richard Sears and part­ner Alvah Roe­buck!
Bet You Did­n’t Know That!
OK, maybe you did;  I did­n’t!
Now that’s History.

The Royal Train, Elkhorn, MB. Oct 17, 1951

Above left is pic­ture of Princess Eliz­a­beth & Duke of Edin­burgh on rear of Roy­al Train at Lon­don Ont. on Oct. 14th, 1951. At cen­tre is Page 1 and at right is page 2 of a let­ter that I sent to my par­ents the morn­ing after the Roy­al Train went through Elkhorn, Man. on Oct. 17, 1951. I was the CP Oper­a­tor on duty for Roy­al Train. Below please find a revised ver­sion of these 2 pages, which explains the expe­ri­ence more specifically.Click your cur­sor on all small pic­tures to enlarge them. At the bot­tom you can find copies of clear­ances and train orders issued to trains involved. Click on them too…This is his­to­ry shared with you.…Ferg Devins.

Kirkel­la, MB,Oct. 17/51

Dear Folks,…Well I got back to Elkhorn on Monday…and into the old rou­tine again. Worked at Elkhorn until 8 a.m. today, and into bed by 9:00 a.m.…Then was called at 11:50 a.m. to go to Kirkel­la to clear the branch way freight from the Neudorf/McCauley subs, onto the Broad­view sub (Main Line). So am sit­ting here wait­ing for it & decid­ed to drop you a line.

Well the Roy­al Trains went through Elkhorn this morn­ing with offi­cials on each train. Ahead of the pas­sen­ger Extra trains was reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger train #1 at 2.37. Mau­rice Roach (Assis­tant Super­in­ten­dent from Minnedosa) was on it. Then Pas­sen­ger Extra 2861 West (the Press Train) with Assis­tant Super­in­ten­dent Bar­ney O. Fry­er from Souris, arrived at 2:59 and depart­ed at 3:10. The Roy­al Train ‚Pas­sen­ger Extra 2863 West with Super­in­ten­dent Wood from Bran­don attend­ing it arrived at 4:58 and left at 5:05.  RCMP and offi­cials were all over it. There were about half dozen peo­ple down to see it and 5 cops (3 from Vir­d­en and 2 from Elkkhiorn). I was stand­ing on the plat­form after it arrived and this guy came up and asked if I was the Oper­a­tor on duty. I told him I was. He asked me my name and I told him. He said “Well, my name is Thomp­son” and we shook hands and stood around, shoot­ing the breeze for 5 or 10 min­utes. After he left I dis­cov­ered that he was the CPR Vice-Pres­i­dent. He seemed like a very nice person.

East­bouind pas­sen­ger train #2 arrived at 3:46 and could­n’t make Har­grave in time to clear these 3 trains by 30 min­utes and so it had to pull into the num­ber two pass­ing track at Elkhorn because the sid­ing switch­es at Reaper were spiked closed. After #2 pulled into pass­ing track the sec­tion men spiked the east switch closed and then pulled spikes after the Roy­al Train was by. No. 2 sat at Elkhorn from 3:46 until 5:00. I had to make 3 copies of train orders for train #1, 4 copies for the press train and 5 sets for the Roy­al Train. But they were only slow orders, which were already on the hook when I came on duty at 24 O’clock All freight trains had to be in the clear 5 hours ahead of the Roy­al Train, but there were none on the Broad­view Sub­di­vi­sion. There was no sign of the Princess and Duke, just Moun­ties, Offi­cials and Train Crews. Speed lim­it was 35 mph. Roy­al Train was sure shined up and coach­es from CNR & CPR. I could see into some of them and they were real­ly fixed up nice.

I was wrong about the Roy­al Cou­ple going to Rivers.They will be pass­ing through there on return trip via CNR on Sun­day Oct. 28th.

That’s all the news for now. So will sign off and see you on Sun­day. Bye for now…Fergie.

(Please note…The rea­son that all trains stopped at Elkhorn was so they could take on more coal and water for the engines. The engines 2861 and 2863 on the “Press train” and the “Roy­al train” were oil burn­ers and only required to take on more water, which meant they took less time at Elkhorn than the usu­al trains. Also Princess Eliz­a­beth’s father King George sixth died a few months after this tour and she became Queen of Eng­land, and the Com­mon­wealth, and is still the Queen in 2018)

You might be won­der­ing why the spaces on these clear­ances shown below are filled in with a short dash, instead of the “Train ahead, etc”. The Broad­view sub­di­vi­sion con­sist­ed of dou­ble track from Bran­don to Vir­d­en, then sin­gle track, Vir­d­en to White­wood, and dou­ble track again White­wood to Broad­view. The sin­gle track por­tion was Auto­mat­ic Block Sys­tem and trains were con­trolled by Auto­mat­ic block sig­nals, so it was not nec­es­sary to fill in that por­tion of the “Clear­ance form” as shown below.….FD

American Morse Code Used on North American Railroads

The Tele­graph machines were invent­ed before the Tele­phone.

(Please Click your cur­sor on “The Amer­i­can Morse Code” in line 3 below for an expla­na­tion from Wikipedia about Codes)

There were two Morse Codes. The first was  the Inter­na­tion­al Morse Code which was used by “Ham Radio Oper­a­tors”, ships at sea, and the mil­i­tary Army, Navy and Air Force. The sec­ond Morse Code was the The Amer­i­can Morse Code used by North Amer­i­can Rail­roads. There were 10 let­ters dif­fer­ent between the 2 codes. The Rail­road Teleg­ra­ph­er was a very impor­tant employ­ee. He was the mid­dle­man between the Train Dis­patch­er and the employ­ees on the Trains. The Rail­roads required com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the rail­head con­struc­tion site to their head­quar­ters with dai­ly reports on how many miles had been laid that day. Some Rail­road Teleg­ra­phers learned the code by going to Tele­graph Schools. Oth­ers became Assis­tant Agents, and learned from the Agent and prac­tised on the Tele­graph key and mem­o­rized the Rule Book while off-duty. They wrote an exam­i­na­tion on rules, and if they passed that, they were sent out as relief Teleg­ra­phers until obtain­ing enough senior­i­ty to hold down a per­ma­nent posi­tion. Anoth­er posi­tion was the Com­mer­cial Teleg­ra­ph­er, who han­dled Com­mer­cial Telegrams and News­pa­per traf­fic, and also com­mu­ni­cat­ed with Com­mer­cial Telegrams to the Rail­road Teleg­ra­ph­er Agents. The expe­ri­enced Rail­road Teleg­ra­ph­er could advance his employ­ment to becom­ing a Sta­tion Agent, or a Train Dis­patch­er when his senior­i­ty allowed.. They were held in great esteem by the Pub­lic and the Officials.

Some interesting You-tube items

The Most Amazing Railroad Video, This is a Must See. F‑unit Crosses the Union Pacific Main Line

CP Coal Train Breaks Apart !! Goes into Emergency

Canadian Pacific’s Portal Sub

Rail­fan­ning Cana­di­an Paci­fic’s Moun­tain Subdivision

The Cana­di­an

Bran­don’s Steamy Past

A ret­ro­spec­tive of Win­nipeg’s Union Sta­tion, and train travel


The Canadian Pacific Railway — Swift Current

TS2015 — Canadian Mountain Passes (ES44AC Canadian Pacific)

Buffalo N.Y. News Article About Canadians

(This is an arti­cle that was post­ed in the Buf­fa­lo News by Ger­ry Boley. Please read more about Ger­ry Boley at the end of this arti­cle. I received it by e‑mail from a friend on Novem­ber 15, 2015 and although it has noth­ing to do with Souris, MB., I feel it is a most wor­thy item, which requires read­ing by Cana­di­an Cit­i­zens.       Ferg Devins of Souris Rail­way Museum.)

Mis­con­cep­tions in the Unit­ed States about Cana­da are quite com­mon. They include: there is always snow in Cana­da: Cana­di­ans are bor­ing, social­ists and paci­fists: their bor­der is porous and allowed the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ists through: or, as the U.S. Ottawa embassy staff sug­gest­ed to Wash­ing­ton, the coun­try suf­fers from an infe­ri­or­i­ty com­plex. With Cana­da Day and Amer­i­ca’s Inde­pen­dence Day just past, this is a great time to clar­i­fy some of these mis­con­cep­tions and bet­ter appre­ci­ate a neigh­bour that the Unit­ed States at times takes for granted.

With the excep­tion of the occa­sion­al glac­i­er, ski­ing in Cana­da in the sum­mer just isn’t hap­pen­ing. Frigid north­ern win­ters, how­ev­er, have shaped the tough, fun-lov­ing Cana­di­an char­ac­ter. When it is 30-below, the Canucks get their sticks, shov­el off the local pond and have a game of shin­ny hockey.

The harsh win­ters have also shaped Cana­di­ans’ sense of humour. Cana­da has some of the world’s great­est come­di­ans, from ear­ly Wayne and Shus­ter, Mike Myers, Leslie Niel­son, John Can­dy, Mar­tin Short, Eugene Levy and “Sat­ur­day Night Live” cre­ator and movie pro­duc­er Lorne Michaels.

The sug­ges­tion that Cana­di­ans are soft on ter­ror­ism is a myth. Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau backed down the Front de Lib­er­a­tion du Que­bec ter­ror­ists dur­ing the1970’s. And the 9/11 Com­mis­sion report­ed that ter­ror­ists arrived in the Unit­ed States from out­side North Amer­i­ca with doc­u­ments issued to them by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Like­wise, the Cana­di­ans in Gan­der, New­found­land coun­tered despi­ca­ble ter­ror­ist acts with love and car­ing to their U.S. neigh­bours when planes were divert­ed there.

Amer­i­cans glo­ri­fy war with movies, but it is the Cana­di­ans who are often the real “Ram­bo.” The Cana­di­ans are any­thing but paci­fists and their his­to­ry is cer­tain­ly not dull. Be it on the ice or bat­tle­field, this war­rior nation has nev­er lost a war that it fought in — War of 1812 (ver­sus the Unit­ed States), World War I, World War II, Korea and now Afghanistan. Dur­ing the ’72 Sum­mit Series, Sovi­et goalie Vladislav Tre­ti­ak said, “The Cana­di­ans have great skills and fight to the very end.”

In hunt­ing the Tal­iban in Afghanistan, U.S. Com­man­der and Navy SEAL Capt. Robert Howard stat­ed that the Cana­di­an Joint Task Force 2 team was “his first choice for any direct-action mission.”

Con­trary to Thomas Jef­fer­son­’s 1812 com­ment that, “The acqui­si­tion of Cana­da will be a mere mat­ter of march­ing,” the wily Native Amer­i­can leader Tecum­seh and Maj. Gen. Isaac Brock cap­tured Brig. Gen. William Hul­l’s Fort Detroit with­out fir­ing a shot. The Amer­i­cans nev­er took Que­bec and when they burned the Cana­di­an Par­lia­ment Build­ings at York, the White House was torched in retal­i­a­tion. Cana­da con­sid­ered its sta­tus as a war­rior nation dur­ing World War I bat­tles at Vimy Ridge, Pass­chen­dale, Somme and the Sec­ond Bat­tle of Ypres, where sol­diers were gassed twice by the Ger­man but refused to break the line. By the end of the war, the Cana­di­ans were the Allies’ shock troops.

In the air, four of the top sev­en World War I aces were Cana­di­ans. Crack shots, the names William “Bil­ly” Bish­op, Ray­mond Coll­ishaw, Don­ald McLaren and William Bark­er, with 72, 60, 54 and 53 vic­to­ries, respec­tive­ly, were leg­endary. These were the orig­i­nal Crazy Canucks, who reg­u­lar­ly dropped leaflets over ene­my air­fields advis­ing Ger­man pilots that they were com­ing over at such and such a time, and to come on up. Bish­op and Bark­er won the Vic­to­ria Cross, the high­est award for gallantry.

The pilot who is cred­it­ed with shoot­ing down the Red Baron, Man­fred von Richtofen, with a lit­tle help from the Aus­tralian down under, was not Snoopy but Roy Brown from Car­leton Place, Ontario.

Dur­ing World War II, Win­nipeg native and air ace Sir William Ste­hen­son, the “Qui­et Cana­di­an,” ran the under­cov­er British Secu­ri­ty Coor­di­na­tion under the code name intre­pid from Rock­e­feller Cen­tre in New York, as a liai­son between Franklin Roo­sevelt and Win­ston Churchill. Stephen­son invent­ed the machine that trans­ferred pho­tos over the wire for the Dai­ly Mail news­pa­per in 1922. Amer­i­cans were not aware that the BSC was there or that it was stocked with Cana­di­ans secret­ly work­ing to pre­serve North Amer­i­can free­dom from the Nazis.

Also lit­tle known is that intre­pid trained Ian Flem­ing, author of the James Bond series, at camp X, the secret spy school near Whit­by, Ontario. Five future direc­tors of the CIA also received spe­cial train­ing there. It is sug­gest­ed that Flem­ing’s ref­er­ence to Bond’s 007 license to kill sta­tus, his gad­getry and the “shak­en not stirred” mar­ti­nis, rumoured to be the strongest in North Amer­i­ca, came from Stephenson.

When Wild Bill Don­ald­son, head of the U.S. OSS, fore­run­ner of the CIA, pre­sent­ed intre­pid with the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Mer­it in 1946, he said, “William Stephen­son taught us every­thing we knew about espionage.”

Amer­i­can mil­i­tary writer Max Boot wrote recent­ly in Com­men­tary mag­a­zine that Cana­da is a coun­try that most Amer­i­cans con­sid­er a “dull but slav­ish­ly friend­ly neigh­bour, sort of like a great “St. Bernard.” Boot needs to come to Cana­da, have a Mol­son Cana­di­an beer and chat about Cana­di­an his­to­ry. He owes his free­dom to Canucks such as Stephen­son and the coura­geous sol­diers and fliers of the world wars who held off the Ger­mans while Amer­i­ca strug­gled with isolationism.

Cana­di­an inven­tions such as the oxy­gen mask and anti-grav­i­ty suit, the fore­run­ner of the astro­naut suit, allowed U.S. and oth­er Allied fight­er pilots to fly high­er, turn tighter and not black out with the result­ing G‑force. The 32 Cana­di­ans from the Avro Arrow team helped build the Amer­i­can space pro­gram and were, accord­ing to NASA, bril­liant to a man. The most bril­liant, Jim Cham­ber­lin, chief design­er of the Jet­lin­er and Arrow, was respon­si­ble for the design and imple­men­ta­tion of the Gem­i­ni and Appo­lo space pro­grams.        ( Read­ers please note… Don “Kayo” David­son of Souris.MB. worked on the Avro Arrow in Cana­da, before it was scrapped…he lat­er moved to Cal­i­for­nia and worked for Avro.…FD)

Although Cana­di­ans have had a free, work­able med­ical sys­tem for 50 years, they are not social­ists and there are not long line­ups, as some politi­cians opposed to Oba­macare sug­gest. This writer (Ger­ry Boley) has had a rup­tured appen­dix, hip replace­ment, pinned shoul­der, blood clot, twist frac­ture of the fibu­la and bro­ken foot, and in every case, there was zero cost to me. Cana­di­ans have and val­ue a med­ical sys­tem for all Cana­di­ans that is free with min­i­mal waits. That is not social­ism; that is car­ing about Fel­low Canadians.

Amer­i­cans may be sur­prised by the Cana­di­an con­tent in their life. Super­man — “truth, jus­tice and the Amer­i­can way” — was co-cre­at­ed by Cana­di­an Joe Shus­ter, the dai­ly Plan­et is based on a Toron­to news­pa­per, and the 1978 film­s’s Lois Lane, Mar­got Kid­der, and Super­man’s father, Glenn Ford were both Cana­di­ans. The Cap­tain of the star­ship Enter­prise was Mon­tre­al-born William Shat­ner. Toron­ton­ian Ray­mond Massey played Abra­ham Lin­coln in 1956. And as Amer­i­can as apple pie? Ah, no. The McIn­tosh apple was devel­oped in Dun­dela, Ontario, in 1811 by John McIntosh.

Many of the sports that Amer­i­cans excel at are Cana­di­an in ori­gin. James Nai­smith  from Almonte, Ontario, invent­ed bas­ket­ball. The tack­ling and ball car­ry­ing in foot­ball were intro­duced by the Canucks in games between Har­vard and McGill in the 1870’s. Five-pin bowl­ing is also a Cana­di­an game. Lacrosse is offi­cial­ly Canada’s nation­al sport, and hock­ey — well, Cana­di­ans are hock­ey. And Jack­ie Robin­son called Mon­tre­al “the city that enabled me to go to the major leagues”

To make every­one’s life eas­i­er, Cana­di­ans invent­ed Pablum, the elec­tric oven, the tele­phone, Mar­quis wheat, stan­dard time, the rotary snow­plow, the snow­blow­er, the snow­mo­bile, Plex­i­glass, Oven clean­er, the jol­ly jumper, the pace­mak­er, the alka­line bat­tery, the caulk­ing gun, the gas mask, the goalie mask, and many more.

Cana­di­an infe­ri­or­i­ty com­plex? That is anoth­er myth. Nev­er pick a fight with a qui­et kid in the school­yard. Nev­er mis­take qui­et con­fi­dence for weak­ness. Many a bul­ly has learned the hard way. Cana­di­ans are self-effac­ing and do not brag. That does not mean we do not know who we are. We are car­ing but tough, fun-lov­ing but polite and cre­ative, and we share with each oth­er and the world. Our his­to­ry is excit­ing but we don’t toot our horn. The world does that for us. This is the third year in a row that Cana­da has been vot­ed the most respect­ed coun­try in the world by the Rep­u­ta­tion insti­tute glob­al survey.

Per­haps once a year around our col­lec­tive birth­days, Amer­i­cans can raise a toast to their friend­ly, con­fi­dent neigh­bour in the Great White North.

(Ger­ry Boley is a Uni­ver­si­ty lec­tur­er and writer liv­ing in St. Cather­ines, Ontario, Canada)

Conductor Angus “Mac” McDonald

27 years on the Reston-Wolse­ley Mixed Train.

Please click on this news item shown here, and it will give you a great news clip­ping from the Reston Recorder dat­ed Jan, 4, 1934, about Train Con­duc­tor Angus McDon­ald, an amaz­ing and beloved man, and some of his his­to­ry. He had 25 years ser­vice with CPR pri­or to tak­ing over the Reston-Wolse­ley mixed, for a total of 52 years service.

Souris Rail­way Muse­um attained his col­lec­tion of mem­o­ra­bil­ia from the com­mit­tee of “The Caboose” CP 437180, which they had in stor­age, and with no place to exhib­it them. We have the orig­i­nals of this mem­o­ra­bil­ia safe­ly locked in our strong box. Among these arti­facts are 26 train orders from 1891 and 1892, an engine haulage capac­i­ty book from 1926, which illus­trates all the sub-divi­sions  and sta­tions of the for­mer Souris Divi­sion, a time bill (today it is known as a sched­ule) dat­ed 1895 show­ing sched­ules from Fort William,Ontario to Don­ald, B.C. and all branch lines con­nect­ed. One train order and one page of time bill #31 are dis­played on this page. All Train orders can be seen in our library, pho­to­copied in a binder. (Click your cur­sor on each illus­tra­tion insert­ed in this arti­cle for enlarged viewing).


The next sum­mer after Angus McDon­ald retired, a pic­nic was held at what is now called Kenosee Lake in hon­our of Con­duc­tor McDon­ald and at which there were over 2,000 well-wish­ers in atten­dance. Peo­ple from all over who had trav­elled on his train in those 27 years. Anoth­er news item is dis­played here, illus­trat­ing why the crew of the “Peanut” were well liked by the trav­ellers on the Reston-Wolse­ley mixed.

An illus­tra­tion of the cov­er of a book, titled “The Peanut”, by Edi­tor Gilbert McK­ay of the Moo­somin, SK.,World-Spectator is also illus­trat­ed in this write-up. One sto­ry as to how this train became named the “Peanut” is about a set­tler stat­ing every time he heard this train’s whis­tle it remind­ed him of a peanut ven­dors whis­tle as he ped­dled his peanut machine, back home in England.

We are very thank­ful to the descen­dants of Angus McDon­ald from Reston, Man­i­to­ba for their gra­cious dona­tion of his mem­o­ra­bil­ia to the his­to­ry of Souris Rail­way Muse­um. Writ­ten by Ferg Devins.



THE RUNAWAY FLATCAR by Gordon F. “Red” McIntosh

The run­away train came down the track and hit the sta­tion a a hel­lu­va whack! 

Remem­ber that old song? Well, let me tell you about the run­away flat car that missed the sta­tion and went for an unevent­ful down­hill ride. These are the circumstances.

I was the Cana­di­an Pacif­ic Rail­way’s Sta­tion Agent at For­rest, Man., dur­ing the peri­od 1961–65. Trains passed For­rest, locat­ed on the Rapid City Sub., on reg­u­lar timetable sched­ules and branched off to 3 oth­er sub­di­vi­sions, viz; Lenore, Var­coe and Miniota.The Rapid City sub., passed over the Cana­di­an Nation­al Rail­way, at For­rest Trans­fer over which traf­fic was inter­changed. The paper­work for such move­ments was han­dled by the CNR staff at Rivers, MB., and the CPR Agent at Forrest.

Trans Cana­da Pipelines main­tained a pres­sure sta­tion North of For­rest, and with plans made to enlarge this facil­i­ty, sev­er­al flat cars loaded with gigan­tic com­pres­sors and duct work arrived at For­rest from East­ern Canada.

Arrange­ments were made with CPR, TCPL and con­trac­tor Ernie McLean of Este­van, Sask., to have loads hauled up at rear of the Min­io­ta train and left on the main track at a spot where they could be dri­ven to, and unloaded by McLean’s dragline crane. This was done. Road­mas­ter Downes instruct­ed Sec­tion Fore­man Savich to fol­low along and assist where required, and to ensure hand brakes were applied to the emp­ty cars as they were unloaded. This he did. How­ev­er, it became evi­dent after sev­er­al cars were unloaded and pushed down, the cou­pling between first and sec­ond flat was not com­plete­ly made and the first car out began to roll away, even though the hand brake had been applied, and smoke was evi­dent from the brake shoe fric­tion. Sec­tion­man Deleau ran after the flat, until he dropped, but could not catch it.  .…(Edi­tor’s note for your info, this sec­tion man Tony Deleau, would be a broth­er to Fireman/Engineer W.H. “Pete” Deleau of Souris MB,).….

From the point of release South­ward, lay some 14 miles of down­hill grade. The flat picked up speed, pass­ing over Provin­cial Hwy #25, over CNR main­line at For­rest Trans­fer, over numer­ous Munic­i­pal cross­ings, past For­rest sta­tion, over Provin­cial Hwy. #10 and South­ward at an esti­mat­ed speed of 30 MPH, ulti­mate des­ti­na­tion CPR main line at Chater.

After the flat whizzed by my office win­dow, I attempt­ed to advise the Train Dis­patch­er in Bran­don of what was hap­pen­ing, but Art Grant, Road Fore­man of Engines, was speak­ing to some­one on the Dis­patcher’s phone about a prob­lem, so I rather rude­ly inter­rupt­ed him and told him the drill, that should the flat car run over the knoll at Barager, it could run out onto the main­line at Chater. I was told Mr. Grant and Gor­don Ding­wall & Divi­sion Mas­ter Mechan­ic vacat­ed Com­pa­ny premis­es in Bran­don and broke all speed lim­its dri­ving out to the Men­tal Hos­pi­tal Spur at Barager, arriv­ing in time to see the flat come slow­ly to a halt. It was their inten­tion to derail the flat by any means they could, like­ly open Barager switch to put the flat  on the ground.

After advis­ing Mr. Grant, I tele­phoned the Plains West­ern Gas Plant at #1 Hiwy., and asked a per­son to watch for the run­away and flag #1 Hwy., cross­ing, even though the cross­ing was pro­tect­ed with sig­nal lights. A lone flat car trav­el­ling at any speed would not be seen and #1 was a busy high­way. The cross­ing was flagged and the flat­car passed over.

So, a cat­a­stro­phe had been divert­ed through good for­tune. All cross­ings at grade were passed over and won­der of all won­ders a CNR train was not pass­ing For­rest Trans­fer. The Min­io­ta train on return, nosed onto the emp­ty cars on the main track, pushed them down to For­rest, ran around them, picked up the run­away at Barager, pro­ceed­ed to Bran­don yard and tied up.

It appeared the sec­tion crew was in for a cita­tion, how­ev­er cool­er heads must have pre­vailed, inas­much as Sec­tion crew was not “Run­ning Trades” per­son­nel and no injury nor loss of equip­ment result­ed. The case was closed. In con­ver­sa­tion with Super­in­ten­dent Lowe next day, I asked him if he would write Plains West­ern Staff a let­ter of thanks. which he agreed to do.

Plains West­ern staff were pleased with the let­ter and to have received some recog­ni­tion. The plant Man­ag­er advised me that they had been on the CPR “bad list” as short­ly before this inci­dent they had flared-off some excess prod­uct and had melt­ed the tele­graph wires on a CPR pole near­by, and had received an angry blast from the CPR linesman.

As Robert Burns so apt­ly put in his poem; ‘the best laid schemes o’mice and men.…gang aft a‑gley’

  The North Branch­es are aban­doned now !.…Writ­ten Decem­ber 2004.



****Edi­tor’s note.…In the 1950’s a car­load of grain escaped from Franklin, Man­i­to­ba and ran all the way to Glad­stone before it came to a stop. No oth­er details are available****