We are all so proud of our Francois Lake hall

Here we are just about back to normal again after losing our power for a few hours.

Here we are just about back to normal again after losing our power for a few hours. Sure makes us feel just how helpless we really are. The Tweedsmuir House kitchen had a temporary source of power so the meals could be prepared. Sure felt good when the power came back on.

Nice job

Here is a little something that was passed to me, no names mentioned but thought I would pass it on. Hat’s off to Albert Klassen for his faithful help keeping the sidewalks clear at Tweedsmuir House and also for his dedicated garbage picking throughout spring, summer and fall around our town of Burns Lake. Also a big thank you to Allen Stanyer Sr. and Harvey Funk for removing snow on the residents cars. We really appreciate this. It’s the way to go fellas. We all live at Tweedsmuir House.


I have at hand a booklet put together by Doreen Shelford and given to me a lifetime ago and it’s really a treasure. She has called it some history told to Faye Short by R. W. Innes. The first story is very interesting, it tells of Harry Morgan, Al Goodwin and Jim MacDonald came into the Ootsa Lake district in 1904 by dog team over the Kamano Pass.

This was March and the lake was still frozen over and they skated the length of the lake. Jake Henkel already had a cabin on Ootsa Lake and had winter there. Years ago a retired forestry man and I were visiting and I mentioned the Kamano Pass and he said the police had to close the pass as there were too many grizzly bear accidents.

Also there had been some kills as well. It’s amazing to see the number of folks who came into the Ootsa Lake and Lakes District in those early years. Also I have the names and dates of the folks  moving into Burns Lake, this is also very interesting. I found this very interesting too, Bob Gerow built the first hotel on the island in 1913 so Burns Lake has had a hotel for a lot of years.

So slowwwww

Our daughter Kathy and her three girls make their home in Bangor, N. Ireland and she posted a package of Christmas cards for me to pass on to the family and friends. They were sent air mail posted Dec. 1 and the package arrived yesterday Jan. 14 so family and friends can celebrate two Christmas days. Just about a month and a half but at least it got here. As the saying goes better late than never.

Windy days

On Tuesday last a very strong gale force wind hit the lakes and east of town as well with a power outage. Lots of folks figured it was one of the worse wind storms they had ever seen. The power blinked a couple of times here in town but no power outage thank heavens for that as we have already had enough. Hat’s off to BC Hydro for their efforts to keep our power going.

Here we are half way through January and still enjoying the mild winter. It’s what is called a surprise but keep our fingers crossed this can’t last or am I fooling myself. It’s the ice that seems to be all over that’s very dangerous. No matter what happens now we are half way through the winter.

Our mother used to write for the Prince Rupert news and she kept all her writings in scrap books and some of the winter months, the 50s and the 60s, will tell us how lucky we are so far. Most winters reported 40 and 50 below and stay that way for days. One winter it was reported 70 below in Burns Lake. There were only two places in town that had thermometer’s that showed that cold, Burns Lake Hardware and Beatty’s Cleaner’s. Skag up in the north and Burns Lake were the coldest places in Canada, we set a record. There were very few water systems or septic systems so freezing up water lines were almost unheard of. There are no block heaters then so you had to figure how you had to start your vehicle.

I bought a little kerosene heater from Sears and hung it beside the block, it worked fine but always a danger of fire. I left the motor running all night and this was the best. There were some bad winters. I had one emergency trip to Burns Lake at 45 below zero. Most folks here hauled water from the lake with a horse, I know we did. In our big house we just couldn’t keep warm so we shut off the upstairs bedrooms and slept in the living room close to the wood heater. Our kids just loved that. One thing we sure had good ice for driving on. These cold winters made the taxi business a bit exciting.

Good entertainment

The Decker Lake Mennonite choir came last night and sang for us and also gave a message for us all. The residence of Tweedsmuir House always enjoy them coming to entertain us. We look forward to them.

On Saturday night last there was a pot luck supper at the Francois Lake Hall to raise funds for some more improvements for the outside of our hall. There were about between 60 and 70 present counting the children.

It was a lovely supper with everything a hungry soul would want. Brian and Lone Spur entertained us during the evening with their good music and song. Everyone really had a good time and say we should have these evenings more often.

As far as we can figure out the hall was built in 1922 and managed by the Farmer’s Institute for many years. Some funds became available and put to use, a new large addition was built on the west side. This gave the interior much more room. There have been many improvements through the years and the last big one was just lately and this was a whole new interior, including kitchen, bathrooms and much more and the interior now looks really modern and bright.

Through the many years there have been weddings, funerals, picture shows, auctions, and dances.

And a big thanks to all those who have been responsible for all the work that has been done to make it so.

Remember always God loves you and so do I.