Kemano & Kitimat,
British Columbia, Canada
 ca 1953-1957
Jeff Watts Pictures / Memorabilia

 Misc. Kemano Scenes

Site Index

Kemano
Kemano Beach
Powerline
Kemano Tunnel
M-K Tramway
Kemano Powerhouse
Kemano Townsite, Camp 5
Wachwas Camp

Company Phone Book 1954
Workers in Memoriam

Kitimat
Alcan Smeltersite
Labour Management Committee
Kitimat Townsite

Nechako Reservoir
Ootsa Lake Lodge

Managers
Ray Edwin "Rep" Powell

McNeely "Mac" Dubose Jr.

Misc.
G.G. Massey's Visit 1954
T.R. "Bud" Walker
Morrison-Knudsen Co.
Crawley & McCracken Co. Ltd.
Horetzky (Peak, Creek, St,)

Jeff Watts Photos
Jeff Watts Bio
Kemano Boy Scout Troop
Various Photos, ca 1954-56

Jim Hanna Photos
Various Photos ca 1954-56


External Sites

External Links
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2016

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Misc. Kemano Scenes
from Jeff Watts Collection


Jeff's friend, Alan Tennyson
 along the Kemano River
getting ready for a photo shot.

L/R- Chiki ?, Sharon? Diane?

Kemano girls

Men in the Coffee Shop
Jeff Watts on right

Black Bear
 enjoying the smells of the Cookhouse

MK 54 Ford F100 no1M7.
Boilermaker Asst. Superintendant
 Ed Lawson's of Seattle

Wolf Cubs collecting empty beer bottles

Couple boys and a dog

left-right, ? Smith, Fred ?

Switchyard

ca 1955
Mountain known as "The Jaws"
Three rock horns that rise
above Kemano.
SW to NE,
First Jaw,
2nd Jaw, highest, (6765 ft)
then the 3rd Jaw.
All East of Horetzky Creek.
Probably Bruce Moss Photo

ca 1955
Siffleur Lake
Jeff thinks this might be
what the Scouts called
"Hotdog lake"
alt- 1216 mtr
Lat- 5337' North
Long- 12745' West
Siffleur= French word for Marmot

Probably Bruce Moss Photo
(See article below)
pictures below
 from small slides
quality on some is not perfect,
but best we have for now
Jeff had some redone
you will notice them for sure now
Kemano Valley     
Kemano Valley
Kemano theater Bill board 
Kemano Theatre Bill Board
Powerline NW of Kemano
Powerline NW of Kemano
Euclid Truck
Euclid Truck

Jaws Mountain
 at Horetzky Creek, ca 1955
Kemano River Swimming Hole
Kemano River Swimming Hole
   
Jeff Watts Dancing
at the Kemano Theatre

Mt. Dubose
Scout's Military Jeep
"The Flying Flea"
donated by MK for $1

International TD24 Dozer
at the Gravel Pit downstream
from the Switchyard
Jeff Watts on the track

Jeff Watts beside MK
5 Ton Ford
 Bobtail Dump Truck, ca 1955
 
Loading 11ft diameter
x 20ft Penstock Raise Pipes
onto Lowboy at Kemano docks

Left-  Jim Hanna,
lives in Melbourne, Australia,
worked in the M-K office
under Doug Ellis, accountant, in middle,
 and Barb Ellis on right, his wife
who live in Boise, Idaho.
 Photo taken at
Wachwas Village housing.

Jeff Watts
 at Kemano River Beach, ca 1955

Japanese Performers
at Kemano Theatre, ca 1955

Road Bridge and Hand Railing
at Powerhouse Tailrace
to the Kemano River, ca 1955

 


MV Nechako
107 ft wooden hull boat, built by Boeing's Vancouver Shipyard.
MV Nechako Made 2 round trips per week, Kitimat to Kemano
built in 1929 as the "Cora Marie"
a luxury yacht of William Curtis Shelly,
BC's Minister of Finance, 1929-30
Moved to Vancouver in 1910.
who with his brother,  Fredrick "Fred" Shelly,
started the 4X bakery in Parksville.
Boat named after Cora Marie Shelly, nee Snure
b- Jan 1882 in ON
d- Jan 20, 1973 in Vancouver, age 92.
wife of William Curtis Shelly
b- Sept 17, 1878 ON
 d- Aug 13, 1951 in Vancouver, age 72
father- William James Tallman Shelly
mother- Ellen High
1901 all in St. Catherine, ON
all buried in Snure, Church of Christ Cemetery,
Jordan, Louth Township, Lincoln County, ON, Conc 4, lot 19
Cora Marie was bought in 1951 by Alcan

 

 

 

 

Collection of assorted photos.
some are above, they require some professional work
to be clearer here.
Best Jeff has for now.

Notes and Info on names, etc. from Jeff

Alcan Security
 
Nicknamed "Aluminum Bellhops"
 

Alcan Security Chief, Mr. Weston, when Jeff was there.  
He once cautioned Jeff for ordering
 Seagram's 83 Whiskey from the LCB, as he was underage,
 and Mr. Weston reviewed the supply barge manifest.

Alcan Security Officer- Tommy Lees
husband of Nancy Lees below
Arthur Newcombe was Alcan Security Officer


Reminisces of Jeff

I remember the Duke of Edinburgh visiting Kemano.  I was given the task of helping build steel holders for window boxes for the MK managers homes at Camp 5.  They were made from 1 1/2"  steel angle and decorated with flower stems made from rebar and leaves stamped out of 1/8" plate.  Harry the Blacksmith, nicknamed "Helkistink" as he chain smoked cigars, was my partner.  I still have a slight scar on my right hand from a piece of hot haywire when he caught me snoozing on the job. I got no sympathy from my foreman, Jim Palmer.  They were brightly painted and filled with real flowers for the Duke's one minute motorcade.  I was fascinated by the Canadian pronunciation of duke as "dook" as opposed to my English "dewk".  Another word I struggled with was "can't", "cehn't" as apposed to "caan't".  I would practice Canadian quietly when alone as I was teased by my workmates for my limey accent.  True to the title "Boilermaker" we all imbibed.  A 26 ounce bottle of Seagrams 83 cost $3.85 when ordered from the Liquor Control Board in Vancouver but the bootleg price was $10 and double or more on holidays. 

My recollection was that the Duke visited Kemano in October 1954 because I worked as a labourer until the rock crushing plant shut down for the winter in October when I became a Boilermaker Helper.  Or was it in the Spring of 1955? 

There was another MK superintendent, Gus Delatour but I don't recall his title.  In those days there was unemployment in Quebec and the government shipped men out to the west.  We had a welder we called "Frenchie"  and he took a lot of teasing on the job.  I had taken French in high school so we would kibitz.  One day he was really upset and he said, "To ell with this Colombie Britanique, I go back to Canada!"

There is an additional company that operated in Kemano in those years, Kitimat Storage.  I think the best description of their function is "services contractor" which provided instant responses to Alcan's needs where a formal contract would delay action.  The owner and onsite manager was Mr. Lockhart and his two subordinates were his son Sandy Lockhart and Walter Shellest.  I spoke to Walter a number of years ago where he was living in Prince George.  They had one of the warehouses near the tramway.

Sandy Lockhart was Cub Master in Kemano

Some Managers Jeff Remembers
"Ole" Strandberg, MK
"Red" McKernan
"Jack" Delaye, Project Mgr., MK
"Herman Echols" Assistant Project Mgr. ,MK
 Boilermaker Supt., Ernie McPhalen, Riverside, CA., MK
 Assistant Boilermaker Supt., Ed Lawson, Seattle, WA., MK
 Rock Crusher and Aggregate Screening, ? Bittersley, MK
 "Doug" Ellis, Office Bookkeeper, Boise, ID, MK
Bruce Moss, Photographer, MK
 Office Manager, ? Guild, MK


Grocery Store
 
Nancy Lees, wife of Tommy Lees above


More Memories from Jeff, Feb 16, 2012

Okanagan Helicopters Company, was I believe, owned and managed by Bill Brooks. (see Web Editor note below)  The hanger was just on the other side of the tailrace bridge facing the switchyard.  A scarlet red Sikorsky S-55 was the work horse and there were two or three small Bell helicopters.  The S-55 was used to erect the tubular aluminum transmission towers over the pass at the headwaters of the Kemano River and down the Kitimat side.  All construction tools and rigging were supplied by helicopter and I believe this was the first time in history that high riggers aligned and bolted up structural members furnished from the sky.

(Web Editor Note)- I don't think Bill Brooks was the owner, probably the Base Manager at Kemano.
Would love to hear from Bill or a family member to clarify this.

In the summer of 1956 we held our summer camp at "Hotdog Lake" on the trail from Horetzky Creek Camp to the Tahtsa Lake intake structure.  The scouts liked the site because on the south side of this acre sized lake the snow remained in the summer so they could slide down and land in warm water.  Bill Brooks kindly volunteered to fly in our tents, camp gear and provisions and as I recall two of the scouts got a ride in a Bell.  The rest of us had to backpack our personal gear. This was a special event as we all knew that family and friends would be leaving Kemano before the winter snows most of whom would not meet again.

See the picture of Siffleur Lake above,
very probably Scouts "Hotdog Lake"

 View Jeff  Watt's Scout Collection also
Boy Scout Troop


Pictures and info contributed by,
Jeff Watts, now an American citizen,
living in California USA.
During Kemano era, his name was Godfrey James Watts.
Jeff was born in England
Thanks for sharing Jeff! 

Jeff also presented many color slides to the Kemano Museum,
when he was invited  there, as a guest of Alcan,
just prior to the closing of Kemano Village,
which are believed to be in the Rio Tinto Alcan archives.
 

Click forward arrow for another page of photos
contributed by a friend of Jeff's,
Jim Hanna, from Australia

 

 

No Reproduction in Whole or in Part may be made
without the express Written Permission
 of Doug Gent

Page created by Doug Gent 2016
Created
Jan 26, 2012
Revised Feb 29, 2012

Click on Forward Electric Bolt above, to View All Pages
or Pick from Fast Links below, to choose a Certain Section
Beach,
Powerline, Tunnel, Tramway, Powerhouse, Camp 5, Wachwas Camp, 1954 Phone Book,
In Memoriam,
Smeltersite, Labour Management Committee,  Kitimat Townsite, Ootsa Lake Lodge,
Ray Edwin "Rep" Powell,
McNeely "Mac" Dubose Jr., G.G. Massey's Visit 1954, T.R. "Bud" Walker,
Morrison-Knudsen Co., Crawley & McCracken Co. Ltd., Horetzky (Peak, Creek, St,),

Boy Scout Troop, Misc Kemano People,
External Links, Contact Web Editor