- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 14 Mar 1940, p. 367-383
- McKeand, Major David L., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Our knowledge and familiarity with Canada's Arctic. The importance of radio, and specifically the CBC, to our knowledge of Canada's geography. A description of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories Act which provides for a Territorial Government. Administration of the various Acts, Ordinances and Regulations. The enforcement of law and order. The people that live there, and how they live. The wild life of the region. Establishing a trading post. Medical services and educational advantages. Scientific information obtained by Government agencies. Five main routes to the region, with a brief description of each. The fifth route covered by the Eastern Arctic Patrol. What the Patrol is, what it does, who administers it. Transportation of mail and people into and out of the region. A detailed description of the route and the different ports of call. 80 days since leaving Ottawa and 12,000 miles covered. Sites seen including the Eskimo in his own country, mountains, glaciers, icebergs, polar bears, walrus, seals and whales, countless waterfowl and mosquitoes, all kinds of weather. The Eskimo in his native surroundings. The hard but rewarding life in the north. New wonders brought to the natives by civilization. Work accomplished through the Eastern Arctic Patrol.
- Date of Original
- 14 Mar 1940
- Language of Item
- Copyright Statement
- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
- Empire Club of CanadaEmail
Agency street/mail address
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West, Floor H
Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3
- Full Text
THE EASTERN ARCTIC PATROL
AN ADDRESS BY MAJOR DAVID L. McKEAND
Chairman: The President, Dr. F. A. Gaby.
Thursday, March 14, 1940
THE PRESIDENT: Distinguished Guests and Gentlemen: It is a great pleasure to welcome as our guest-speaker such. a distinguished Canadian as Major David L. McKeand, who not only gave service to his country during the South African War, but also during the first Great War.
Major McKeand has taken an active interest in sports, being at one time with the Hamilton "Tigers", and subsequently elected President of the Canadian Rugby Football Union.
For the past twenty years he has been familiar with the history and romance of the Arctic, through administering and patrolling the tremendous territory in the Canadian north, known as the Eastern Arctic and the Northwest Territories.
Major McKeand's official titles are: Superintendent of the Eastern Arctic; Secretary of the Northwest Territories Council; Officer in Charge of the Eastern Arctic Patrol; Government Representative in the Arctic Archipelago.
I take much pleasure in introducing Major McKeand, whose subject is "The Eastern Arctic Patrol". (Applause)
MAJOR DAVID L. McKEAND: Well, Mr. President, Distinguished Guests and Members of the Empire Club of Canada, it is indeed a distinct pleasure and honour for one in the public service to come here on such a day as this. As you know, shorn of all the titles which your President has so kindly given to you, I am simply a public servant. I am a Civil Servant in Ottawa. I am fully conscious of the great privilege it is to be serving Canada. I am happy in my job. I am proud of my associations and I am certainly conscious of the fact that as a responsible government employee, the Minister of Mines and Resources is the man who announces the policy of the Government and we in the public service simply carry out his instructions.
Now, the subject today is "The Eastern Arctic Patrol". Have you ever listened to Neighbourly News on Sunday mornings at ten and heard Andy Clark comment on editorials and news items from the Mount Forest Confederate, Port Dover Maple Leaf, Wiarton Canadian Echo and other weeklies published in Ontario, well known to most of us?
Or, have you ever listened to the C.B.C. special broadcast on Christmas Eve? Heard fathers, mothers, young men and women speaking from local stations to relatives and friends in places beyond the ordinary means of communication?
Have you ever tuned in on the Northern Messenger, Friday nights at 11.30? Heard messages read to listeners hundreds of miles away in places north, east and west of here but within the Dominion of Canada or Labrador? We know a few of these places. Others sound familiar but most of them are beyond our ken. You may be surprised to learn of place names in Arctic Canada that were known to Queen Elizabeth and appeared on maps of America before the Ottawa River was heard of or Lake Ontario seen by a white man.
How many of us can off-hand locate on the map of Canada such geographic features as Frobisher Bay? Cape Wolstenholme? King William Island? Cambridge Bay? Craig Harbour? Fort Ross or Arctic Bay?
Well, where are these places? With the exception of Cape Wolstenholme, they are within the Arctic Archipelago and appear on the latest map of the Northwest Territories.
The other night I heard the producer of "Canadian Snapshots" announce that teachers found the C.B.C. programmes very helpful in teaching geography. Before radios became popular, Bud Fisher, the famous cartoonist, drew a comic strip of a school-master asking his geography class, "Where is Montreal?" The smart boy answered, "Right between Pittsburgh and St. Louis." The school-master asked him, "Where did you get that answer?", and the boy replied, "From our radio". (He had been turning the dials.)
How many of us turn our radio dials to stations we cannot locate on the map? When we broadcast over the C.B.C. and National networks from the Nascopie at Fort Ross on the 3rd of September, 1937, a U.S. coastguardsman off Long Island heard us. He short-waved back that our signals were clear and strong and asked, "Where in Heaven's name are you?" Fort Ross was unknown then but now plays an important role in the administration of the Territories.
Sometimes I am asked, "Do you ever run across so-andso in the North?" Usually the name is unfamiliar and I am told, "He is somewhere in the Northwest Territories." After further questioning I find he is in Northern Ontario or some other Province or in Yukon Territory-anywhere in Canada but the Northwest Territories.
Any reference to the Northwest Territories usually brings to mind a picture of a bleak barren country with a midnight sun in summer and northern lights in winter, inhabited by Eskimos and overrun with polar bears, white foxes and Arctic owls. Most people are surprised to hear that Charlton island, a beaver sanctuary, 80 miles from Moosonee and only 500 miles north of Toronto is in the Northwest Territories.
Now, what are the Northwest Territories? Well, they embrace all the mainland of Canada lying north of the four Western Provinces and east of Yukon Territory; all the islands in Hudson and James Bays, and in Hudson Strait and all the islands comprising the immense Canadian Arctic Archipeligo. For purposes of organization and administration the Territories are divided into three districts-Mackenzie, Keewatin and Franklin. Generally speaking, the Mackenzie District lies north of Albert and Saskatchewan; Keewatin, north of Manitoba and Franklin comprises Canada's Arctic Islands. The land and water area total 1,309,682 square miles, a little over 35 per cent of the total area of Canada. The Northwest Territories Act provides for a Territorial Government composed of the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner and five Councillors appointed by the Governor-General in Council. The Commissioner in Council has power to make ordinances for the Government of the Territories under instructions from the Governor-General in Council or the Minister of Mines and Resources, respecting direct taxation within the Territories in order to raise revenue, etc., municipal institutions, licenses, solemnization of marriages, property and civil rights, administration of justice and generally all matters of a local or private nature in the Territories. The seat of Government is in Ottawa.
The Administration of the various Acts, Ordinances and Regulation is supervised by the Director of Lands, Parks and Forests Branch, Department of Mines and Resources. The Director, who is also Deputy Commissioner of the Territories, has his office in Ottawa.
The enforcement of law and order is the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and detachments have been established at strategic points throughout the Territories. By means of extensive patrols by water, land and air, reasonably close check is kept on a very large region by a comparatively small body of men.
Now, who lives there? First, the aborigines. These are certain tribes of North American Indians and a nomadic race called Eskimos. Eskimos are found from the Siberian Coast of Labrador and Greenland. The Indians are a tribal race who confine their settlements to the inland wooded regions. On the other hand Eskimos are not tribal, have no settlements and are found beyond the timber in widely scattered families along the shores of Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay, on the Arctic coast and on many Arctic islands. Both Eskimos and Indians are said to be offshoots from the Mongolian peoples of Eastern Asia; the northern Indians probably followed the Eskimos into America but this must have happened at least 2,000 years ago, so long ago that they retain no recollection of their early Asiatic home. By a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the word "Indian" in the British North America Act embraces both Indians and Eskimos. Second, there are the white people who arrived in the following order: Fur traders, missionaries, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, doctors, nurses, miners and explorers interested in scientific investigation.
The Eskimo and Indian population is slowly increasing. There are approximately 6,500 Eskimos and 6,000 Indians in the Northwest Territories and Northern Quebec and the white population is under 3,000.
Now, how do these people live? Eskimos depend almost entirely on sea and land mamals for food and clothing, Indians on game and fish and white people import practically all they require for food, shelter, clothing and fuel.
The fur trade is the oldest and still is the chief industry. In the interests of wild life and the welfare of the native population, over 600,000 square miles have been reserved as sanctuaries or as exclusive hunting grounds for the resident Indians, Eskimos, and half-breeds. Buffalo and musk-oxen are protected the year around; caribou and game birds may be taken in the open season and in 1935 a herd of Alaskan reindeer was imported to augment the supply of wild life available as a source of food and clothing for the natives. Hunting and trapping licenses are issued only to white British subjects who have completed four years' residence in the Territories and held a license on the 1st of May, 1938. In view of these restrictions no one should attempt to enter the Territories expecting to support himself even partially by living off the country.
There are natural fluctuations in the numbers of the various forms of wild life, the causes of which are being carefully studied. Over-trapping is corrected by shortening the open seasons or, if necessary, closing the seasons completely. Other measures taken for the conservation of game include prohibiting the use of poison and regulating the use of aircraft by white trappers.
No person may establish a trading post unless he holds -a permit from the Commissioner of the Territories. Permits -are granted for locations that seem necessary in the interests of the resident population and with due regard to the conservation of wild life. A trader must operate a trading post for eight months in a license year and in this way the business of trading in game is virtually restricted to those permanent white residents in the Territories.
There are medical services and educational advantages. Medical Officers and nurses employed by the Department of Mines and Resources are stationed at Chesterfield and Pangnirtung in the Eastern Arctic and at other principal centres where hospitals and Industrial Homes are maintained by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Missions with the assistance of the Dominion Government. At all points where there are branches of these Missions, provision is made for the education of the native and white children. Medical Officers may be called upon to make extensive patrols by sledge and dog team but since the introduction of private commercial radio stations they remain near the hospitals. However, through these radio facilities white and native patients have been successfully treated although hundreds of miles away.
In addition to the scientific information obtained by the Government agencies, privately organized exploratory and scientific expeditions have gathered considerable data regarding the Arctic regions. Such expeditions are not discouraged by the Government provided satisfactory evidence is supplied that they are adequately financed and equipped and have the endorsation of some recognized scientific body. Permits to carry out exploratory and scientific work in the Territories are issued by the Commissioner in Ottawa.
Now, how do you get there? Well, there are five main routes. Each one is a story in itself. The surest way is by boat; the hardest by dog team; and the easiest by aircraft. Let me illustrate them this way: Looking at the back of your left hand, with thumb and fingers extended, let us suppose the little finger represents the western route. Take a ship from Vancouver to Skagway, rail to Whitehorse, sail down the Yukon River to the Arctic Circle, up the Porcupine and Bell Rivers to the heights of land, down the Rat and Peel Rivers into the Mackenzie Delta and the Arctic Ocean. It is quite an extensive trip by water and land but may be covered in a few hops by plane.
The third or ring finger represents the next route. Rail from Edmonton to Waterways, boat down the Athabaska and Slave Rivers to Fitzgerald, 16-mile portage by motor car to Fort Smith, boat to Great Slave Lake and the gold mining area at Yellowknife, down the Mackenzie River, passing the mouth of Great Bear River, Fort Norman oil wells, hospitals and residential schools at Aklavik, and the Government Reindeer Station, to Port Brabant on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Regular air mail, passenger and express services are maintained over this route.
The second finger represents an all rail route from Winnipeg to Churchill on Hudson Bay. Aircraft can openate over this route also.
The index finger represents another all rail route from Toronto over the T. & N. O. Railway to Moosonee and the salt water of James Bay. You can fly over this route in a few hours.
The thumb represents the oldest, longest and most important route in Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada. As your thumb can touch the tips of all your fingers, so this route
can be made to connect with the terminals of the other four routes mentioned. From Montreal by ship down the St. Lawrence through the Strait of Belle Isle to the Atlantic Ocean. Turn westward along the Labrador coast through Hudson Strait to Moosonee and Churchill, the terminals of the index and second finger routes.
The main route lies true north of Belle Isle through Davis and Baffin Bay which separate Greenland from Baffin Island to Lancaster Sound in latitude 73 degrees north. This is the entrance to the Northwest Passage.
The patrol connects at Fort Ross with a motor schooner from the Western Arctic and with the exchange of passengers, mail and freight, an all Canadian Northwest Passage is completed.
The Eastern Arctic Patrol covers the major part of this fifth and last route. Now, what is the Eastern Arctic Patrol? The patrol is simply a government administrative unit in the Lands, Parks and Forests Branch of the Department of Mines and
Resources. Because of the area covered and its multifarious duties, the patrol attracts a certain amount of public attention.
Since the Deed of Surrender in 1870 and the transfer of the Arctic Islands of North America from Great Britain to the Dominion in 1880, a number of expeditions have
been sent north by the Federal Government for the purposes of administration, exploration and scientific investigation. Up to 1910, these expeditions wintered in the north. From that year until after the war there was a comparative lull in government investigation in the Eastern Arctic although rather intensive studies were carried out by the Stefansson Expedition in 1914-18 in the Western Arctic. The development of the oil fields in the Mackenzie District and the increasing interest in mining activity, necessitated a more intensive administration of the Territories. A Government office was established at Fort Smith in 1921 to take care of the Mackenzie district development and the next year the annual Eastern Arctic Patrol was inaugurated to supervise the administration of the Arctic Archipelago.
For some years Government-owned or chartered vessels were used for Arctic work, but in 1932 the Hudson's Bay Company made a very attractive offer for the Government business in the Eastern Arctic. Since 1933, the Royal Mail Ship Nascopie, owned and operated by the Hudson's Bay Company, has been used to carry Government officials, mail and supplies from Montreal to the farthest north Government post on Ellesmere Island, as far west as Fort Ross in the Northwest Passage and to return to Halifax before freeze-up.
The Nascopie was designed and built for Arctic work at Newcastle-on-the-Tyne and launched in 1912. Her dimensions are: length, 285 feet; beam, 43 feet; mean draft, 24 feet; gross tonnage, 2,521; net tonnage, 1,503; single screw engines, developing 2,300 h.p., maximum speed, 13 knots; licensed for 50 passengers and a crew of 52. Leaving Montreal the cargo includes a year's supplies of food and fuel for Medical Officers, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, radio operators, fur traders, Missionaries and trade goods for Eskimos. The decks are covered with gasoline and oil drums, large and small boats, lumber and other materials which cannot be stowed below. About 1,500 tons of bunkers are required for the voyage.
The passenger accommodation consists of staterooms between decks, with two and four berths. The one saloon on the main deck seats 23 and serves as a dining-room, smoke-room, lounge and music-room.
Now, who are the passengers? First, the Government party numbering about 20 and composed of Administration Officers, Postmaster, Stipendiary Magistrate, lawyers, doctors, Police, scientists artists and photographers and representatives of the Press. The doctor and police will relieve those completing two or three years' service in the North. There are Hudson's Bay Company officials returning from furlough or entering their first five-year term of service, Missionaries bound for isolated posts or service in the hospitals, prospective brides and a few tourists from the provinces and the United States.
The Nascopie sails from Montreal in July, frequently on the hottest day in the year. The Press describes the sailing as the most colourful of any from Montreal. There is the usual crowd on the dock: relatives and friends from far and near to say "bon voyage" and wave farewell, parents taking leave of children and children of parents; fair admirers whispering tender good-byes to a Mountie or a young fur trader, friends wishing joy and happiness to prospective brides; good neighbours and well-wishers from the United States. The sailing of the patrol is very different to what it was 35 years ago, when A. P. Low, Commander of the Arctic Expedition sailed on the Neptune for Hudson Bay. Here is what Stephen Leacock had to say about the sailing at that time
While we welter In the swelter Of the Pestilential Heat Drinking Sodas In Pagodas At the corner of the street, It seems to me That it would be My highest aspiration To sail away On a holiday Of Arctic Exploration. Let me lie in my pajamas on the ice Of 'Baffin's Bay, In the thinnest of chemises, where the Polar breezes play, Underneath a frozen awning let me Lie at ease a span, While beneath the bright Aurora Roars the ventilation fan. Can you wonder now that Nansen, and That Peary and that Low Should wander forth, And struggle north, As far as they can go? When the hero Under zero Lives on frozen lager beer And a demi-can Of Pemmican, You need not shed a tear. He seeks a higher latitude, I quite admit the feat; The reason is a platitude, He's crazy with the heat.
A brief description of the route and the different ports of call may be of interest. Sailing down the St. Lawrence, pilots are exchanged at Quebec about midnight. At noon next day, the pilot is dropped at Father Point and for the remained of the voyage the Captain is on his own, without the usual aids to navigation, sailing through uncharted waters--often in ice fields, infested with icebergs, with the usual gales and snow and fog to add to his troubles. Churchill is the only harbour, and there are but two or three safe anchorages in the ten thousand seven hundred mile voyage. Yet, the passengers, a year's mail, and a season's supply of food, fuel and clothing, must be safely landed and valuable furs, porpoise hides, whale oil and other country produce taken aboard at twenty-two ports of call.
Turning westward from Belle Isle the patrol meets the Arctic Current, icebergs are seen for the first time and the temperature drops to almost freezing point. Cartwright was the first call until 1936. It was here the patrol saw Balbo and twenty-four planes arrive from Iceland on the 12th of July, 1933, and take off next morning for Shediac, New Brunswick, en route to Chicago. The Right Reverend Bishop Fleming was there at the time.
The first call is now Hebron, about one thousand four hundred miles from Montreal. It was here the Moravians opened a mission and built a church over one hundred years ago. An Eskimo brass band plays the Nascopie to the anchorage. Supplies for Ungava Bay are transferred to the Fort Garry, a power schooner plying between St. John's and Labrador settlements.
After a brief call at Port Burwell at the south-east entrance to Hudson Strait for exchange of passengers and mail for Ungava Bay posts, the ship crosses to Baffin Island. Off the entrance to Lake Harbour an Eskimo pilot and family are taken aboard. Lake Harbour nestles among the highlands of Southern Baffin Island at the north end of an estuary ten miles long. It was formerly a rendezvous for whalers and is one of the safest anchorages to be found in the Eastern Arctic. There is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment, Hudson's Bay Company trading post, opened in 1911, and an Anglican Mission. Sports are arranged for the Eskimos between tides and handling of cargo. Mail from Pangnirtung and Frobisher Bay brought down during the winter by the Police patrol is collected by the postal representative for despatch via Churhill.
The next calls are Wakeham Bay and Sugluk in Northern Quebec, the former, a one-time base for aircraft with the Hudson Strait Expedition, 1927-28. Cape Dorset, on
Baffin Island, at the westerly end of Hudson Strait is where the Honourable John Buchan, now Lord Tweedsmuir, helped to build the post manager's residence and spent a year among the Eskimos, travelling by boat and dog sled, along the coast of Southern Baffin Island. Cape Dorset was also the scene of a marriage between the leader of the British Arctic Expedition and a graduate nurse of the Royal Victoria Hospital. They are living happily on the west coast of Baffin Island, exploring and mapping the shores of Foxe Basin, the nesting ground of the blue goose.
Turning south, Cape Wolstenholme is easily distinguished from other highlands of northern Quebec. Anchor is dropped in Eric Cove where Hudson took on water in 1610. The government patrol ship N. B. McLean uses the same stream every summer. It was here that Mr. Ralph Parsons, Fur Trade Commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company, opened the first trading post on Hudson Strait on the 13th of August, 1909, almost 240 years after the Company was incorporated and opened its first post in James Bay.
Sailing southward, calls are made at Cape Smith and Port Harrison on the east coast of Hudson Bay. Up to 1935 the Nascopie continued south to Charlton Island passing the Belcher Islands made famous by Bob Flaherty, producer of that popular movie, "Nanook of the North". Charlton Island is about eighty miles from Moosonee and for many years the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company district manager. Ships from England brought supplies annually and returned with a fortune in furs.
The Medical Officer of the Indian Affairs branch also looks after the Eskimos in this area and, therefore, it is unnecessary for the patrol to visit James Bay.
From Port Harrison the patrol sails due west for Churchill, five hundred and thirty-six miles across Hudson Bay to connect with the weekly train from Winnipeg. On the 6th of August last year His Excellency the late Lord Tweedsmuir was on the dock when the Nascopie arrived. For a few days everyone is busy. Mail has been accumulating and must be answered. An excursion arrives by train from points as far south as Minneapolis and as far west as Calgary bringing passengers to take the places of those who have come from Montreal. Visits are made to Fort Prince of Wales and Sloop Cove as well as to other Historic sites. In 1937 H.M.S. Scarborough paid a visit to Churchill and was the first war ship to enter the harbour in 155 years. Fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables and other supplies are taken aboard for delivery at northern posts.
Sailing north from Churchill, the patrol arrives at Chesterfield on the west coast of Hudson Bay. This is the largest and most important settlement in Keewatin District. In 1890 Mr. J. W. Tyrrell ascended Chesterfield Inlet and followed the inland water route to Fort Reliance at the easterly end of Great Slave Lake.
The Roman Catholic Mission operate a 30-bed hospital and industrial home. Aeroplanes were operated around Chesterfield in 1928 and Father Schulte, "the Flying Priest" completed a mercy flight of two thousand two hundred miles to Arctic Bay and return in 1938. The Roman Catholic Mission celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1937.
Supplies are transferred to the Motor Schooner, Fort Severn for delivery to Baker Lake, Eskimo Point and other government, fur trading and missionary posts in the Keewatin District.
The patrol then sails eastward, clearing Hudson Strait before turning north. Up the east coast of Baffin Island the Arctic Current, flowing south, brings hundreds of icebergs of various shapes and sizes. The Arctic Circle is crossed with the usual ceremony. With varying weather and ice conditions, the Nascopie drops anchor at Craig Harbour, eight hundred and thirty miles from the North Pole, the farthest north post office in the Empire. Photographs of Their Majesties, autographed last year, hang on the walls of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Barracks.
If there is no work farther north or in Greenland, the Nascopie turns south passing Cape Sparbo on the north coast of Devon Island, where a large herd of musk-ox may be seen on a clear day. Passing through Lancaster Sound and turning south through Prince Regent Inlet, anchor is dropped at Fort Ross on Somerset Island. Eighty miles to the south is the site of the North Magnetic Pole. A two-way wireless conversation was successfully held with Ottawa in 1937.
After the exchange of passengers, mail and freight, the Nascopie commences the homeward leg of the voyage. Again turning north a call is made at Arctic Bay. Arctic Bay is about seventeen hundred miles north of White River, Ontario. In 1936 the Hudson's Bay Company built a modern insulated frame residence there for the Post Manager. The fuel consumption is only five and one-half to six tons of Welsh anthracite for heating and cooking throughout the year.
While the Nascopie was at anchor, Bishop Fleming married two white persons on the 29th August, 1938: a baby girl was born to this couple on the 6th July following and she was baptized on the 4th September last.
The Nascopie was lying at anchor at Arctic Bay on the 3rd September last and over the radio come word that Canada was at war. His Majesty's speech, also those of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Mackenzie King, were heard on the Empire Broadcast from London. An hour or so later, Mr. William J. G. Ford of the Hudson's Bay Company volunteered his services to the Officer in Charge of the patrol and said he was willing to serve in any theatre of war. Mr. Ford with his brother and cousin, also in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company, together with Mr. Patrick Baird, a Cambridge graduate returning after a year's scientific investigation in the north, came to Halifax on the Nascopie. They went to Toronto to enlist in the 48th Highlanders but unfortunately for them the regiment was up to strength. They tried the Black Watch in Montreal without success. Mr. Baird came to Ottawa and interviewed the Officer Commanding the Cameron Highlanders. Finally, all four enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery in Montreal. Another Cambridge graduate with Arctic experience-Graham Rowley-enlisted in the Corps Petrol Park. They sailed with the First Division for England in November. The Arctic Islands of Canada as well as other parts of the Empire are represented in the present conflict.
Rounding Bylot Island, the Nascopie enters Pond Inlet, named for John Pond, the Astronomer Royal. Heading southward, the towering glaciated cliffs of Baffin Island stand out in bold relief. A brief call is made at River Clyde where young Ford's father is post manager for the Hudson's Bay Company. If you have listened to the Northern Messenger recently you heard a message written by his son in Aldershot brought across the Atlantic by the Canadian Postal Service and broadcast by the C.B.C. from Toronto. All his friends in the Arctic, as well as his father, would hear this message.
Rounding Cape Mercy the Nascopie enters Cumberland Sound and drops anchor at Pangnirtung, the largest settlement in the Eastern Arctic.
Pangnirtung Settlement is on a broad sloping, moss-covered plain bordering on a fiord of the same name that runs thirty miles north easterly from Cumberland Sound in Eskimo it means "the two-year-old deer". The fiord is the show place of the Eastern Arctic and defies description. The scenery is said to surpass the fiords of Norway.
Scotch, Norwegian and American whalers operated in Cumberland Sound until the whales disappeared. In 1921 the Hudson's Bay Company opened a trading post; two years later the R.C.M.P. erected their barracks and in 1926 the Government appointed a resident Medical Officer. In 1930 the Anglican Mission opened a 16-bed hospital, heated by oil fuel, lit by electricity, equipped with X-ray, and with medical, surgical and infants wards. The buildings have been enlarged to accommodate aged, crippled and blind Eskimos. In 1939 a golf course was laid out and the Doctor is the proud possessor of the late Hon. Martin Burrell's clubs. Toronto has a special interest in Pangnirtung because the Doctor, his wife and three children, the matron and the nursing staff are well known to many in this city.
Leaving Pangnirtung, a brief call may be made at Port Burwell or Hebron before shaping a course for home. It is about 80 days since leaving Ottawa and about 12,000 miles were covered--almost halfway round the world. We have seen the Eskimo in his own country--mountains, glaciers, icebergs, polar bears, walrus, seals and whales--countless waterfowl and mosquitoes--good and bad weather--done our job--without any fuss or serious accident--left everyone in good humour.
In his native surroundings the Eskimo is a happy and contented citizen of the Dominion. Life in the north As hard, but to the energetic and resourceful, nature turns a kindly smile. Civilization has brought many new wonders to the native. Wireless communication and the radio have relieved the monotony of the long winter vigil for those whose duty takes them to the Arctic Islands. Through the work of the Northwest Territories Administration, in cooperation with other Federal Departments, the health and well-being of the Eskimo are protected-the wild life on which they depend for the main necessities of life is conserved. The mineral and other resources are investigated. Our knowledge of Canada's great northern heritage is broadened and its future is assured. Now, then, if Canada is worth fighting for, surely Canada is worth while working for.
THE PRESIDENT: Major McKeand, Honoured Guests and Gentlemen: I would like to refer at this point to the honour done us today in having with us Archbishop Owen,
Primate of all Canada, Bishop Renison and Bishop Fleming, who have all been in the Arctic and are familiar with the scenes portrayed by our guest-speaker today. We thank Major McKeand for a most interesting and illuminating talk on a part of Canada, as yet too little known to Canadians.
Major McKeand has referred to Lord Tweedsmuir's son, who spent some time in the Arctic. The late Lord Tweedsmuir was greatly impressed with and was very
desirous of knowing Canada, and two years ago he spent a great deal of time in the north. Bishop Fleming has stated that he opened at Aklavik the hospital in that particular area. May I read what Lord Tweedsmuir has said about this area
"I have seen a vision of a new world in the Arctic where winter is kindlier than on the plains, and summer, with its double allowance of sunshine, is both beautiful and bountiful. I can see this rich new world held together by the cheapest and safest air travel in existence, and I, can visualize a happy, courageous people, ennobled and made unselfish and happy by contact with the clean antiseptic North."
I happened to meet Lord Tweedsmuir shortly after he came to Canada and one of the things he was most interested in was learning about those unknown parts of Canada. He stated at that time that he intended to visit personally those parts in order to learn more of their potentialities.
We are indeed indebted to Major McKeand, who has shown us the vast potentialities of this new world in the North, and on behalf of the members of the Empire Club, I thank him most sincerely for his visit to us today, and for giving us a most interesting and comprehensive address on this valuable and comparatively unknown territory of Canada. (Applause)