Dawson City, Yukon Friday, March 19, 1999

A scene from the Dawson City Arts Society's presentation of "The Melville Boys". They came to their uncle's cabin to get some fishing done. Here, Owen has made a different sort of catch, Loretta, while Lee and May look on aghast. Photo by Jennie Kershaw

Feature Stories

Doctors to Pull Back Services after April 1
Red Lantern Winner Pleased with his Result
Dawson Arts Society Takes the Stage
1999 Junior Iditarod Race Results
Gas and Oil Exploration Means New Opportunities
Trek's 7th Year is Biggest Yet
Dawson City 100th International Bonspiel 1999
100 Years Ago

Welcome to the March 19 edition of the online Klondike Sun. The news stand edition was 24 pages long, contained 32 photographs, 22 stories, our bi-weekly television guide, the City's News page, our crossword and the cartoon strips Paws and Mukluk & Honisukle.

Doctors to Pull Back Services after April 1

Compiled by Dan Davidson

Seeing no solution in sight to the problem of on-call hours and the lack of remuneration for those hours, Doctors Parsons and Crocker have announced that they are pulling the plug on that side of their service to the community.

"We don't want the money, we want the time off!" Crocker told the Klondike Sun on March 11.

As of April 1, 1999, the doctor will not always be available after hours. Calls will have to be handled by the Nursing Station, which does have nurse practitioners on 24 hour stand-by.

Crocker and Parsons have been trying for years, and especially for the last year, to get the territorial government to okay a proposal which would see them reimbursed for on-call hours. Crocker, who has handled most of the media coverage on this, has emphasized repeatedly that the purpose of this is not to increase their salaries (which are on a fee for service basis now), but to establish a pool of money which would enable them to attract a permanent third physician to the community, thus allowing them to split the on-call time.

"No longer having a doctor available in Dawson after-hours," Crocker told the Whitehorse Star, "will mean a significant increase in patient medivacs to Whitehorse for emergencies. It will mean that there may be no physician available for the initial stabilization of serious and life-threatening emergencies, such as heart attacks.

"It will mean that low-risk baby deliveries will no longer be available in Dawson...

In an open letter to the community to be published Crocker and Parsons says that the government has failed to seriously consider their proposal.

"YTG has stated that they recognize that the current situation is not sustainable for rural doctors. Their first solution was to suggest that Dawson shouldn't expect to have a doctor always available after-hours. Their second solution was to offer a proposal which obligates the doctors to provide an inflexible and unsustainable on-call schedule."

The second government proposal was to put the physicians on salary and, in Crocker's words, have them sign a contract which would obligate them to service the on-call needs of the town at the present level.

She calls this an "inflexible and unsustainable on-call schedule. This proposal was unacceptable when first offered in 1997 and remains unacceptable in 1999," she said.

Crocker and Parsons don't see it as a money issue. For them, it's about time off, time when they don't have to sit at home waiting for the telephone to ring.

"To provide quality care to our patients, we need to take care of ourselves, so we need to be well-rested and healthy," Crocker says in her March 9 press release.

In addition there is the problem of recruiting a third doctor in the busier summer months and to allow the incumbent physicians to get some vacation time, or time to attend medical conferences. Crocker, for instance, is the rural representative to the Yukon Medical Association.

Finding locums (temporary doctors) is often a tough job.

Crocker had scheduled a trip in April, but has since learned that the doctor who was coming to cover her practice won't be able to come north.

Since then, she told the Yukon News, she has talked to 25 doctors from British Columbia to Ontario and hasn't been able to find one willing to substitute for her. They have cited lack of financial incentives and on-call reimbursement as their reasons.

"Why would a doctor, who can go to work in rural B.C. or rural Ontario, get their travel to that place covered, get reimbursed for their on-call time - as well as the time they're in the office - choose to come here?" Crocker asked rhetorically.

Health Minister David Sloan has indicated that Dawson's five nurse practitioners can handle the slack created by the reduction in services, and that nursing station hours can be extended to allow for it. More serious problems can be handled by medical evacuations.

He is quoted in the Yukon News as being concerned that the doctors' proposal would add from $200,000 to $400,000 annually to the cost of medical services in Dawson. The current cost is about $411,000.

"We felt, given the amount already being spent in Dawson, plus the amount that was being suggested, that there were probably more effective solutions," he said.

Crocker says Sloan's figures are much overstated at the high end and resents the implication in his statement and in headlines that portray her and Parsons as seeking more money for themselves.

The issue, she says, is one of community service. There is presently a third doctor in Dawson, Dr. Cindy Lauriente, but that the patient load is not enough to keep her here all year.

When there are three doctors, the on-call load becomes bearable. If there were remuneration for on-call nights, Dawson could retain a year round third doctor and keep the on-call hours within reason.

This reduction in service by the doctors will come as no surprise to their patients. In letters to the Klondike Sun and during a live Q&A show on DCTV/CFYT-fm, Parsons and Crocker indicated that this would be the next stage they would have to take.


Red Lantern Winner Pleased with his Result

Story and photo by Jennie Kershaw

Peter Ledwidge accepts his Red Lantern Award for the Yukon Quest.

Well, it's over for this year, and the 1999 Yukon Quest was hailed as one of the most successful to date. Dawson's entrant Peter Ledwidge took time out for the Sun to re-cap his first Yukon Quest, and talk with us about his future plans, Along with the experience this year's event gave the Red Lantern winner.

As Peter and I walked through his kennels out at their Hunker Creek claim, I got the immediate impression that Peter is a very contented man and very pleased that he had successfully finished the race and reached his goals of arriving on both his birthday and in time for the Yukon Quest Banquet. Peter cut the latter a little fine by arriving in at 15:46 with his family. This year's winner Ramy Brooks and most of the mushing competitors were there to cheer him over the finish line, just 2 hours before the kick off of this years post quest banquet. I however had flown to Whitehorse that day in the hope of being there for his finish, but Peter successfully beat me by a mere 7 minutes, hopefully next year I can shave a little off my time.

"When I got into Dog Sledding I had my sights set on the Quest right from the beginning, and went into it wholeheartedly, knowing I'm pretty determined and as long as it doesn't hurt the dogs I'd have a good chance of finishing the race", said Peter.

Not a bad effort considering he suffered a few setbacks from the start. I asked Peter what his worse day was out on the trail. "My dog team was a victim of the infamous spoiled meat that was distributed at this year's race, so probably when my dogs got sick and going into Eagle they were just crawling, but I didn't have any really good days or really bad days, they all just kind of blended into each other and there was a good and bad part to each day. You do get mood swings depending on how tired you are, and of course the common hallucinations that all mushers suffer at one time or another."

With his dogs so sick and suffering shoulder and leg injuries, Peter questioned continuing but instead drew on that determination he spoke of earlier, reminded himself that this was a trial race, regained his focus, nursed his dogs through their injuries, made a few changes with his team and headed out.

He had about a thousand miles in training the dogs before the race, that being the minimum training he knew he still had a good shot at finishing.

Peter like many, if not all, of the mushers wiped out on Eagle summit just behind Alaskan Musher Connie Frerichs; she was forced to scratch due to the leg injury she received in the crash.

Peter said, "I was lucky enough to have spent most of the trip staying in cabins until I left Dawson City. I had a bit of trouble waking up too. I over slept a couple of times out there but figured, 'Hey! I'm already late now. I'm just really late'."

One night on the trail Peter found himself ahead of a pack of howling Wolves. "All of a sudden the dogs ears pricked up and they were looking all around, but I didn't hear or see anything until out of the blue they really started to pick up the pace. Then I heard the wolves howling.

"They really scared the dogs as they were behind us; the dogs started running really, really fast, up hills that we would normally struggle with; but they were just flying up there, and kept that pace for quite a way. After that I was thinking, gee these dogs really had it in them, maybe I'm not working them hard enough. I was secretly hoping to run into them more often," he joked. Nothing like a pack of wolves to motivate your team hey!

"Going through that overflow just out of Dawson was kind of scary because there was a lot of open water and not too far away," Peter added.

"I travelled on my own from Dawson to Whitehorse, and that was like a really neat camping trip by myself. The dogs seem to enjoy it as well, it was fun for them. They would come around a corner and speed up, interested to see what was around it.

"It's a disadvantage being a rookie in that, once you do know the terrain and how far it is exactly to the next check point, then you get to know your landmarks. You get to focus more on the dogs and your pace. Now I've run it at least once I'll have that extra advantage next time," he said.

Peter is not interested in running the Iditarod. He prefers to stay focused on the Percy DeWolf and the Yukon Quest. He hasn't decided whether he will run next year's Quest.

"It all depends on the money," he said.

"We received a fantastic amount of support from the people and businesses in Dawson but it's not easy to go begging for money. Still I would really like to see Peter enter again next year so I'm prepared to do it again if that's what he wants," said Anne.

"I'm really impressed with the support of those two races and the reception you get at each check point. I didn't expect the reception I got in Whitehorse at all, I thought there would be a handful of people but not the numbers that showed up. That was a neat feeling," said Peter.

Peter's goal was to arrive with his dogs looking good, and to make it into Whitehorse for his birthday, and that he did. He received his Red Lantern Award to the sound of "Happy Birthday" sung to him by the 200 plus crowd in the Mount Mac centre in Whitehorse. Congratulations Peter, see you in 2000?


Dawson Arts Society Takes the Stage

by Dan Davidson

It's only been 10 months since the Dawson City Arts Society was formed. In that time the core group has held an impressive number of meetings, dared to dream large, negotiated occupancy of the old Oddfellows Building and begun the renovations which will take the group's scheme of a Yukon school of the arts on big step closer to reality.

In late February, however, the various talents which make up the group took a weekend to show people what they were talking about. Dubbed the Art Extravaganza by its organizers, the weekend of February 26-28 was intended to demonstrate what Dawson artists and performers can so when they set their minds to it.

The setting for the weekend was the Han Cultural Centre, a building well suited to displaying a variety of artistic endeavors under the same roof. Next year DCAS members would like to have their own home, but this was a good place to begin.

Friday night was the busiest of the three nights, beginning with instrumental performances by Betty Davidson (piano), Shelly Rowe (flute), Gwen Bell (piano) and Michael Baerg (piano). After the main event of the evening, Betty Davidson (piano) and Pat Henman (vocal) provided a selection of cabaret tunes.

Those who couldn't find a place to sit in the foyer where all the goodies were being sold were free to wander into the circular display room at the north end of the building to view the work of 18 artists, photographers and sculptors, who had mounted 45 items for people to look at and perhaps buy. Quite a few items were sold during the weekend and 30% of the profits went into the DCAS coffers.

The gallery was lined with oil paintings, watercolours, various types of photographs, fabric constructions, dress design, jewelry, wood carvings, and sculpture. In the hall between rooms Troy Suzuki's hilarious video "The Man from Sad" played to loads of laughter.

The main acting event of the weekend, though, was Norm Foster's play "The Melville Boys", staged in the intimate 90 seat theatre which is on the Front Street portion of the building. Nakai Theatre's poor judgment was Dawson's gain, since former Nakai manager Philip Adams was available to direct the production here and bring out the best in the cast.

"The Melville Boys" is the tale of two brothers, Owen and Lee, small town boys who work in a plastics factory. This is their weekend to relax at their uncle's cabin, a place they remember fondly from their boyhood. Lee (Tim Coonen) has deeper reasons for wanting to spend a weekend with his brother. He believes he is dying of cancer and is desperate to force his brother into growing up, to take on the role he has been forced to live ever since their father's illness sent him from school into the work force. Owen (Grant Hartwick) is hardly up to the chore, and intends nothing more than a weekend of fishing and perhaps one last fling before his impending marriage.

Assisting Owen in his dream of having a wild weekend are Loretta and Mary, two sisters who are as mismatched as the Melvilles. Mary (Bonnie Nordling) has been deserted by her husband, who also took the car. She is the responsible one of this pair, running a local store and looking after their mother. Loretta (Pat Henman) has delusions of acting grandeur based on the slim resume of two television car sales ads. She also has hot pants, and the readily available Owen is a conquest she cannot pass up.

"The Melville Boys" is by turns hilarious and contemplative, and not all of that comes from Owen and Loretta. They are a pair well enough, and their shenanigans create a fair trial for Lee and Mary, but the happily married Melville boy is sorely tempted by this lonely woman who is willing to listen to his fears about dying when no one else will. Mary, on the other hand, is inspired to get control of her life by Lee's example. But none of this comes without a lot of awkward moments and some very funny stuff involving a cake and a deck of cards.

Owen and Loretta have their own moments of alternating emotions when Owen realizes that his night of passion has changed his wedding plans.

The brother and sister pairs have their scenes as well, arguments about life and responsibility. But the play is called "The Melville Boys" and the high point comes when Lee and Owen confront their ambivalence about each other and finally come clean.

Tim Coonen plays a nicely understated Lee, portraying his frustration and shyness very effectively. Grant Hartwick holds his vaudevillian instincts in check and shares the stage as the slightly dense younger brother who loves and hates his sibling.

Bonnie Nordling projects a sweet, nearly broken, Mary, who really needs to find a reason to believe in herself again and whose concerns over her flighty sister almost push her own needs aside. Pat Henman managed to take a shallow character and make her almost lovable, in a nice way, rather than in the way Loretta sees herself. It would have easy to dismiss Loretta if she had been played poorly.

The show packed the theatre of Friday and Saturday nights and also played to a more lightly attended matinee on Sunday.

The weekend was the culmination of efforts by literally dozens of people and businesses. School students made posters and worked backstage along with DCAS adults. Businesses donated materials and props. The biggest sponsorships came from the Yukon Arts Branch, The Dawson City Recreation Department and Mackenzie Petroleum's Ltd.

For an opening venture, one would have to say that it was an impressive event. It will be interesting to see what comes next.


1999 Junior Iditarod Race Results

by Kathryn Cameron-Boivin

Sixteen-year-old Kyla Boivin is now a veteran of two Junior Iditarods. Check here next issue to find out how she does in her first mid-distance adult race. Photo from the family

We were en route to the races! After nearly 4 months of training and preparation, Kyla's 'Black Dog Kennel' were finally going out to compete. Dawson City resident veterinarian, John Overell and his wife Karen had made a house call to our trapline just a week before we left, to give shots as well as to give a VET CHECK on all the dogs. Norcan had rented us a reliable truck at a reasonable price so we attached the dog box, put the sleds on top, dogs inside and all our own gear underneath, then headed out on the road February 20th.

Our first stop was at Haines Junction where Kyla had signed up to participate in the second leg of the Chili Paw sled dog race on Sunday morning. The complete race involved 2-15 mile heats held on two consecutive days but prizes were awarded for single day times as well as aggregate two day times. Chips Paddy and his team turned in the fastest one day time at 1 hour 8 minutes. Kyla and her team finished the 15 mile course in 1 hour 20 minutes which placed them in 4th for the day just ahead of Walter Egg of Burwash who went home with the red lantern. Bill Stewart of Carcross won the main event which was the 10 dog Silver Sled Race and involved two 40 mile heats.

The following day we headed out toward Alaska to prepare for the Jr. Iditarod race scheduled to happen on the 27th and 28th of February out of Wasilla. We arrived early with the hope of acclimatizing the dogs to the warmer temperatures and different conditions. While there we stayed at the home of Larry and Shelly Carroll in Willow so Kyla was able to make use of the myriad of training trails that led everywhere into the bush. The town of Willow is renowned for it's dog population as it sports nearly 4000 racing dogs in it's vicinity. Larry Carroll, our absentee host was a Quest Musher but other mushers in the area included sprint dog racing veteran such as Bob Chlupach as well as Iditarod competitors such as Vern Halter, Dee Dee Jonrowe and Fielder.

Race day dawned cloudy and mild at about -10 C and Kyla was scheduled to take off 5th out of 23 mushers so we arrived early to prepare. Lucille Lake, out of Wasilla, was crowded with over 230 dogs, their mushers, dozens of spectators, officials and family members all congregated out on the ice. Skidoos jetted out over the race trail in an effort to pack the two inches of fresh snow that had fallen over night. Two supercub bush planes on skies sat waiting to document the race from the air. Pilots in these planes would pick up dropped dogs at the midway point in the race and would also watch for emergencies. The mushers were required to check in at three official stations along the route to Yetna which was 80 miles from the starting point. At Yetna they were required to layover for a mandatory 10 hour rest period before returning to Wasilla on the same trail.

When each musher arrived at the starting chute the announcer commented on the dogs and the mushers background before sending them off at 2 minute intervals. As Kyla prepared to leave this announcer spoke long and loud about her teams heavily furred appearance and the fact that she was obviously from the interior where the temperatures were extreme. In a field of competitors with lightly furred dogs, her team was definitely an oddity and this would have as adverse effect on her overall race results as temperatures warmed even further on the second day.

Spirits were high; enthusiasm of eagerness radiated from each musher as he or she prepared to head out on the trail. Many, many competitors were leasing entire teams out of the Iditarod races. Some even leased their dog trucks, sleds and or all of their equipment from racing giants such as Martin Buser, Vern Halter, Charlie Boulding and Ramy Brooks. Other mushers were more like Kyla and had raised their teams from puppies and pieced together their dog boxes, clothes and equipment while home schooling in the bush settings. One thing was common to each and every competitor the glow of hope and the burning desire to win that shone out of their eyes. It was very special just to be there watching each team leave and absorbing some of that powerful, youthful energy.

Once all the teams had left, spectators dispersed and waited to hear about the progress of the race through periodic calls to the Iditarod Race Headquarters. The front runners began arriving at Yetna Station at about 6:30 Saturday evening. Kyla arrived at about 9:00 p.m. Once there, all mushers had to look after their dogs without outside help and then sleep outside in tents or in their own sleds. Vets checked the general condition of the dogs and then the teens built a bonfire in the centre of a clearing and swapped stories.

The second day of the race was warmer and windier than the first day. Kyla dropped a dog at Yetna Station and then part way into the day was forced to carry another dog for the duration of the race due to sickness. This slowed her progress somewhat but she kept her remaining dogs well hydrated and happy as she traveled throughout the day. The first musher to cross the finish line was Ryan Redington with an elapsed time of 16 hours 12 minutes and 59 seconds, followed closely by Tyrell Seavey and Wendy Warren, all of Alaska. Kyla arrived in 18th place and was proud to have finished the race with healthy dogs.

Kyla and her family would like to thank everyone who supported her entire financially, materially or emotionally. The enthusiasm and the generosity the auction generated must again be mentioned with great appreciation to all who donated and participated. And finally to Kyla's sponsors a heart felt word of thanks. Kyla made up promotional signs for each of you which we then attached to the dog box.

Sponsors included the following.

Viceroy Resources, Mackenzie Petroleum, Ross Mining, Rivard pPromotions, Klondike Transport, Tr'ondek Hwech'in, Dawson Trading Post, Downtown Hotel, Midnight Sun Hotel, North of 60 Petro Ltd, Harper Street Publishing, Taplow fFeeds, Michel Vincent, Gerard Parsons, Suzanne Croker, Goldrush Campground, City of Dawson, Westminster Hotel, Curtis and Lauren Peever, Peter Carr and Beaver Lumber.

Helpful Hint: To any who plan to go to the United States in the near future exchange the bulk of your money across the border at any Alaskan Bank or ATM machine. In this way you will get the current daily exchange rate (we got 60 cents on the dollar) C.I.B.C. told us they would give us 50 cents on the $!!


Gas and Oil Exploration Means New Opportunities

by Dan Davidson

Officials explain the maps and charts at the Oil and Gas meeting. Photo by Dan Davidson

The government of the Yukon took control of its oil and gas reserves in November, 1998, but officials in the Department of Economic Development have been thinking about it for a long time. For Brian Love, the Director of the Energy Resources Branch, this new beginning comes at the end of nine years of planning. He excited to see it all coming together at last.

After years of building the act and the regulations need to do this job, of negotiating with the federal government so that it would have the right to do it, the Yukon is ready.

"We're where Alberta was fifty years ago," Love says. "We only have 71 wells drilled in the entire Yukon. We've got areas that are totally unexplored."

Love and other officials were in Dawson on March 10 to implement part of the second step in a five stage process which will eventually lead to oil and gas development in three key areas in the Yukon. That's not to say that their isn't any now, but the development in the Liard Plateau area is not, Love says, very well known within the Yukon as a whole. Most people just don't think about it.

There's been very little oil and gas development here since the late 1960s, and most of that was exploration in the Eagle Plains and Peel Plateau regions. Things came to a halt after that for a variety of reasons and it's only in the last few years that companies like Northern Cross have begun to take the next steps, building on that work.

"From a community point of view, including Dawson," Love says. "we're looking at opening up two areas up the Dempster Highway this spring to oil and gas exploration - Eagle and Peel. There haven't been areas put out for exploration for over 20 years in the Yukon."

One of the reasons why this can happen now is that some land claims in the Yukon have been settled. That is the reason why the region north and east of Dawson is one of the key areas in the YTG strategy, because it is possible to establish some long term arrangements here.

The other two areas are in the Whitehorse Trough, which stretches from the BC border to halfway between Carmacks and Pelly Crossing and the previously mentioned Liard Plateau, where it seems likely that more development could happen with time. Land Claims have not yet been settled in these regions.

Dawson is well placed to become a service centre and jumping-off place for operations in Eagle Plains, the Peel Plateau, the Bonnet Plume Basin and the Kandik Basin.

Step three in the process, the Call for Nominations, will come in late April. The community consultation process under way now is to find out in advance what the pitfalls might be. This may change the shape of the overall resource map, but it should bring certainty into the process.

The final step, the Call for Bids, is scheduled for late August at this time, and permits could be issued to successful bidders by late November. They will have ten years to develop their properties. Love says this is the longest tenure in the country.

For Dawson this could mean "significant dollars" being spent in this area.

One of the attractions of Dawson is that many of the skills which have been developed here over generations of servicing the mining industry are already here. While locals may have a lot to learn about the specifics of the oil and gas industry, there are a lot of ancillary jobs that are already developed here.

"It's the good and services associated with running those operations, the trucking ... It's not all very technical parts of the business. There are a lot of spinoffs." As an example, Love cited the 27 truckloads of material and equipment which recently moved a drilling rig to the Inuvik area.

"Dawson is well positioned to be involved in this." Both Eagle Plain and the Peel Plateau have already been drilled to determine their potential.

The two wells already in production in the Liard area already produce $1.5 to $2 million in royalties each year for the territory. The YTG would certainly like to see more of that money flowing.

Love emphasizes that it doesn't take a major project in the territory the size of the Yukon to have an impact on the entire economy. A batch of small projects could also help to "fuel" the economy.

Dawson has to be ready to respond when the time comes and one of Love's department's initiatives is to help prepare for that. To that end there will be a series of workshops here later in the spring, like those already offered in Fort McPherson and Watson Lake.

"A two week course will be offered in Dawson this spring. The first week is general awareness of what (the) oil and gas (industry) is. The second week will be hands-on, entry level certification that you need to work on any oil and gas job."

Those will be ticketed courses which will provide two year certification in such things as industrial first aid and handling hazardous goods. Companies tend to train their own people for specific tasks themselves, but these courses will help people meet certain basic requirements.

Turnout at the drop-in style meeting was not heavy, but the Downtown Hotel conference room had constant traffic during the two hours.


Trek's 7th Year is Biggest Yet

by Dan Davidson

A parking lot full of snowmachines is becoming a familiar sight each late February and early March. Photo by Dan Davidson

Organizers speak of it as "The Yukon's Premiere Snowmobile Event". Hopeful business owners look on it as the harbinger of a permanent winter tourism season. A few years back KVA manager Denny Kobayashi looked at the crowds and dubbed Dawson "The Yukon's Snowmobile Capital".

At that time the Trek Over the Top was still a young event, but 1999 makes it seven years that snow machine enthusiasts from Tok have set off for the 180 mile run to Dawson City, there to enjoy four days of cruising on the frozen rivers, gambling at Diamond Tooth Gerties, curling and darts at the Top of the World Curling Club, the Gold Run through the gold fields, and a variety of lunches and dinners held to mark the trip.

It started with 30 riders making one trip. This year there were 675 of them and they made three trips between February 24 and March 7. This was the first year for the third trip.

In addition, there was a fourth trip in the other direction, the one-way Destination Tok ride which is now in its fourth season. This is a 320 km trip for experienced riders which is used to break trail for those coming in the opposite direction the next week.

Pat Cayen, co-owner of Trek Over the Top Adventure Tours, reports that this year's final trip included the wedding of two Alaskans, Mike Deaver and Laurie Calandri, on the Midnight Dome.

Cayen says that the Trekkers encountered very few problems this year and that the weather was just what they needed, especially the crisper temperatures of the last trip.

"Most say they will be returning next time around and many are planning to come in the summer."

One Trekker from Anchorage said that he had been here before in the summer, but that this was a totally different experience, one he was glad to have enjoyed.

Participants came mostly from Alaska, but included people from Texas, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Louisiana and California.

One thing is certain. After seven successful seasons, the Trek is clearly an established winter tourism event, proving that it can be done if you have something to market and do a good job.


Dawson City 100th International Bonspiel 1999

by Skye Felker

The 100th International was a great success. It ran from Tuesday February 16 with the opening ceremonies, until Saturday February 20th with the awards banquet. At the opening ceremonies there was a piper from Seattle - Bob Combs - and lots of food which was donated by Susan Herman.

The draw started on Wednesday 17th at 5:00 p.m. The last draw was on Saturday, before the banquet. Many thanks go out to all the people that helped make this bonspiel that much more special: Akio Saito, Susan Herman, Duff and Bea Felker, Earl MacKenzie, Mark Castellarin, Joe Castellarin, Joe Braga, Dan and Sharon Eriksen, Edith Henry, Myrna Butterworth, Rick Riemer, Marg Hicks, and Nora VanBibber . No doubt there are many more.

Also many thanks go out to all the sponsors, and donations made to the Dawson Curling Club which helped to make this 100th anniversary bonspiel the success it was.

The winners were as follows:

First in the A event went out to the Wayne Klippert rink, Second to the Kirk Richmond rink, third to the Darren Ronaghan rink, and fourth to the Jason Barber rink.

First in the B event went to the Clarence Jack rink, second to the Duff Felker rink, third to the Akio Saito rink, and fourth to the Humphrey Stephens rink.

First in the C event went to the Russ Rusnak rink, second to the Joe Castellarin rink, third to the Dan Parlee (Viceroy) rink, and fourth to the Earl MacKenzie rink.

First in the D event went to the Alex Glowa rink, second to the Teddy Charlie rink, third to the Jack Fraser rink, and, last but not least ,fourth went to the James Koyanagi rink.

There were also special prizes given out. They were as follows:

Oldest Player - Joe Castellarin

Furthest away team - Kirk Richmond rink, who came up from Seattle.

Oldest Team - the Joe Castellarin rink (but who's really counting?)

Most Bonspeils ever played in went to - Akio Saito rink, the combined total being 61 Bonspiels.

Youngest Player - Nathan Wolfe

The Best Bonspielers - Earl MacKenzie, Chris Russnak, Bob Combs, and Jim Marsh

The earliest bonspiel ever played in also went to Joe Castellarin, who played in 1952

The Biggest end went to the Earl MacKenzie rink.

There were also 2 special awards that went to Akio Saito, and Earl MacKenzie in recognition of their many contributions to curling in Dawson. They were awarded life-time memberships to the Dawson Curling Club, and framed original paintings of the old Curling club.


100 Years Ago

Compiled by John Gould


Recently on the news was an item about money being counterfeited on computers, well, this "lady" in November of 1899 did not have the advantage of a computer and got quickly caught passing bogus 10 and 20 dollar bills in Dawson.

* * * * *

Klondike Nugget November 21, 1899


Mrs. C. F. Smith in jail for passing it.

Work is very clumsy.

Ten and twenty dollar bills, alleged to be issued on the Toronto Commercial Bank of Canada

Mrs. Smith bound over for trial and held under $5,000.00 bail.

Quite a sensation was sprung in the police court this morning upon the arrest, arraignment, and preliminary hearing of Mrs. C. F. Smith upon the serious charge of counterfeiting and uttering spurious bills. Some few days ago a complaint was made to the Police by the Canadian Bank of Commerce that some bad money had been offered at their bank for deposit.

It was tendered by a customer who had his suspicions aroused as to the genuineness of the bills and was done not with the intent to defraud but merely to get an expert's opinion.

Corporal McPhail of the town station, was detailed to investigate the matter and it required but a short time to learn that others had been victimized by the same class of money.

The custom of Mrs. Smith, whose arrest followed shortly afterward, was to enter a store, make a small purchase of a dollar or two and tender one of the counterfeit bills in payment, receiving the change due in good money. In this manner two $10.00 bills were passed, one on Jenkins, the furniture dealer, and the other on Mrs. Botelho, last Saturday. A $20.00 bill was successfully worked off.

All the bills are alleged issued on the Commercial Bank of Canada, of Toronto, and are evidently printed from plates, though the work on the plates is very clumsily executed and the printing is very bad, so poor, in fact, that one accustomed to handling money in any quantity could easily detect the fraud.

Corporal McPhail was not long in tracing all the bills to the same source and Mrs. Smith's arrest occurred Monday evening.

But little is known of the woman other than that she arrived here from the outside last summer and is said to be living with Mike O'Donnell, a gambler employed at the Pavilion.

Whether the bills were printed here or were brought in from the outside the authorities are as yet unable to determine, a phase of the case they are still working on.

At her preliminary hearing this morning Mrs. Smith, was bound over for trial before the Territorial court, her bonds being placed at $5,000, which she was unable to procure.

The penalty for the offence upon conviction is 14 years in the penitentiary at hard labor.


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