and in good weather, the trip could be made by plane.
Isolated during poor weather, when the ice was making, and during spring breakup. No electric power until 1951. Imagine what it was like...
...Father Paquin, Jesuit missionary, rushing by dog team to get to the bedside of a dying man who is asking for the final blessings of a priest. Urging the team on, faster and faster, as dogs, sled and priest start to break through the ice.
...Captain Walter Burke and passengers out on the Bay all night, hemmed in by an ice pack after rushing four-year-old Harry Beaucage and his parents to hospital on Manitoulin Island.
...Maude Roque rushing to the short-wave radio to contact the pilot of the Georgian Bay Airways plane that just took off from Killarney. Calling to warn him that one of the plane's skis was damaged during takeoff and is hanging uselessly from the plane.
Imagine building an ice road every winter. Plowing it, marking it, watching for pressure cracks. Ernest Roque and passengers coming home by car from a hockey game in Little Current. His nephew, Ed Pandke, heading out by car from Killarney. Mourning the dead and consoling the survivors after the two cars crash at midnight on McGregor Bay.
Imagine Alban Hebert, Art Noble and Omer Solomon paddling frantically in the cold wind to keep Alban's disabled motor boat, ice building on its sides and deck, off the shoal toward which it is drifting. Inside the boat's cabin, "Aunt Nancy" Pitfield trying the delay the birth of Sally Noble's baby while the boat crashes onto the rocky shore. Omer running two miles through the bush to get to the silica quarry, where he knows a boat is available.
Almost a century-and-a-half of carrying the mail, carting supplies and provisions, obtaining livestock, rushing to hospital, sending goods to market, getting to boarding school, attending or playing in hockey and baseball games, traveling to anywhere...over the water or across the ice.
Highway 637, connecting the village to Trans-Canada Highway 69, was built after forty-two years of petitions, delegations and meetings. Forty-four miles of gravel road, with six bridges crossing lakes and rivers, gave the community road access. And we celebrated. For days.