Final edition "Des Joachims News", page 1
28 June 1950
Des Joachims, Ottawa River, Ontario/Quebec, Canada
The following is the complete text of the final edition (1950) of the DesJoachims News, a Hydro Construction publication. Individial pages with pictures can be viewed in the "Gallery" section.
This is the last issue of the Des Joachims News, and as such, an attempt has been made to present a summary of the Des Joachim Story which we hope will afford a tangible memory of your days at Des Joachims. The Story of Des Joachims is a Story of many parts. We have concerned ourselves only with the workers and builders of the Project. Those parts which deal with the high level governmental negotiations that made it all possible are be- yond our ken and the scope of this publication. Again, in the designing and planning field, we recognize the great credit that is due, but yet we have neither the space nor the technical knowledge to recount it. Administrative direction set up an ordered existence for us on a chunk of wilderness along the Ottawa River and still again that part will not be told.
We deal only with the rock-busters, the nail-drivers, the concrete-placers, the ledger-keepers -- in short, the bit players of the gigantic drama of the Des Joachims Development, This is their story, and in our opinion, the major part played in the overall piece. The following pages tell that story bordered by the profiles of the men that made it. The story and credits were long but we were sharply limited by space. Many deserving faces and names will not be found through the pages and it is hoped that our explanation will suffice.
Finally the thought behind this concluding issue of the Des Joachims News stemmed from Project Manager Angus Richardson's New Years Message of January 1950 to the employees, which is reprinted in part. "Your untiring and sustained performance has already brought the name of Des Joachims well forward in the annals of Canadian endeavors. Let us now place it in the front rank by so conducting ourselves and our efforts as to ensure power production on schedule. The pride and satisfaction thus engendered from having taken part in this great work will be something to remember and cherish indefinitely. " This issue was made possible through the collaboration of regular staff members: Peter Alien, formerly Construction Works Engineer at this Development and now of Construction Division Head Office, who did the research and narrative: Keith Scott, Promotion Department Representative at this Project, who did the layout and photography: Norm Farrow, draughtsman of the Generation Department Des Joachims Development, whose superb pen sketch appears on the cover: and Editor Bill Barnes, Personnel Superintendent, Des Joachims Development.
IN THE BEGINNING
It all started in 1924 when F. W. Clark led the preliminary survey of the'Des Joachims reach. Numbered among the group were present day Des Joachims engineers Art Mclntosh and Dick Roberta. Their work was part of the Commission's investigation of all potential power sites on all Ontario rivers, and the findings were docketed and labeled for future development when the demand warranted it.
Ontario's industrial growth justified development of the Des Joachims site in the early l940's. Accordingly, Dick Roberts returned in 1942 with a party to make detailed topographical surveys of the site. Also came party member Hal Smuck, and a group of Diamond Drillers investigating sub-terrene conditions. To enable the drillers to make tests on both Quebec and Ontario islands, crib man Bob Turner erected cable foot-bridges across the two northerly channels of the river. After serving their purpose, these bridges were dismantled, the same bases being utilized later by the construction forces for similar catwalks.
Early in 1943, the Commission was forced to postpone the Development owing to war conditions. Materials and men were required for the more pressing day-to-day battle of survival. And an enforced Sabbath came upon Des Joachims.
THE DOVE RETURNS
Peace returned to most of the world and 1946 found Ontario in the throes of a war-stimulated power shortage. The war years had converted a mainly agricultural nation into a world industrial power and Ontario led the provinces in this industrialization. Instructions were given to proceed with Des Joachims forthwith and the survey and diamond drilling crews reappeared. Dick Roberts was again in charge of surveying and also the construction of the new Moor lake Road. Hal Smuck, newly returned from the army in Italy, directed the drilling operations. Paul Pick, and draughtsman Norm Farrow, familiar figures with the field engineers, made their entry at this time as did Ray Bradley. now purchasing agent. Foreman Ed. Coleman set up a tented camp in the old gravel pit on the Ontario side, some three miles downstream from the Main Dam and Ray took over when Ed was transferred to Pine Portage for Diamond Drilling and Survey work. Accompanying Ray was a small, general purpose gang headed by Labour foreman Reg, Boucher.
The small party passed a hard winter, mainly occupied in receiving preliminary equipment and stores and extending the tented camp. All materials at this stage were hauled from Chalk River, pending completion of the Moor Lake Road in May, by the Therrien Construction Company. Barney Brindle arrived on the job early in 1947 and with him came millwright Walter Barr and son Morris Barr, who later became an outstanding rigger foreman. Up river. Superintendent Jim Charron had be-gun clearing and logging operations.
Further talent arrived in February with carpenter foreman Alee St. Amour and assistant master mechanic Ev. Cribbey. The construction forces, although small, now included all the essential elements and in the early spring clearing for construction of Camp 1 began.
THE CURTAIN RISES
Harry Welter arrived as Superintendent, followed shortly afterwards by Carpenter Superintendent Harry Dickson who was brought up to the job by future Project Manager Angus Richardson while visiting once a week from his primary concern at this time, the Stewartville Project.
April found the tented camp abandoned and the men taking up the more comfortable quarters provided by the first units completed to Camp 1, bunk-house number twenty-seven being used as a temporary dining hall. Construction of the camp continued and engineer Geoffrey Van Tausk headed a survey party on the layout work. Master mechanic Howard Harrison appeared on the scene and, with his assistant Ev. Cribbey, began to marshal his ever-growing forces of mechanical equipment. Chuck McNaughton, now with Canadian Westinghouse, was pipefitter foreman in charge of installation of all Camp 1 piping and drains. While Camp 1 was rapidly taking shape, preliminary location work was in progress at the future Camp 3 site on the Quebec side under the guidance of Alee St. Amour.
A start was made on the Engineering and Construction offices and at the end of May, Ed. Krupp checked in to take over management of the camp. When the engineering office was completed, Jim Horton began his duties as chief clerk and Jim Simpson, later joined by head draughtsman Gord Hicks, drew up the first field drawings for the Generation Department. Art Mclntosh showed up as Assistant Resident Engineer, while in another section of the job, Gerry ("the very best") Kelly, took over the rigging gang in charge of heavy haulage and erection.
Part of Camp 3 was occupied at the end of June and all over the job work began upon the extensive construction of electrical installations. "Cammy" Carmichael, now electrical foreman, was one of the original electrical gang working in those "pioneer" days.
Carpenter foreman Joe Green came along in time to erect Camp I Water Tower to July while millwright "Dee" Baycroft began the construction of the Ontario Compressor House. In this month the first work, apart from clearing, began on the Main Dam in the form of preliminary rock excavation on the Ontario river bank.
THE FIRST PHASE
With a start made on the Main Dam work, the whole tempo of the job began to speed up. Electrical Superintendent Percy Bennett supervised the completion of the Main Transformer Station. Charlie Kerr. who later left us, became Labour Superintendent and began packing to the fill for the base of the CablewayHead Tower tracks. Harrison and Baycroft were wrestling with the installation of the first two large compressors and erection of the Camp Hospital got under way. Then, very quietly, a little construction history was made. Miss Aane Boylan arrived to become the first lady Supervisor on a Hydro construction project. She quickly organized a staff of girls for the Cafeteria which opened in full style in August.
Late in the summer, after an all time record spring runoff, Hermidas Laframboise pushed out the first cofferdam from the Ontario shore with an uncanny skill that later became routine. Construction of the Ontario Mixing Plant was now started, while over on the Quebec side stripping of the gravel pit began and pipefitter foreman "Packy" Macfarlane took Camp 3 under his care. Out at Moor Lake Station, labour foreman Dave Gagnon was busy laying track and preparing the foundations for the cement unloading plant.
There was an acute shortage of labour in September of 1947 and right into the middle of a difficult situation came Percy Riches, one of the first Personnel Superintendents in the field, whose efforts greatly relieved the situation. In spite of the shortage, the job forged ahead with Main Dam rock work taking priority. Jack Ruston was made foreman in charge of rock excavation and in a very short space of time, excavation on a mass-production scale was under way. While Jack was blasting out large lumps of rock, Hermidas Laframbois had completed the first cofferdam across the Ontario channel and immediately commenced work on the next, the Ontario channel being completely dry by December 1948.
With the Stewartville Development practically finished, Construction Superintendent Harry Welter was transferred to the Kipling Avenue Project and Angus Richardson switched his full time and energy to Des Joachims. Alvin Malcolm was appointed Senior Resident Engineer and Gerry Geddes became Construction Office Manager. Machine Shop Foreman Ed. Jordan began his never-ending round of troubles and triumphs. At the same time Dan Mulligan made a conveyor building his opening contribution.
Peter Alien opened up the Construction Engineering office while Louis Amell took up his stand at the Recreation Hall where he remained as the inimitable caretaker, becoming a Des Joachims institution on a par with Barney Brindle.
Bill Bonn arrived from Stewartville to become Construction Superintendent of the Quebec side and quickly found himself involved in the construction of the aggregate storage trestle and the completion of the Quebec Mixing Plant. Mrs.
Pearl Miller took charge of Camp 1 Commissary in November and Angus McDougall, later strengthened by warehouse staffmen Bob Chapman, Len Turcotte & Hillary Jones, took up his familiar position behind the serving counter in the warehouse.
Just as everything was proceeding according to plan the first tragedy struck Des Joachims. Four carpenters: J. Gornik, E. Nurmi. E. Nieminen and Alenen were drowned while engaged in erecting the cable foot bridge across one of the channels.
At the close of 1947 the first group of displaced persons from Europe arrives to work under contract as labourers. Among that first group was rigger Gene Nickel and concrete inspector Peter Tosik, once a qualified lawyer and now managing his own grocery store.
December also saw the arrival of that famed riverman Eli Sawyer, who later became skipper of the Hydro ferry. Doctor Don Grant became Resident Physician and the Hospital began full activities, which newly arrived Safety Superintendent Don Bethune continuously strived to curtail. The familiar visage of Chester Lawrence began to peer at us over the top of bulldozer engines while Jack Sutherland began to look at us from beneath them. The loping stride of labour foreman Harry Terryberry took on a familiar aspect and rigging foreman Clair Perrault could sometimes be seen telling Gerald that all was not the very best.
And so ended the first big year of construction. A large organization had come into being and was rolling forward with increasing speed, ever urged to greater efforts by indefatigable Angus Richardson, who doubtless in his turn. was urged on by the equally tireless planners in the Head Office designing crews.
Early in the New Year formwork began on the Main Dam and instrument men Paul Pick, Don Chesney. Jack Hale, Jack Treacey did a great job of layout work in the bitter cold. Carpenter foremen Vaino Ylitalo and J. Mickleson were added to the carpenter forces while Clair Perrault went to assist rigging foreman Doug. McKinnon in the erection of Bailey Bridging on the Quebec side.
Rigging foreman Morris Barr came into the limelight on the Cableway erection. Head Chef Rocky A Savard instilled the first magic in the Cafeteria food and the Freys opened up the Rolphton Post Office on January 26th. Fred Amyotte took over a team of horses and later became invaluable by his untiring efficiency on garbage disposal work. Night Superintendent Archie Turnbull came in with the New Year and commenced his ceaseless vigil while others slept.
In the Generation Department Walter Dechman was appointed Divisional Engineer for the Main Dam and Power House with Johnny MacNamara as his assistant Jack McGillivary went to work in a similar capacity at McConnell Lake control dam directing the operations of the contractors, Atlas Construction Company. Work began on the Main Conveyor Bridge in February while sections of the Dam formwork were completed and ready for concrete. Jim Willis arrived from Stewartville to get the Ontario Mixing Plant trimmed up for production. The Ontario Boiler House was completed in a hurry as labour foreman Herb Kallies first joined our ranks.
The first Main Dam concrete was poured in March, a small pour of 700 yards in Block 13, but a milestone in the Des Joachims Development. Supervising with an ever-critical eye was Noar Dulmage, who had made a very timely appearance for the first pour. Also to attendance were concrete Inspectors Jack MacDonald, George Witham and Stan Fisher. Ken Stark pipefitter foreman and Walter Lahti, who later became a carpenter foreman, appeared for duties at Des Joachims about this time. Construction Superintendent Dan Hughes quietly took over his position at the end of March, arriving in time to see rigging foreman Walter Green commence to erect the first Bailey form cage.
Another group of New Canadians arrived at the Job during the first week to April of 1948 and among them were two men who later became carpenter foremen, Stephan Mahut and George Belz.
In the early summer Norm Holmes took over the Cableway and Plant 33 began its long and untiring service, with track foreman Lawrence Arbour faithfully nursing it along. Both Bell Lake and McConnell Lake crushing plants went into service and shortly afterwards Neil McDougall became crushing foreman. Engineer Danny Allin became assistant to Resident Engineer Jack McGillivary out at McConnell Lake Control Dam. Concrete foreman, Jim Hermiston became right hand man to Noar Dulmage, while Ralph Brownlee took over as labour superintendent on Charlie Kerr's departure.
Forming up of the Power House Erection Bay commenced in July of 1948 and carpenter foremen Joe Morisset, R. MacArthur and A. Levesque got through the gate just to time to lend a hand. "Pinky Pinkerton, chief electrical foreman put in his first appearance at the end of the month, following electrical foremen Vince Roche and Tex Gray, both of whom arrived in the middle of July. In the face of continued expansion of equipment on the job, master mechanic Howard Harrison found it necessary to expand his own staff and so garage foreman Don Auger and mixing plant maintenance foreman Dan Reynolds were taken on strength.
With fifty thousand yards of concrete placed in the Dam and around one thousand in the Power House, disaster struck savagely at Des Joachims, when a section of the high level Bailey conveyor bridge collapsed taking riggers: L. Jette, E. Picotte, E. Bertrand. R. McDonald, R.Chaput and A.Bert rand to their deaths in the water below. The damage was speedily repaired, but the loss of six comrades at one blow was deeply felt.
Vince Sly became Manager of Camp 3 in August and George Lundstrom, carpenter foreman, joined the ranks. Construction forces now numbered over two thousand but still they grew. Quite a large contingent from Stewartville joined us in the fall. In the vanguard was reinforcing foreman Albert Carpentier and carpenter foreman George St. Amour. Close behind followed concrete foreman Charlie Zacharias, and Frank Hanniman with carpenter supervisor Harry Roy bringing up the rear.
Rolphton Primary School opened in September under the guidance of Principal Walter Hougham. Starting with three classrooms, the capacity of the school had to be doubled before the end of the job.
As winter approached, the tempo of the work speeded up, with the emphasis on completion of the Ontario Sluiceway section of the Dam. By pushing this phase of the work, it speeded up the diversion of the river and hence allowed work to begin in the Interprovincial Channel Section. James Halleran, labour foreman arrived at this critical time, followed a little later by another stalwart team mate from Stewartville, none other than chief rigging foreman, the indispensable Paddy McGuinty.
December was a big month in the history of the Development. The Quebec Mixing Plant went into action and a few days before Christmas the river was diverted back into the old Ontario Channel, while cofferdam work began closing off the Inter- provincial Channel.
THE SECOND PHASE
The New Year saw the inauguration of the Commission's new policy in handling larger projects. A policy of centralizing the command in the field, and as a result, Angus Richardson was appointed Project Manager. About this time Alvin Malcolm left for a Head Office post and Bill Hogg arrived to take his place as Resident Engineer. Personnel Superintendent Bill Barnes who had taken over from Percy Riches in the fall, produced the first issue of the Des Joachims News on January the 5th.
This little paper quickly became an integral part of the "Job" and its readers went far beyond the confines of the Project. Much of its success stemmed from the tireless efforts of layout and pressmen Joe Duhaime and Doug Forgie in the Personnel Office.
The New Year also found a smoothly geared organization of nearly 2400 men. The records, wants, and needs of this host were capably handled by the Administration Staff in Camp 1. Among these were Field Accountant Charlie Campbell, Paymaster Alec Hotchkiss, Personnel Assistant Bill Reynolds, and for leisure time activity, Recreation Director Jim Pullen.
The winter weather was kindly and work continued swiftly. A large sweepstake was run on the date of unwatering the Interprovincial Channel, while high above the river, the gantry bridge was built in readiness for closure operations. Carpenter foreman Jack Cochrane arrived in time to see forming-up commence on the Headworks, supervised by Alec St.Amour. Also at this time Paddy McGuinty began assembling the first scroll case on Unit 2.
Up on the hill Carpenter Shop Foreman Bob Weir and his crew were painstakingly turning out giant wooden forms for the transition sections on the headworks, and the draft tubes in the Powerhouse sub-structure. Hermidas Laframboise and his crew finally completed that tough nut, the Inter-provincial Cofferdams and dewatering took place in spite of quite severe leakages, a subject that Construction Works Engineer, Tommy Thomson summed up in a limerick published in the Des Joachims News.
The Spirit of Ottawa River
Was laughing 'till all of a quiver,
He said H. E. P. C.
Have got nothing on me,
I'll flow down that Channel for ever.
But Danny Hughes he swore by the Gods,
That in spite of the terrible odds.
He'd get the thing dry
If not now, bye and bye
So the pumps are now working in squads.
The Spirit we mentioned before
Will never be laugh"n no more,
In fact it appears
He's now drown-ed in tears,
It's the pumps that have made him feel sore.
Amidst this great activity the big cement pump went into action and after teething troubles had been corrected by Howard Harrison and Ev.Cribbey, cement foreman Charlie Miller took charge and pushed one ton of dry cement across the river every minute.
As winter passed quickly into spring, the tempo of work quickened once again. Atlas Construction was pushing the Control Dam into shape and already had the temporary sluiceways partially completed. Danny Hughes' boys threw themselves energetically into the construction of the Auxiliary Dam with Walter Lahti as foreman to charge of carpenters, Dan Mulligan enjoyed himself dismantling the old Ontario Mixing Plant while in the Power House, Harry MeLeod of Horton Steel, commenced the first penstock erection. Not to be outdone. Paddy McGuinty and Clair Perrault got together and put up the superstructure steel in the Power House Erection Bay area. This, they followed up very rapidly with the erection of the two 170 ton permanent powerhouse cranes. Hydro's own representative of law and order, Salem Mousseau, arrived to May just before trains began rolling across the first C. P. R. diversion which was opened on May the 21st, through the staunch efforts of Jack Mousseau, C. P. R. foreman and Earl Maniece's Hydro crew. As the concrete placed in the Main Dam neared the half million cubic yards mark, Charlie Zacharias and Jimmy Willis began to look more pleased with life, and even Stan Fisher looked satisfied.
A DIVERTING INCIDENT
The next big event was Closure of the Main Dam, and in the early summer the specially designed Gantry Crane and Closure Gates were erected on top of the Main Dam by Morris Barr, under the supervision of the designing engineer from Dominion Bridge Company, Henry Buzzell Hydraulics Engineer Keith Henry joined us and commenced a series of calculations that provided a very accurate forecast of the ways and whims of the river.
In a well-organized manner, the closure of the Main Dam began to July. The specially made gates were lowered into each of the sluiceways in turn, and as soon as the sluice was dried out, Joe Morisset and gang rapidly erected formwork. In some cases. Harry Dickson was pushing Joe and his men so hard that the carpenters commenced forming up to the sluices amidst a lot of trapped fish swimming around in a foot of water. Ken Stark and Cliff Moore did such sterling work with the pumps however, that the carpenters did not often get their feet wet. Joe Morisset brought himself into the closure limelight by building a large walkway across the Tailwater Piers for the men working on the closure - this walkway rapidly becoming known as "Joe's Boardwalk. "
While all energies were devoted to closure at the Main Dam, work was speeded up at the Control Dam in order to be ready to receive the diverted waters of the Ottawa. Jack McGillivary and Danny Allin put to many long hours alongside Atlas Construction Company Superintendent Percy Cunningham, and the second big dam at Des Joachims forged ahead. Several miles upstream, a small carpenter gang under Steve Mahut, was building another camp which became known as Hodgson's Camp. This camp was the centre from which the final diversion of the C. P. R main line was made in the Deux Rivieres area.
Along with closure operations there were big happenings in the Power House. Harry Roy made great strides with the substructure and then the reinforcing steel wizards swung into action. Albert Carpentier with A. Founder, his assistant, began to smother the units with reinforcing steel and before very long Noar Dulmage was happily directing concrete into the Power House.
The river level upstream from the Main Dam was now rising day by day, and floating trash caught by the rising waters necessitated a constant sweep to prevent it from going down stream. Logging was also in progress and rafts of logs had to be conducted through the sluiceway area of the Main Dam with great care to order to avoid interference with the closure. "Skipper" Eli Sawyer was in charge of these river operations and handled the flagship "Hydro Maid" with commendable skill.
On August 26th, the first waters of the diverted Ottawa River passed through the McConnell Lake Control Dam and into the Lake itself. At the eastern end of the lake the water entered a specially made channel, built by Storms Construction, which made contact with the Ottawa again alongside the Des Joachims village. Thus, through the efforts of Men and Machinery, the entire Ottawa River was diverted into a by-pass at Des Joachims, a path which the river itself had probably made in prehistoric days and had then forsaken for an easier course.
THE LAST MILE
Main Dam Closure was completed right on schedule on the fifteenth of September 1949. During the summer Hermidas Laframboise had been sneaking in portions of a cofferdam at the lower end of the Rapids. Now he completed the job and Tailrace excavation began. It was during this month that Keith Scott deserted the carpenter's office and took to carrying his inquisitive camera into every nook and cranny of the job, as Project Photographer. Although the river was now blocked out of the area of the Rapids, large pools of water remained. These pools were quickly pumped dry, the water being discharged into a wooden flume, constructed by Barney Brindle, which conducted it downstream to the river. At the end of the month Don Grant left us for a Head Office berth, and Joe Knipf took his place as Resident Doctor.
Almost one and one half million cubic yards of rock were excavated from the Tailrace, the work being roughly divided into two halves. Hydro forces did one half of the work while the other half was performed under contract by Harco Construction of the C. A. Pitt's organizations. Hal Smuck was engineer in charge of the excavation with crew members: Johrmie Clark, "Roily" Phofl, Bud Lalonde and Earl Maniece. Jack Ruston who was Hydro excavation foreman, displayed his peculiar talent for shifting large masses of rock in a hurry. John Karliski made full use of his long experience to rock work and, as Jack's right hand man made sure that every blast counted.
Once again, in January, the hazardous side of the construction game was brought home. Jack Ruston was killed at his post in the rockcut and John Karliski took charge of the remainder of the excavation work. Jack's death was a personal loss to each and every one at Des Joachims while the Commission lost a loyal and highly capable servant.
Well on the road to completion now, work on the Development was concentrated on several closely integrated jobs. Morris Barr dismantled the closure equipment and transported it to the control dam where rigging foreman Bert DeMarsh had prepared a Bailey Bridge to readiness for it.
Atlas Construction completed their contract and Bill Bonn was appointed Superintendent at McConnell Lake Dam to supervise the final work of closure. Joe Green was recalled from Rocky Island to take charge of the control dam carpenters, having Larry Fink who had been working for the contractors, as his foreman, along with foreman Pat O'Gorman. In a very short time the gantry crane was re-erected and the second and final closure of the Development began. Meanwhile work on the Main Dam Headworks was being rushed ahead in an endeavor to keep the structure safely above the ever-rising headpond. Archie Gervais made the Headworks his primary concern, skillfully directing the untiring efforts of foremen Alec St.Amour, Ed. Amyotte, Perc. Blackmore, Moose Porter, Oscar Contin and their gangs. Throughout the winter they fought a hard and strenuous battle against time, but as the New Year of 1950 dawned, it became obvious that their efforts were not in vain.
In the Power House, Paddy McGuinty was directing steel erection along with rigging foremen Clair Perrault and Tom O'Neil. As soon as the structure was erected as far as Unit 2, it was housed in, and turbine installation by Dominion Engineering men under Bob McLean and Fred Kinapen began. The pace of the Power House work was now very fast and Harry Roy was hard-put to get his formwork erected on time. Noar Dulmage, Charlie Zacharias and Jim Hermiston seemed to be placing concrete everywhere and in spite of a variety of mixes required. Jimmy Willis, Sammy Chabot and Dan Reynolds always kept the wheels turning in the Quebec Mixing Plant. Last in the Power House parade, but by no means the least, Joe Leblanc and Lucien Therrien, with their gang of Westinghouse men. As fast as, or even before, a turbine was installed, they commenced work on the generator. The precision and efficiency of their work was that born of long experience.
Both inside and outside the Power House, Electrical Engineer Ray Hermeston, with Electrical Superintendent Percy Bennett and his senior foremen "Pinky" Pinkerton and Les Heath had a full time job. During 1949 Percy's men had installed over one hundred thousand feet of electrical conduit with all necessary junction boxes and switches. Now, along with the complicated Power House wiring, the large 220 KV Switchyard had to be pushed to completion. Under "Cammy Carmichael, the Switchyard construction proceeded swiftly and by the Spring of 1950 the job was well in hand.
Although the main effort was concentrated at this time on two out of the eight units, work still progressed on the remaining six with the difficult and tedious task of scroll case welding being skillfully executed by foreman Johnny Legault and his gang under the watchful eye of Inspector Doug, Scott.
Thus we rushed into the spring months with the McConnell Lake closures racing the Headworks, which in turn, were pushing the Powerhouse construction and generator installation. The end was in sight and yet the pace still quickened.
And so it came about that in the warm days of 1950, the Rapides des Joachims began to deliver up its energy to the service of man. Much has already been written and more will surely be written on the engineering aspects of this great Development. It has been the object of this booklet to present the human side of the story of the greatest power project in the Province of Ontario. This is a record of some of the men that built Des Joachims. But let us always remember the many others who are not mentioned herein: the men whose hands, whose arts and crafts, and whose lives forged and created this engineering monument of steel and concrete. Together they make up the team that built Des Joachims and it is their work which will, bring better living to the people of Ontario.
NEW CANADIAN WORKERS
Des Joachims will stand out in the minds of many of our New Canadians as their introduction to a new way of life. For it was to Des Joachims they arrived directly from the Displaced Persons Camps of Europe. They represented all walks of life: engineers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, clergymen, farmers, labourers: and their initial contribution to our Canadian Society took the form of one year's work as common labourers on the Project, a truly symbolic overture to a fresh start in life. They acquitted themselves well and when their year was up some of them went further afield seeking employment more suited to their previous training, while many others stayed on with us to complete the job. During their stay with us, we had ample opportunity to enjoy the artistry that perhaps drove these people to a freer country wherein to express it. Outstanding amongst these immigrant talents were those of artist Otto Grebze and cartoonist Rusins Kaufmanis, whose collaboration resulted in the cartoon appearing on this page.
DES JOACHIMS POWER DEVELOPMENT
Started in the Fall of 1946 Completed Winter, 1950
Generating 480,000 Horsepower (358,000 Kilowatts)
Forming a Lake 57 Miles Long with 1,200,000 Acre Feet Storage
Clearing for Lake ----------------- 11000 Acres
Main Dam 2400 feet long 190 feet high at its highest point,
McConnell Lake 1600 feet long 130 feet high at its highest point
Auxiliary Dam 1300 feet long 65 feet high at its highest point
Powerhouse 600 feet by 240 feet Housing 8 - 60,000 Horsepower Generators
Total Earth 2,344,100 cubic yards
Total Rock 3,596,000 cubic yards
Total Yardage in Three Dams and Powerhouse 875,000 cubic yards
(Sufficient to build Standard Sidewalk 4 feet wide by 4 inches deep from Trois Rivieres to Vancouver. )
LUMBER AND STEEL
Lumber for Camps, Formwork and Timbering -18,000,000 F. B. M.
(720 Carloads Equivalent to Train Six Miles Long)
Reinforcing Steel for Des Joachims Concrete 5,600 tons
Generating Station Alone $89,000,000
Generating Station plus Transmission $105,000,000