Port Hope Simpson challenge
Can you find out what really happened in Port Hope Simpson, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada in the early hours of 3 February 1940? http://porthopesimpson.blogspot.com/ http://www.vsocan.org/ Phone Toll Free: 1 888 876-2911 Local phone: 613 234-1364 Fax: 613 234-1444 Contact: Kim Weatherall Email me!
Monday, March 20, 2006
Port возможность Simpson упования
Πρόκληση Simpson ελπίδας λιμένων
De uitdaging van Port Hope Simpson
Desaf�o portuario de Simpson de la esperanza
Desafio portu�rio de Simpson da esperan�a
Sfida port di Simpson di speranza
Porthoffnung Simpson Herausforderung
Friday, September 03, 2004
level of difficulty - extreme
The R.C.M.P. Serious Crimes Unit, Gander, Newfoundland has opened up its own investigation about the deaths. If you know anything at all about what happened please do not hesitate in contacting your local RCMP detachment or the police force of jurisdiction in your area. If you live outside Canada, please contact your local police service and ask them to make a request for assistance from the appropriate Canadian law enforcement agency.
The main RCMP website address is http://www.rcmp.ca
nature of challenge - to find out what really happened on 3 February 1940
Your family story is waiting!
Prepare yourself with these established facts:
Arthur Eric Williams born 30.07.13 and Erica Anitoff Williams born 15.07.36 both from Cardiff, Wales died in suspicious, acrimonious circumstances in the early hours of 3 February 1940 near what is today called Pioneer Street in Port Hope Simpson. It was reported in newspapers at the time that they lost their lives in a forest fire 3 February 1940 but no evidence of a forest fire in an area most likely blanketed by snow has been found . It was also reported in newspapers that they lost their lives in a house fire but no medical report stating why they died has been found.
The cause of the fire if that’s what killed them, has not yet been established.
Neither has any forensic evidence about why they died been found by the serious crimes unit, R.C.M.P. They have not collected any evidence along that path. The police do not consider they have sufficient grounds for requesting a court order for exhumation and full scientific investigation of the remains.
No police report about any Newfoundland Rangers investigation into the deaths has been found.
On exactly the same date as the deaths Claude Fraser Sir John Hope Simpson's former secretary of natural resources, was ordered to the appointment of director of the Labrador development company. Thomas Lodge, the former commissioner of utilities who had been disgraced in the eyes of his political masters the Dominions office in London, for publishing his book "Dictatorship in Newfoundland", was instructed to take over the post not long after Fraser died.
A veil of civil service silence was hastily drawn over the two deaths.
The basement of the house had been completely filled with firewood on the night before they died and local men were instructed to place fire axes in every room of house. The first local men on the scene found the remains of Eric cradling Erica in his arms with her feet totally burnt away. This is corroborated by the daughter of Nellie Casey. (Nellie was the maid in the house when the fire started.) Her daughter stated that her mother had told her that she had seen Eric carrying Erica towards the back door as the burning floor gave way beneath them. (The daughter has been interviewed by RCMP.) Mrs. Olga Williams, wife of the deceased, was pulled out to safety through a window covered in blood without an injury on her. Olga Williams stated under R.C.M.P. questionning that the house was heated by oil but her son stated she may have been confused and it was in fact heated by woodburning stove.( Mrs Olga d’Anitoff Williams, is living somewhere in Canada, has been interviewed by R.C.M.P. and re-married Sam Wiseman, one of her rescuers.)
Local men were ordered to hastily bury the bodies in a concrete grave with a different inscription than the one that was finally decided upon by J. O. Williams, Eric’s father back home in Wales.
The inscription on the headstone for the first grave makes mention of Olga Williams yet her name is missing from the final inscription on the tombstone. J. O. Williams stated that Olga was of bad character whilst Olga has stated that he was a difficult man to work for.
The falsehoods in the epitaph chosen by Williams are entirely consistent with the unreliable and untrustworthy way Jack the Lad, as he was known within his family, conducted himself in his business dealings: the innocent child's middle and surname has been omitted from the final inscription on their tombstone in Port Hope Simpson. The address of Mr & Mrs J.O. Williams is incorrect on the tombstone. Their last known addresses when the deaths occurred was Flat 14 Dunraven House and Flat 13 Kenilworth House, Westgate Street, Cardiff, Wales. Not Labrador House, Southerndown, Wales as inscribed. Erica was three and a half years old and not 18 months when she died.
The descendents of J.O. Williams view the tombstone as a family memorial. Mrs Olga Williams has been cut-off from any contact with Williams family and has not benefitted financially from the proceeds of the estate of her deceased husband. The descendents of J. O. Williams on the other hand have been able to benefit by moving into property dealings.
The company’s properties in Port Hope Simpson had been ransacked by locals sometime between 1940-45. The metis people have a tradition of handing out their own social justice.
Eric had been sent out by his father in the Autumn of 1939 to find out what had been going on in Port Hope Simpson. In particular, why an excessive amount of stores had been ordered by Keith Yonge, the local manager. Eric returned a large amount of stores to St. John’s and Keith threatened to resign, resenting Eric’s interference. Eric and Keith made “The Keith Yonge” contract between them. Keith was authorised by Eric to cut wood as a self-contractor whilst still also employed by Williams as manager of the company. This contract meant that Keith benefitted financially after the death of Eric. Mr Hudson, the secretary of the Company claimed that wage cheques had not been received just before the time of the deaths.
Evidence clearly shows that J. O. Williams could well have afforded to pay Port Hope Simpson loggers a decent living wage. Their struggle to survive was compounded by the way he ran the only (Company) store on the credit or truck basis that generally existed at the time in Newfoundland and Labrador.
When the deaths occurred the Commission of Government had taken over control of the Company by their own appointed board of directors based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In reality Williams never gave up his ownership of the Company. J. O. Williams from Cardiff, Wales continued to dictate to Keith Yonge his Manager based in Port Hope Simpson, how to run his Company’s affairs.
The £40,000 British government loan to Williams in 1934 for setting-up operations at Port Hope Simpson had been borrowed from the Colonial Fund under the false pretence that 400 houses would be built for the loggers and their families.
As early as 4 May 1934, the J.O. Williams,( owner of The Labrador Development Company Ltd in Port Hope Simpson at the time of the deaths) and Sir John Hope Simpson, (commissioner of natural resources 1934-36 and self-appointed commissioner of justice)business relationship about cutting Labrador wood for export had started to look extremely shaky. Civil servants at the dominions office in London soon regretted ever entering into a business relationship with Williams on the recommendation of Simpson. They set about collecting evidence from their contacts in Cardiff to show that Williams was an unreliable charcater. They engineered an independent public enquiry into the affairs of his company in the hope such matters would be revealed, enabling them break their ties with Williams completely. This did not come about. Williams was able to hold a claim for compensation against the British government from when they were supposedly in charge of his company as a powerful bargaining chip in his final dealings with them from 1945.
Sir John Hope Simpson continued his efforts, even after 1936 when he had resigned as commissioner, to keep the Newfoundland Rangers force he had set-up under the jurisdiction of the natural resources department instead of under the authority of Newfoundland justice department.
The exported wood was purchased by J. O. Williams Ltd, another company also owned by Williams in Cardiff. This meant that people were unable to find out what profits were being made and if they were being paid at an appropriate level for their labour. Williams manged to successfully hide his true financial position from the public enquiry but revealed the strength of his true financial position in a confidential letter he wrote to Yonge.
The Serious Crimes Unit R.C.M.P., have reluctantly concluded to temporarily close the investigation they first opened in 2002 about the two deaths.
some more reading materials, photographs and links
Title: Port Hope Simpson Clues
Description: Port Hope Simpson history featuring a search for clues in The Times newspaper 1934-49 about the two unsolved deaths in Labrador Newfoundland Canada on 3 February 1940.
Title: Port Hope Simpson History 1934-49
Description: consisting of oral history 1935-36, photographs and facts about Port Hope Simpson 1934-49
Title: Port Hope Simpson Diary
Description: journal and photographs of Ernie Pritchard voluntary service overseas 1969-70 Port Hope Simpson Labrador Newfoundland Canada historical trail highlights
Title: Port Hope Simpson diary and photographs 1969-70
Description: journal and photographs of Ernie Pritchard voluntary service overseas 18 year old teacher working in the winter community of Port Hope Simpson south east coast of Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada 1969-70
Title: Port Hope Simpson Snaps 1969-70
Description: Port Hope Simpson history 1969-70 in photographs
Title: Tombstone a History of Development
Description: history of the courageous struggle of the settlers of Port Hope Simpson, the first Company town in Labrador against a legacy of unsustainable development of Labrador forests and towards a better future;
Title: Port Hope Simpson history of development with photographs
Description: history of courageous struggle of settlers Port Hope Simpson, first Company town in Labrador against legacy of unsustainable development of Labrador forests and towards a better future;including ORAL HISTORY as recalled by Mrs. Kathleen Mina Squire (formerly James, known as Bunty James) interviewee, who lived in Port Hope Simpson in 1935 as a guest of her life-long friend, Katie Doreen Williams, daughter of J. O. Williams. Interviewed by Llewelyn Pritchard in the company of John (grandson of J.O. Williams) and Sheila Illsley;11 January 2003
Title: Port Hope Simpson Two Unsolved Deaths
Description: Port Hope Simpson diary and photographs to help establish the facts about two unsolved deaths in Port Hope Simpson, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada 3 February 1940.
Title: Port Hope Simpson
Description: Come along and enjoy great hospitality and local Labrador cuisine. Recreational and sporting activities include salmon and trouting rivers, iceberg and whale-watching, river and boat rides. Sno-blast skidoo activities for the young and the old geared to the fast and the slow. Accessible by Trans-Labrador Highway Route 510, Regional Airport and by Sea. Explore the fascinating history of the first company town in Labrador. Discover the courageous struggle of its settlers against a legacy of unsustainable development of the Labrador forests and towards a better future. Sight-seeing attractions include unique unspoilt wilderness, lakes, bird-watching and wildlife. Hiking, skidoo trips, dogsledding, snowshoeing, ski-lodge accommodation and helicopter rides also by arrangement.
NAIN DIARY & EXTRACTS
HTTP://PORTHOPESIMPSON.BLOGSPOT.COMVOLUNTARY SERVICE OVERSEAS
http://porthopesimpsonsdevelopment.blogspot.com/including ORAL HISTORY as recalled by Mrs. Kathleen Mina Squire (formerly James, known as Bunty James) interviewee, who lived in Port Hope Simpson in 1935 as a guest of her life-long friend, Katie Doreen Williams, daughter of J. O. Williams. Interviewed by Llewelyn Pritchard in the company of John (grandson of J.O. Williams) and Sheila Illsley;11 January 2003
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