Brochet NWT and Y station
|Brochet NWT and Y Station|
|In use||1948 - 1956|
Opened August 1948 to provide weather reports and contacts with aircraft. Handed over to the Department of Transport, 18 February 1956. The following is from the Official History of the NWT&Y Radio System
Early in 1948, at the request of the Department of Transport, Department of National Defence agreed to establish Radio Stations at Brochet, Man and Fort Reliance, NWT.
Brochet is located at the northeast end of Reindeer Lake in northern Manitoba, 300 miles north of The Pas and 18 miles east of the Sask.atchewan Manitoba border. At the time the Radio Station was established the settlement consisted of a Hudson Bay Company Store, a fur trade post operated by a Mr. Gowan representing Mr. Ed Shieff of Flin Flon, Man, the Roman Catholic Mission of two Fathers and two Brothers, the local game guardian and a fluctuating native population of approximately 50 Cree and Chipewyan Indians. The Hudson Bay Store manager was Bill Garbutt, a jovial Scotsman, well known to many System personnel, having previously operated Hudson Bay Company stores at Fort Simpson and Fort Resolution in the Mackenzie River area.
WO 1 Don Bastock, Cpl. Bev Summers and Pte Beattie (RCASC cook) were flown by RCAF from The Pas to Brochet 12 June 1948 to sort out the 170 tons of radio equipment, fuel oil and building materials already on the site, which had been shipped in from the railhead at Flin Flon by tractor train during the previous winter. The RCE construction crew was flown in the following day. Temporary tent accommodations were set up for all hands. The next day, 14th June, Brochet successfully contacted McMurray using a 52 set and officially joined the System. Direct contact was made with Edmonton shortly thereafter and this circuit was used for close liaison with headquarters during the construction period.
The balance of supplies and equipment was brought in by RCAF airlift, which was completed on 22nd June. The final load also brought Cpl. Art Harman (to be NCO IC) and Sig. Chiasson, who had been left in The Pas for aircraft loading purposes. According to their statements, even Brochet was much preferable to The Pas, which had been suffering flood conditions during their stay.
Construction and equipment installation went ahead at a fast clip until completion late in July when WO 1 Bastock, who had been supervising all phases, returned to Edmonton, and the RCE crew departed for Winnipeg, thence to Baker Lake where additional buildings were to be erected. Such minor items as the painting of buildings, digging of sump holes for the drainage of kitchen and bathroom facilities, installation of water pump etc, etc, were left for the station staff to complete. They manfully carried on and eventually on 17th August 1948 commenced filing daily weather sequences and maintaining regular operating schedules with McMurray.
The 18th of February 1956 saw the System pruned to eighteen stations with the handover of Brochet to the Department of Transport. This station, in operation since 1948, had always been a difficult one to administer and maintain due to its location and accessibility from Edmonton.
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