Lögberg-Heimskringla - 03.12.1970, Blaðsíða 2

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 03.12.1970, Blaðsíða 2
LÖGBERG-HEIMSKRINGLA, FIMMTUDAGINN 3. DESEMBER L970 Ásmundur Magnusson Freeman 1877—1970 Asmundur Magnusson Free- man, hereinafter called Asi, was born in Iceland on Octo- ber 7th, 1877. His parents were the late Magnus and Helga Freeman who, with their family, immigrated to Canada in 1885. On arriving in Canada the family pro- ceeded westward to Winnipeg where they stayed for some time. Then in 1887, when the Swah Lake d i s t r i c t (now Lundar) bega'n to settle, they moved out there and were in the group of the first Ice- landic settlers in the district. In 1893 the family moved again, this time to the new d i s t r i c t 60 miles farther north, called the 'Narrows Settlement'. Here Asi grew up to manhood; and the peo- ple around soon began to notice that here was a young man growing up that pos- sessed more than average ability. The following story is indi- cative of the determination and resourcefulness in his approach to everything he undertook to do: In 1894, when the area embracing The Narrows and Siglunes settle- ments was in the process of being surveyed for home- steads, Asi applied for a job with the survey gang. He was only 17 years old, and small for his age, although he de- veloped into a big man when he matured. The foreman was reluctant to state what wages he would get, but said if he s t a y e d with the gang all summer and proved himself, he would be dealt with fairly and on his merits. His duties were chores around the camp, and errands. But his main re- sponsibility was to keep the camp supplied with fresh meat. — In the fall when the surveyors left and time had come to settle with the crew, the foreman thanked Asi for a job well done, and paid him $25.00 per month for his sum- mer work, which was a good average pay for a full-grown man in those days. Asi, always an ambitious fisherman, started at an early age to fish during the winter months along the shores of the settlement. In the early days the winter season for commercial fishing was opencd as soon as ice formed. At an early age he had started farming on his own and had settled on a point on the east shore of Lake Manitoba. This property later became the home of the late Sigurdur Sigurdson. In 1908 Asi buys half-share in a sawmill at Siglunes and b e c o m e s the partner of Barney Mathews in the lum- ber business. They also had a steamboat in connection with the operation on which Asi was the captain. This boat, the 'Lady Ellen' plied between Siglunes and Oak Point, with a cargo of lumber south and general goods back. It also travelled between Crane River and Siglunes, towing log booms to the mill. The following year he sells his share in the mill and the steamboat to a Jewish firm, The Lake Manitoba Trading Co., which had established a store in Oak Point, but had their headquarters in Winni- peg, but he still keeps on as captain on the boat. That same year he moves across the lake to 'The Bluff', later named Reykjavik District. During the years that Asi stayed at Reykjavik he oper- ated a big fishing outfit dur- ing the winter season, em- ploying many men, first in partnership with his neigh- bour, the late Ingimundur Erlendson, with their head- quarters in Cherry Island; and later Asi had a big opera- tion himself on a small island just off-shore at Steep Rock, where the camp was located. During this period he was also engaged in shipping on the lake in the summer time, first on a boat owned by the Armstrong Trading Co. and later on a boat he built and owned himself. These opera- tions were mostly for picking up cream along the shores of the settlements and hauling it to Oak Point, and then gen- eral freight on the return trip. In 1920 Asi sells his farm at Reykjavik to his neigh- bour, Agust Johnson and buys Barney Mathews' hold ings at Siglunes. He now be comes the representative of the Armstrong Trading Co., later Armstrong Gimli Fish- eries. Not only did he buy fish for the company, but he also operated a fishing outfit for t h e m on Lake Manitoba, which at its height employed as many as 40 men during the winter season. In connection with the fish- ing operation, he established another industry at Siglunes which produced fish boxes, lumber, and net floats. This optration was not on a largc scale at first. But it expanded until he had almost as many men on the payroll in connec- tion with the mill during the summer months as he em- ployed in the fishing industry during the winter. In 1926 Asi organized an expedition to go up along the Hudson Bay Railway to fish sturgeon on the Nelson River. This operation continued for a few spring seasons. He stayed at Siglunes from 1920 until 1940. And when one takes into account that this period included the economic recession which followed the First World War, and then the depression from the late twenties and t h r o u g h the thirties it is not difficult to visualize the stabilizing ef- fect it may have had on the lives of some individuals who were employed there. To many a young man his association with Asi and the employment he provided dur- ing these tough years proved to be a springboard to other and better things later on. And many a one was thank- ful for having had steady employment there, instead of h a v i n g to drift around in search of work which was not easy to find during the de- pression. In 1940 Asi pulls up stakes at Siglunes and moves his sawmill to Gypsumville. Here he starts into both producing fish boxes and railv/ay ties. He also started a big fishing operation on Xake Winnipeg. He kept this up for a few years. But then his eyesight began to fail, and on account of that he was forced to retire long before his body was ready to yield. By 1948 he had eased up on a lot of his activities, because of failing eyesight. And in 1950 he and his wife moved to Lundar and built a little house in the yard of their daughter and son-in-law, where they have resided since. When Asi left Gypsumville his two sons took over the sawmill, and later moved it to Grand Rapids. Much more could have been said about Asi and his achievements, and in more detail. But in an atternpt to keep these sketches within reasonable proportions, the writer has endeavored to con- dense them and yet portray a fair outline of his activities. Before the blindness over- took him, Asi was an ardent reader of books — a self educated man with a pro- found knowledge and under standing of things. In spite of his blindness he kept well-informed on cur rent events, mostly by con stant attcntion to the radio, also by what his wife and daughter read to him, and tape recordings supplied by the C.N.I.B. He was endowed with a keen mind, sound business ethics, unfailing memory, and w a s superbly qualified to handie men. And now he is gone. But not forgotten. A sturdy man, both of body and soul, kind, helpfui. and generous. A true pioneer in every sönse of the word, well-liked and respect- ed by all who knew him. One who leaves with his friends fond memories about an en- terprizing man, and of his helpful influence among his contemporaries. He was admitted to the Eriksdale hospital on July 6th last where he died on Octo- ber 6th, 1970,lacking one day of his 93rd year. He leaves to mourn him, his widow, Gislina, daughter of the late Kristinn and Ovida Goodman, six sons and one daughter, all r e s i d i n g in Manitoba. Adolf at Oakview, Grettir and Olafur at Vogar, Sigurdur at Gillam, James at Thicket Portage, Helgi in Winnipeg, and Asa Mrs. Jo- hann A. Fjeldsted of Lundar, where the widow also resides. Asi had been a member of the Masonic Order for over 40 years; and at the request of the family, members of the fraternity conducted a Ma- sonic memorial service at the graveside. The funeral service was held in the church at Vogar, and he was laid to rest in the Vogar cemetery on October 9th, 1970, with Pastor A. Ingi- bergsson officiating. Oli Johnson. Scholarship Award Framhald af bls. 1. bore testimony to her scholar- ly qualities. She took an ac- tive part in student affairs and student government. In- tensely interested in drama- tics and musical productions, she found time for voice in- struction and was a member of the Western Manitoba Philharmonic C h o i r , The Brandon University Chorale and the Brandon University Singers. During her final year she was vice-president of the Brandon University Repertory Players and helped to promote amateur theatre in rural centres as well as to establish a co-ordinating drama group to provide a long term continuous drama program in her home com- munity. At present she has entered upon a graduate program in Drama at the University of Alberta. Christine McMahon is the daughter of the late Mr. Gerald McMahon and Mrs. McMahon, nee Olöf Sigfús- son, who resides at 331-27th Street, Brandon, Manitoba. She is a granddaughter of the 1 a t e Skuli Sigfusson, M.L.A., and Mrs. Sigfusson, of the Lundar district. trict. YLJIÐ YKKUR Á ÍSLANDI í VETUR Aðeins $ 1 1 000* ÍSLANDSFERÐ FRAM OG TIL BAKA FRÁ NEW YORK Lægslu íargjöld! Þoiu þjónusta! Ný lág íargjöld á þessu ári til íslands íyrir alla — unga, aldna, skólafólk, ferðahópa! ísland er líka fyrir alla. Hið fagra ísland minninganna; núiíðar ísland sem erfitt er að ímynda sér: hið hrífandi fsland, sem frændur og vinir hafa skýrt ykkur frá — og sem þið getið sagt frá þegar heim kemur. NÝJU FARGJÖLDIN FRÁ NEW YORK-------aðeins $110* fram og til baka með 15 mannahóp eða fl. Fyrir einsiaklinga aðeins $120* báðar leiðir fyrir 1-21 daga (þér verðið að kaupa fyrirfram ferðaþjónusiu á íslandi fyrir $70 til að njóta þessa fargjalds). Aðeins $130* báðar leiðir fyrir 29 iil 45 daga. Aðeins $91* aðra leið fyrir siúdenia, sem siunda nám á íslandi í 6 mán- uði. Fleiri lág fargjöld er gegna þörfum ykkar. MEÐ JET-PROP. $10 TIL $20 MEIR MEÐ ÞOTU EÁDAR LEIDIR LÆGSTU FLUGFARGJÖLD TIL: ÍSLANDS, SVÍÞJÓÐAR. NOREGS. DANMERKUR. ENGLANDS. SKOTLANDS OG LUXEMBOURG. ICHANDICaÍ^T m Frekari upplýsingar hjá ferðaumboðsmanni þínum eða Icelandic Air Lines.



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