It flies proudly throughout this land - a symbol of the rich heritage of the Yukon. Yet what do its parts mean? The Yukon’s flag came into being as the result of a contest sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion back in the '60s. Yukon students were asked to submit designs for what would become the official Yukon flag.
When the contest ended, a design by Lynn Lambert of Destruction Bay was chosen. Some modifications were made for heraldic purposes, since things as official as a flag must follow certain rigid specifications. There are, for example, very specific colour code numbers for the green and blue panels on either side of the flag. But the basic elements remain. So the next time you see the Yukon flag flying in a stiff summer breeze, consider the following:
The green panel adjacent to the mast stands for the forests, the white centre panel for the snow and the blue outer panel for water. The centre white panel has the Yukon crest above a symbolic representation of fireweed, the Yukon’s flower.
The shield symbolizes the history of the territory. The wavy white and blue stripe represents all the rivers of the Yukon. The red triangles are for the mountains, while the gold-coloured discs inside the triangles depict mineral resources.
The red cross on the shield is the Cross of St. George and refers to early explorers. On the top of the shield, stands a proud-looking malamute husky, the animal whose stamina and loyalty was vital to all Yukoners in the early days.
The Yukon flag was officially adopted by the Council of the Yukon Territory on December 1st, 1967.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin
The Yukon has always been a special place for mountain climbers. The vast landscape of the St. Elias has provided challenges for mountaineers around the world. In 1967, Canada was involved in all manner of special projects to celebrate 100 years of confederation.
David Fisher of the Alpine Club of Canada, Monty Alford with the Yukon Water Resource board and David Judd of the Yukon Territorial government administration presented a plan to climb peaks in the St. Elias Range. The Yukon Alpine Centennial Expedition was born.
The idea was to have 13 teams, of four climbers each, scale 13 unnamed peaks and name them after each of the 10 provinces and two territories. 1967 also marked 100 years since the American purchase of Alaska from Russia. It was decided to have a team of four Canadians and four Americans climb the highest unnamed mountain, and call it Good Neighbour Peak.
The Canadian climbers were led by Monty Alford while the American leader was Vin Hoeman. Good Neighbour Peak, rising 15,700 feet, was conquered on June 25. The second part of the project, the climb of provincial and territorial mountains was scheduled to begin on July 8th. None of the mountains had been climbed before. A support staff of more than 250 people assisted in this massive operation.
The actual ascents took place between July 13 and July 25. Nine of the peaks were conquered. Climbers attempting the other four were unable to reach the summits. The event captured the imagination of Canadians during that special year back in 1967.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin
There are a number of Yukon place-names which pay tribute to animals.
The Slim's River which flows into the south end of Lake Kluane can be raging torrent of water when the spring run-off from the glaciers begins to flow. Or it can be a shallow stream dotted with mud bars in mid-summer. When Slim enountered the river back in 1903, it was the former - a raging torrent. Slim was a horse belonging to a prospector who was going to stake in Kluane goldfields. While crossing the river, Slim drowned. His grieving owner named the river for his horse.
Joseph Keele was an expert in the bush. He had to be. He joined the Canadian Geological Survey in 1898 and spent the rest of his days mapping in the Pelly and Ross River regions. There's a little lake on the Upper Ross river called John Lake. It's named for Keele's faithful pack dog, John.
Charles Sheldon was a rich American sportsman and amateur naturalist who studied the Pelly and Lapie River systems in the early days of this century. Joseph Keele named the beautiful Sheldon Lake and Sheldon Mountain to honour Charles. Charles got in on the act, too. He named a small stream, which flows into the Pelly River, Danger Creek. Danger was Charles Sheldon's horse.
There's a little creek, which flows into the Little Salmon River, that you just might want to steer clear of in the summer. It's called Bearfeed Creek, and was named in 1925 by William Cockfield of the Geological Survey. The creek's banks are covered with berry bushes, and the berry bushes are filled with bears.
Finally another name for horses. In 1947, the noted Yukon surveyor and naturalist Hugh Bostock was conducting surveys in the Klondike River district. One day, half of his pack horses decided to take the day off and disappeared into the bush. When Bostock finally recovered the wayward pack animals, he named a creek, which flows into the Little Klondike River, Lost Horses Creek.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin
There was always something magical about the Morley River lodge on the Alaska Highway. We always felt good when we reached the place after a long drive from Dawson Creek over the then-dusty, unpaved road.
It probably had a lot to do with the milepost at Morley River. It was 777.7. Lucky eh? Clyde Wann was the Yukoner who started the lodge at Morley River. In fact, until his death in 1967, Clyde had been one of the Yukon’s busiest businessmen and lodge owners.
In 1927, he formed Yukon Airways and the post authorities in Ottawa gave the company permission to fly mail. He also owned the Swift River Lodge at Mile 733, built the Beaver Creek Lodge at Mile 1202 in 1958, and operated the Destruction Bay Lodge at 1083. He also owned the first Chrysler dealership in Whitehorse. Clyde Wann was a busy guy.
Maybe he was too busy to wonder or worry about how his lodge at 777.7 - Morley River - got its name.
Well, let’s worry about it for a moment. Morley River is perhaps one of the few places in the Yukon named for a person's first name. I can’t tell you why that is, but I can tell you who.
Morley was Morley Ogilvie, son of the famed Yukon surveyor and politician William Ogilvie. In 1897, the young Ogilvie had a job on a dominion land survey as they were laying out the boundary between BC and the Yukon. They were also surveying a wagon road from Telegraph Creek to Teslin Lake.
When the survey party reached Teslin, Morley Ogilvie was given the task of surveying the east shore of Teslin Lake, and then ordered to continue his work down the Teslin River to the Yukon River.
For his formidable task, survey boss, St. Cyr, recommended that a nameless river at the start of Teslin Lake be named for him. So it became Morley River.
Then, between the 1930s and 1950s, the names Morley Lake, Morley Mountain and Morley Bay were added to the list of Canadian place names that honour the son of the famed William Ogilvie.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin
Walking around the streets of Whitehorse can be an interesting and informative experience. You just need to take a little time. Sure, life moves at a rapid pace these days. Slow down and head down to Front Street and Main.
Stop and look at the finely restored first - well almost first - Whitehorse firehall. It was built at this location after much talk about whether the town needed a fire department at all. That was back in 1900. Well, the town did need a firehall and, finally, it was built in 1901. Four years later it burned in the great Whitehorse fire of 1905.
The White Pass station right next door went up in flames, as did most of the business district. Although much of the town was destroyed, the firehall partially survived the fire. Ironically, the volunteer fire department had just received its new firefighting equipment the day before, but the fire engine broke down after only a few minutes of operation. Yep, the town needed a fire department, but it also now needed a new building with better equipment.
The second firehall was built shortly afterwards on the same site and was part of the Yukon Electric power plant. It had a second floor that was used to house the volunteer staff.
Amazingly, until the town bought a real fire truck in 1942, the fire department operated a two-wheeled hose cart. It consisted of a long hose that drew water from the Yukon River by an electric pump. The fire department also used a chemical engine, which consisted of a hose attached to a 40-gallon tank containing chemicals. When the tank was tipped, the chemicals mixed and created a gas, thus forcing water through the hose.
Whitehorse hit the big time in 1943 when the town hired a full time fire chief and two assistants. That year a firehall was built on Wheeler Street near the present day Whitehorse Elementary School .
Although it was built to serve the Dowell Construction Camp working on the Alaska Highway, it served the downtown area as well. The Canadian Army took over this firehall in 1945, and worked with the town fire department by providing two additional trucks, twenty paid staff, and an ambulance service. Both my Dad and brother Fred were firefighters and worked at this long-gone building. So was the former Mayor of Whitehorse, Bill Weigand.
In 1962, the Army moved its firehall to Camp Takhini, and the city had to increase its own staff and buy a second fire truck. The Takhini firehall was then turned over to Department of Public Works and, eventually, to the Whitehorse fire department.
The present Whitehorse firehall, next to the City offices, was opened during Canada’s centennial year in 1967.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin
Liquor played a significant role in everyday life in the Klondike during the gold rush. Saloons were scattered around Dawson like Bonanza Creek nuggets, and finding the booze was usually easier than finding the gold. But not for a moment in the sixties. In 1967, Hiram Walker, the maker of Canadian Club rye whiskey, launched a unique advertising project.
It was called the "hide-a-case" campaign. Cases of the company’s signature brand, Canadian Club, were planted in exotic places around the world - like Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington State, the Swiss Alps and in the Yukon. Then, magazine ads invited CC drinkers to try and find the whisky.
The cases were carefully hidden so that they would likely be found and weekly clues were provided in sports sections of daily newspapers. In all, twenty-two cases were hidden between 1967and 1981.
It was worth the hunt. Anyone who found a case won an all expenses-paid trip around the world. A case hidden on top of a skyscraper in New York City was found in three months, while the Mt. Kilimanjaro whiskey was not discovered until the mid-70s when a Danish journalist stumbled on it while on an unrelated expedition.
Five of the 22 hidden cases have never been recovered. They are near Lake Placid, New York, in Tanzania, at the North Pole, on Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile and somewhere around the King Solomon Dome near Dawson City.
In keeping with strange things done ‘neath the midnight sun, Hiram Walker had to hide two cases in the Yukon. The first case of whiskey was hidden somewhere in the Klondike in 1969, but a group of Boy Scouts found the booze before the contest officially started and before any advertizing had begun.
So another case was planted somewhere in the vicinity of King Solomon Dome on the Bonanza Creek road. It was never found and there is no guarantee that this Yukon case is still anywhere to be found.
But if you do find a case of Canadian Club whiskey somewhere around the King Solomon Dome, the people at Hiram Walker in Walkerville, Ontario would like to hear from you even though the contest ended back in 1981.
|January 19, 1967||New city constable Lorne Dean Phillips is sworn in January 17, 1967 by Judge John Parker.|
|January 19, 1967||Members of the Lion's Club erect survival shelters along the highway between Mayo Elsa and Mayo.|
|January 19, 1967||The search for oil is on in the Yukon. Close to two million acres north of the B.C. border, near Watson Lake, have been filed for exploration.|
|January 26, 1967||The Yukon is allowed to have its own pavillion at Expo '67. During the Expo, Al Oster and Hank Karr entertain fair goers for weeks.|
|January 26, 1967||Frank Goulter, the oldest surviving member of the Royal North West Mounted Police, celebrates his 90th birthday.|
|February 2, 1967||Northern Development Minister Laing agrees to ask the cabinet to approve a commission of inquiry into the development of self-government for the Yukon.|
|February 6, 1967||Ellijah Smith is elected Chief of the Whitehorse Indian Band February 5, 1967.|
|February 6, 1967||A proposal comes from Alaskans that as many Yukon river steamers as possible be repaired and refitted in time for opening of navigation in 1967, as a measure to increase tourism in the region.|
|February 9, 1967||The Commissioner of the Yukon is now reporting directly to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development|
|February 9, 1967||Pierre Berton writes a Canadian musical, set in the days of the Klondike goldrush.|
|February 13, 1967||The first Canadian Winter Games flag flutters in Whitehorse February 13, 1967. The flag was raised simultaneaously with the one at Quebec City where the games take place.|
|February 16, 1967||With 10-year-old Joanne Snyder and 67-year-old Clem Eminger, the Yukon sends the youngest and the oldest participants to the Games.|
|February 16, 1967||A.P. Philipsen is re-elected president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce February 14, 1967.|
|February 27, 1967||Miss Dawson City, Lenore Hakonson, is Rendezvous Sourdough Queen 1967. Sourdough Rendezvous is held from Feb. 23rd to Feb. 26th.|
|March 9, 1967||The Whitehorse Lions Club suggests March 8, 1967 to name a mountain in the Arkell (Kusawa) Lake district after General Georges Vanier who died a few days earlier.|
|March 13, 1967||Hanna Phelps, wife of W.L. Phelps, passes away in Vancouver March 9, 1967 at the age of 86. She was predeceased by her husband Willard "Deacon" Phelps in 1951. Their home on Main Street is now the location of Murdoch's Gem Shop. Mr. Phelps was a member of the Yukon Territorial Council and started the Yukon Electrical Company.|
|March 16, 1967||Victoria Faulkner is presented a life membership by the Yukon Historical Society March 9, 1967.|
|March 20, 1967||Cyprus Mines Corporation announces that its 60 percent owned affiliate Anvil Mining Corporation Ltd. Has decided to proceed with production from its lead-zinc-silver orebody in the Vangorda-area of the central Yukon Territory.|
|April 6, 1967||Lynn Lambert of Destruction Bay is the winner of the Yukon Flag contest. The flag becomes the Yukon's official flag and Lambert receives $100 for his design.|
|April 6, 1967||White Pass & Yukon Route report that 1966 was the best in the Corporation's history.|
|April 20, 1967||Whitehorse City Council orders a new building code because the present requirements are "raising costs to an impossible level".|
|April 20, 1967||Territorial council agrees to Anvil's plan to develop a townsite between Ross River and Faro, near the Anvil mining operation area.|
|April 24, 1967||Yukon Commissioner James Smith officially opens April 20, 1967 the new Ross River school.|
|May 4, 1967||The first open pit mine in the Yukon goes in operation as of May 1, 1967.|
|May 11, 1967||The Yukon goes on a new double time system as of May 28, 1967. The residents of Haines Junction are now on the same time as Whitehorse. (see also November 24, 1966)|
|May 11, 1967
→ June 19, 1967
|The first shipment of copper concentrate leaves the New Imperial copper mine near Whitehorse on May 11, 1967. On June 16, 1967, President Arnold Pitt declares New Imperial Mines near Whitehorse officially open.|
|May 11, 1967||National Museum scientists uncover the oldest evidence of man yet found in the Canadian north. The discovery of prehistoric bones in the Old Crow river flats indicate early man may have lived in the Yukon as long as 40,000 years ago.|
|May 29, 1967||Princess Alexandra and her husband, Hon. Angus Ogilvie, visit Whitehorse May 28, 1967. They plant a new tree at F.H. Collins school and open the new MacBride Museum.|
|June 5, 1967||The Ferry 'George Black' arrives by road in Whitehorse and is assembled for the trip down the Yukon river to Dawson City where it will ferry vehicles across the river including trucks loaded with asbestos from the Clinton Creek Mine. The ferry is launched June 3, 1967 for service on the Yukon River at Dawson.|
|June 5, 1967||A government contract is awarded for surveying a route that could mean a highway between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. The road would lead from east of Dawson City to Fort MacPherson.|
|June 29, 1967||The Whitehorse Star issues a special edition for the opening of the new City Hall on July 1, 1967.|
|June 29, 1967||Two companies of the Regiment of the Canadian Guards receive colours representing the Yukon and the Northwest Territories in a ceremony June 26, 1967 on Parliament Hill.|
|July 6, 1967||Pam Reeves is elected Strawberry Queen July 1, 1967.|
|July 20, 1967||Dr. Hilda Hellaby officiates at her first marriage July 15, 1967 in Mayo.|
|July 31, 1967||Four Whitehorse men apply to the Board of Broadcast Governors for a broadcast television station licence.|
|August 3, 1967||Mabel R. Wernecke, widow of Livingston Wernecke, passes away on July 22, 1967.|
|August 4, 1967||Hougens' Ltd. publishes the architect's drawing of the new store extension.|
|August 21, 1967||The Yukon has its own special day at Expo '67.|
|September 7, 1967||The Russian ambassador to Canada Ivan F. Shnedko visits Whitehorse.|
|September 14, 1967||Yukoners elect a new city council on September 11, 1967.|
|September 21, 1967||CBC announces that 8 or 10 frontier TV stations are to be established in remote Canadian communities in 1968. The "frontier package" -a four hours a day of delayed black and white programming.|
|September 28, 1967||N.V.K. (Vic) Wylie, representing a group, appears before the Board of Governors applying for license to install a private T.V. station in Whitehorse. The Board of Broadcast Governors defers private T.V. application, stating it wants another look at CBC plans for Whitehorse TV.|
|October 9, 1967||City Council decides to install parking meters in Whitehorse. The cost to park at a meter is 5 cents per ½ hour and 10 cents per hour.|
|October 12, 1967||The construction of a 300 ton-per-day mill is under way at the silver-gold mine of Arctic Mining and Exploration Ltd. at Carcross.|
|October 14, 1967||Jackie Kennedy visits the Yukon Pavillion at Expo '67.|
|October 14, 1967||Mayor Howard Firth donates a bronze plaque to the city council.|
|October 19, 1967||A new Yukon political party, dedicated to acquiring more autonomy for the territory, is proposed. The party would be made up of members of both Liberal and Progressive Conservative supporters.|
|October 26, 1967
→ November 9, 1967
|The Yukon Electrical Company moves its offices to First and Elliott Streets. The building is officially opened November 7, 1967.|
|October 26, 1967||The Toronto-Dominion Bank announces it will open a branch in Whitehorse on November 10, 1967. Bert Giesbrecht becomes manager.|
|November 2, 1967||The first haul of asbestos fibre from the new Clinton Creek mine travels down the highway from Dawson City November 1, 1967.|
|November 9, 1967||The Yukon Territory's first woman councillor, Joan Gordon, takes her oath of office November 6, 1967.|
|November 13, 1967||A number of Yukon residents receive Confederation of Canada Centennial medals: Among the recipients are Dr. Hilda Hellaby, Howard Firth, Robert Campbell, Henry H. Marsh, Alan Innes-Taylor, John Parker, James Philip Mulvihill, Harold Marston, H.A. Johnson.|
|November 13, 1967||A mountain peak in the McArthur Group of mountains is officially named after the late Ira van Bibber.|
|November 30, 1967||Laura Beatrice Berton, mother of Pierre Berton and author, dies on November 25, 1967.|
|December 4, 1967||Clyde G. Wann, who came to the Yukon in 1927 and established Yukon Airways, dies suddenly December 3, 1967 in Whitehorse at the age of 67. He built several lodges on the Alaska Highway and established a Chrysler Dealership.|
|December 7, 1967||The Yukon officially adopts its official flag December 1, 1967.|
|December 18, 1967
→ December 23, 1967
|Bert Wybrew wins the municipial elections on December 14, 1967 and is the new mayor of Whitehorse. However, Duke Collins and R.B. Cousin contest the results of the municipal elections and file a petition.|
- The Yukon Order of Pioneers Hall of Dawson City burns to the ground. The hall was built of logs in 1897 by the Northern Commercial Company.
- Inspector Lou Pantry, RCMP, is transferred to Washington, D.C. Inspector Bob Wood of Ottawa to assume command.
- The Yukon Trade Show is opened by the Deputy Minister of Northern Affairs. The show is held in the Yukon Vocational and Technical Training Centre.
- Kelly Douglas Company acquires the food operations of Tourist Services.
- Pioneer Store owner John Sewell dies at the Whitehorse General Hospital. He had operated a store on Front Street next to the Regina Hotel for 50 years.
- Roy Minter and Jack Hoyt present Commissioner James Smith with a copy of the White Pass Travelogue movie depicting travel from Vancouver to Skagway, Whitehorse and Dawson City. The movie is a White Pass Company centennial project.
- The Right Reverend Henry Marsh announces his retirement as Bishop of the Anglican Church.
- Ross Kenway General Manager of New Imperial Mines, located seven miles south of Whitehorse, announces the end of testing of the open pit mine and mill. He says that full production will soon begin.
- The Porter Creek Elementary School burns to the ground. The one hundred and forty students will attend schools in Takhini and Whitehorse.
- Stuart Hodgson is named Commissioner of the Northwest Territories.
- Mining Inspector A.D. Oliver is transferred to Ottawa after six years in the Yukon.
- Trees are planted along Lewes Blvd. in Riverdale. It is the result of the donation by Al Kulan of $25, 000.
- The Inn ballroom was the scene of a presentation by Scotty Munroe, President of the Whitehorse Lions Club to retiring president Bill Richardson.
- Cars and trailers line up to be transported by White Pass Rail to Skagway to catch the Alaska Marine Ferry in order to bypass the "dusty, bumpy, Alaska Highway."
- Brigadier Love, former Commander of the Northwest Highway system and now Director of the Arctic Institute, leads a group on a northern tour.
- Ken McKinnon interviews Minister of Energy and Mines live on WHTV.
- Prospector Art Jellinek, a Director of Pacific Giant Steel, is missing.
- Fifty boats leave from the shipyard area of Whitehorse en route to Dawson City a part of the Yukon Centennial Celebrations. The centennial event is called the Yukon Flotilla.
- Erik Nielsen attends the Progressive Conservative Party's Montmorency Conference to address social, economic and political issues.
- There are seventeen candidates for election to the Territorial Government Council. They are: George Shaw, Rudy Couture, Bert Boyd, Ken Thompson, John Watt, Don Taylor, Bob McKinnon, Buzz Hudson, Bill Brewster, Norm Chamberlist, Ken McKinnon, J.O. Livesay, Pat Olsen, Harry Gordon-Cooper, Jean Gordon, John Dumas, and Laurent Cyr.
- The election of new Yukon Territorial Councillors results in John Dumas, Norm Chamberlist, Jean Gordon, George Shaw, John Livesay, Don Taylor and Ken McKinnon sworn in by Commissioner Jim Smith.
- Robert Stanfield replaces John Diefenbaker as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
- Padraig O'Donoghue is been named Legal Advisor to the Yukon Government.
- The Shriner's Club was presented with a charter.
- A safe at Hougen's department store is attacked by thieves using a cutting torch. The robbers failed to crack the safe but stole $10,000 worth of merchandise.
- Artist Ted Harrison arrives in the Yukon to teach at the Carcross School.
- On Nov. 27th, the Hougen’s Santa train arrives with Santa and hundreds of children who parade down Main Street lead by the Air Cadets to Hougen's Department Store.
- The Yukon tartan, designed by Janet Couture of Watson Lake in 1965, is first proposed as the official territorial tartan during the 1967 centennial celebrations. It was rejected by the Territorial Council because they were concerned about the legal implications of a private individual holding the copyright for the design. It was not approved until 1984.
- Bert Lahr of "Wizard of Oz" fame and star of "Foxy" in Dawson City, died in New York at age 72.
- City Dogcatcher, Bill Garth handed in his resignation to City Manager J.O. Hutton.