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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The LetHbridge Herald FOURTH SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, June 27, 1973 Pages 37 to 44 AMERICANS AND DANES REMINDED OF CANADIAN TERRITORY RCMP patrols strengthen sovereignty FROBEHER BAY, N.W.T. (CP) T3 is an inhospitable piece of ice going nowhere in particular in the Arctic Ocean. Not even a flyspeck on the map and inhabited by 16 American scientists, it is an unlikely pawn in the game of sovereignty Canada is playing with the world. It is just that, though, and because of it, it is a periodic stop for patrolling RCMP, who with the armed forces, uphold Canadian ownership in the North. It was the site of a wedding not long ago, a happy event that brought a smile to the millions who read about it. It was the site of a murder last year, an event that brought the seemingly inno- cent island into the game. T3 is a scientific station. Tt floats between two Canadian headlands, its position careful- ly plotted by the RCMP as it moves in something like a cir- cle. Canada says it is in its ter- ritorial waters; the U.S. does not necessarily agree. Offbeof blow Insp. V. G. B. (Vic) Irving, head of the RCMP G Division, which covers the northern ar- chipelago, first visited the is- land last July after one Amer- ican killed another. He has been dropping in with the RCMP Twin Otter periodi- cally since. The inspector received widespread publicity in May when he took Const. Ross Po- lock and his bride Diane to the Island to be married. It was a somewhat offbeat blow for sovereignty. Not BO well known is the murder case and the con- siderable trouble American authorities went to keep the suspect out of Canadian police bands. As reconstructed here, the U.S. authorities flew a Her- cules aircraft loaded with a helicopter to the U.S. base at Thule, Greenland. The copter was assembled find flown to Alert, the Canadian settle- ment on the northern tip of EUesmere Island. From there It flew to T3, snatched up the suspect and flew out of Canadian waters. It refuelled in the air on the way to Thule. The suspect had been tried in Maryland before the RCMP knew of the mur- der. So now Insp. Irving takes (fee Maple Leaf to T3 when be can. He and a transport min- istry official investigated a was a romantic carrying out of a tradition of sovereignty protection that has been with the 100-year-old national po- lice force since its beginning, crash of an American Her- cules on the ing Canadian jurisdiction. The wedding on the island By STEPHEN SCOTT Canadian Press writer Where Canada wanted to es- tablish ownership over an area, there policemen stood. Members of the forerunning North West Mounted Police were with flag-showing north- ern expeditions in the early part of this century. The RCMP came to the Far North to stay in 1922. police- men where no policemen were needed, postmasters where there was no mail, mines commissioners where there were no mines, government where there was no one to govern. In settlements, where there were any, the police were friends, distributors of gov- ernment largess, anything but cops. "There was no says Robert (Paddy) Hamilton of Ottawa, who spent 17 years in the Arctic from 1928. "We were up there to fly the Union Jack It was sovereignty occupation." Individuals Sovereignty was individu- als: Members of the NWMP, constables who went into Pond Inlet, on the northern end of Baffin, and Craig Har- bor, on the southern end of Ellesmere in 1922. Sovereignty was Paddy Hamilton on the Bache Penin- sula across from Greenland in 1928; it was S. Sgt. Henry Larsen when he made his fa- mous voyages across the North in the St. Roch in the 1940s: it was Robert Styles when he landed at Alexander Fiord on Ellesmere in the 1950s; it was Robert (Bob) Pilot when he helped trans- plant Eskimos to Grise Fiord on Efleflnwre from IKMUKID Quebec. Mr. Hamilton shared posts on Ellesmere and Devon Is- land with one or two others for years, flying the Union Styles, now S. Sgt. Styles in the RCMP division headquar- ters here, was landed by a supply ship with orders to build a detachment with goods that were landed with him. He moved some of Hamilton's de- tachment buildings down from the Bache Peninsula, Dumped on beach Mr. Pilot, now Northwest territories regional director here, was dumped on the beach at Grise Fiord in the 1950s with another constable and the Quebec Eskimos. The excuse was to give Es- kimos better hunting grounds, but the reason was to provide a settlement for uninhabited Ellesmere, once claimed by the Danes. In fact it is only in rela- tively recent times that police have become policemen in the High Arctic. White men brought the usual troubles of civilization to the North and police had crime to contend with. But even today, crime is un- known in areas where some of the 38 men in nine detach- ments of G Division are lo- cated. Mr. Hamilton, now a bright-eyed 73, remembers crimeless and almost people- Jess days, months and years on Ellesmere and Devon. In 1928 his job was to watch for Danes, who disputed Cana- dian sovereignty in some areas, crossing from Green- land. It wasn't arduous work. In the winter police would mam- tain their quarters and listen to the news on a headphone radio set. "When the sun came up (in the spring) we'd make pa- Patrols were made by dog sled. Today they are made by aircraft. But the Idea is the same- sovereignty. Alexander Fiord detach- ment is closed today but Insp. Irving said he may open it for a time this for the hell of it." Translated that means that the Canadian flag will be flown in .that corner of the Arctic for a time. Next year somewhere else. Guard sovereignty When the RCMP wishes to exercise Canadian SOY- Ing over Ice island T3, floating off Ellesmers Island ereignty over Canadian High Arctic it sends thii and staffed by American scientists, plane from Frobisher Bay, NWT. The plane has been fly- Exercise in the North Canadian take port In exercise In Cana- flag In North to protect sovereignty diarv Arctic. Canadian Forces flights and exercises show over trw area. MOLSON CANADIAN ;