Dawson City, Yukon Friday, June 11, 1999

The paddle wheel from the SS Keno passes the Commissioner's Residence on its way home. See story below. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

Editorial: Celebrating the Sun Rise
21st DCMF Ready to Roll
Crossing Canada by Cycle and Computer
Coming Together in Tough Times
KPMA Sees Need for "Speed Limit" Concept in Land Use Regulations
A Good Night at the Follies
Wheel on the Road
Awards Day Ceremony at RSS
Dawson Grads Have a Grand Time
Tribute to Miners Planned

Welcome to the June 11 edition of the on-line Sun. This issue is late because our regular Internet provider has been on holiday and the local folks who also want to post our site are still getting organized. Our June 8 hardcopy edition was 24 pages long, containing 34 photographs and 25 stories. See, you miss a lot when you only read us here.

Editorial: Celebrating the Sun Rise

by Dan Davidson

One of the key points of Palma Berger's little essay about the origins of the Sun last issue was that we do, from time to time, make stupid mistakes. There comes a point in the production of any issue of this paper, when the words take a backseat to the overall layout of the page and the number of those that have emerged from the computer ready for paste-up.

Which is the only reason I can think of that we forgot to mention Madeleine Gould in the essay. I edited it and even made a few changes, but the omission never crossed my mind. Maybe it was her smiling face on the collage of front pages that tricked me. Whatever it was, we're sorry. Here's a bit more history. Let's see who else we can manage to offend this week.

Richard Blais and Sourdough Sue Ward designed the paper's first banner. Chere Mitchell typed (sorry, Chere - typeset) most of it on my wife's Apple II clone in the next room from where I am writing this. Madeleine Gould hustled ads and found us a place to gather everything in one place in the back room of the now defunct Sunset Lodge (where the ambulance station sits now on 5th Avenue).

Mike and Kathy Gates made sure we had photographs to liven it up. Palma Berger, John Gould, Dawne Mitchell, Kathy Gates and yours truly wrote most of it.

So there we were, Dawson's first actual newspaper since the territorial capital moved to Whitehorse. We'd figured to do it monthly and keep it down to about 16 or 20 pages. No such luck. It never got below 24.

We had to relocate when they condemned the Sunset Lodge out from under us, and we owe the City of Dawson a big vote of thanks for having the confidence to let us become tenants in the big, blue Waterfront Building on Front Street.

There are no strings attached to our tenancy there and we pay rent like everyone else, but the City of Dawson supports us (and enhances its own communications with the public) by taking out lots of ads and filling a page at least once a month.

We remained a monthly for some years, training the likes of Caroline Murray (one of our summer students who ended up at the Star) and Brent Morrison (a volunteer who passed through the Star's layout room on his way to British Columbia) and many others who have gone to jobs with "real" papers. Chris Beacom, late of the Dawson City Insider and co-founder of The Horse's Mouth, also passed a summer with us, and came back to man our computers a couple of times before signing on with the competition. Most recently Jocelyn Bell was our summer person. This year she's at the London Free Press. Our people get around.

Need I add that the hugely successful Guide to the Goldfields got its start on our computers and in our layout room, with Brent teaching Greg Karais the desktop publishing ropes while he exchanged his labour for our help.

Numerous volunteers learned their first computer skills on the Sun's Macintoshes and went on to parlay those skills into full time jobs around the community. Nearly as many have discovered the joys of photography in our darkroom under the tutelage of its founder and mentor, Mike Gates.

It was while we were employing Timothy Sawa, whose voice you will now hear on CBC radio reports out of Edmonton, that we made the jump to biweekly status.

Three years ago we started posting an abridged version of the paper on the Internet, and 16,000 people have clicked on that site during the last two years of its existence. Thanks to Richard Lawrence over at YukonWeb for making that possible and successful. We get as much e-mail as we do the regular kind.

Albert Fuhre has set us a daunting task for this issue. His tribute to the Sun requires that we add to it the names of all the people who have graced its masthead and board of directors for the last decade. We're going to try to fit everyone in, but anyone we miss should take it as an oversight, not an insult.

(Our hardcopy edition contained an Albert Fuhre designed commemorative ad with the name of every single person who had ever been on our staff, board or helping hands listing. We won't torture you with that here, but it's been a lot of people.)

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21st DCMF Ready to Roll

by Dominic Lloyd

The Dawson City Music Festival is set for its 2lst blockbuster year, July 23, 24 and 25, 1999. The festival will take place at Minto Park and various other locations In Dawson. "We are really pleased with this year's line-up," says the festival's producer; Dominic Lloyd, "It's not easy to pick bands, because there is so much great talent out there and we have only so much room." However, Lloyd feels confident that no one will go away disappointed this year, after seeing one of the most musically diverse lineups ever."

On the heels of last year's 20th anniversary celebration, the 1999 festival will be a return to the pre-98 style. A two-tent, three day event will showcase some of the finest bands from around the territory and across the country. There are some weekend passes still available, but, adds Lloyd, "they're going fast!"

In addition to a great lineup, the festival promises to have everything regular attendees would expect: concessions, craft tables, beer gardens, plenty of kids entertainment and three days of the best summer fun in the Yukon.

The Yukon River Campground will again be designated as an alcohol-free zone; and those people who will be camping in Dawson City are advised that the overflow campground, normally located below Crocus Bluff, will be relocated this year. Overflow camping will be in the designated areas on Hospital Hill, which is located at the North end of town below the Moosehide Slide. More information will be made available on the Music Festival web site.

The newly released Dawson City Music Festival Web site, designed by festival sponsors Pixelar Designs of Whitehorse, is located at www.dcmf.com. The site Is full of updated Information on last year's festival, as well as data on the 1998 festival. Highlights from the site include new audio content from Bruce Cockburn, Rawlins Cross, and many other 1998 performers including Yukon favourite, Jerry Alfred and the Medlcine Beat. Also contained in the site is a new virtual reality tour of the full 1998 festival grounds and the Minto grounds from the River of Gold Tour. Check It out, you won't be disappointed!

Pixelar Designs is a Western-Canadian based Web development firm specializing in design, multimedia application, e-commerce and online marketing. Established In early 1995, the company has offices in Vancouver and Whitehorse. Plxelar Designs represents clients from around the world and from a variety of industries including technology, tourism, publishing and government.

The 1999 Dawson City Music Festival Lineup: The Mike Plume Band, Diego Marulanda & Pacande, Big Band Trio with the Jump Jivin' Orchestra, Crystal Plamondon, Ecka Janus, Paul MacLeod, Mikel Miller, The Planet Smashers, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne, The Gathering, The Falcons, Kubasonics, Danny Michel, Sofa Kings.

For more information on the 1999 Dawson City Music Festival, contact the office at (867) 993~5584 or by e-mail at dcmf@dawson.net Visit us on the web at www.dcmf.com

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Crossing Canada by Cycle and Computer

by Dan Davidson

On May 19 four weary travellers cycled into Dawson. Their journey had begun a month previous in Ottawa, and while there had been a fair amount of flying and many hours spent in a comfortable motor home, a lot of the time had been spent on two wheels, participating in a mammoth cross-country event called the Canadian Heritage Interactive Journey.

Steven Wilson, Eileen McNamara, Barb Wentworth and Arnie Wilson were the members of CHIJ's Team 3, nicknamed "Kabloona with Bikes". They have spent some time as a complete team and some time as pairs. Team 3's hectic travel schedule included parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon, and they couldn't all go everywhere.

The Yukon portion of the trip, for instance, had to have its timetable adjusted so that they could get to schools in the rural areas before they closed for the summer. As things were it was a tight race, and the kabloona got to Robert Service School just two days before final examinations were to begin in the high school, at a time when a number of elementary classes were away on overnight or full day field trips.

The quartet were introduced to the community as part of the Fine Arts evening on May 19, and spent a bit of time explaining their project and answering questions both before and during the concession time at the intermission of the evening's presentations, between the band concert and the play.

Robert Service was one of 75 schools across the country chosen to be host schools for the project. As part of its commitment, the school had to develop and post a website which could be linked to the main CHIJ site at "www.chij.com". As the three teams visited each school their sites became active and students all across the country were able to log in and read about all the others.

The teams each kept logs of their trips and filed them to the web site, along with digital imagery, after they visited each school, so students following the journey could also chose to read the trip journals. The CHIJ mandate was to "discover and investigate the heritage, culture, languages and lifestyles of Canada."

The program was assembled by software developer Ingenuity Works, a Canadian company with a keen interest in promoting Canada as well as its products. Other sponsors included Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the BC Ministry of Education, BC Tel Discover Learning, Corel Corporation, Timex and, of course, the Yukon Department of Education. His Excellency the Right Honourable Romeo LeBlanc extended vice-regal patronage to the project and was on hand to send off the cyclists on the launch day. All the Kabloona are avid bikers (kind of prerequisite for this job) and had first heard about the journey through personal contacts. Eileen and Arnie are from Vancouver, while Steven hails from Victoria and Barb from Toronto. Eileen is an occupational therapist, Barb a bicycle safety coordinator, Arnie a teacher and Steve a teacher-graduate.

Diversity is one of the things they've noticed for sure. Said Steve: "We've been to an elementary school with over 900 students. We visited an inner city school in Toronto where over 50 different languages were spoken and the kids came from 80 different countries. We've also been two schools as small as 35 students, a two classroom school at Sunset House."

Following their conversations with parents and students, the team retreated to the computer lab, there to file their latest updates over the school's InterNet links. It too them just over a week to catch up to Dawson in their journal writing.

Principal John Reid presented the team with a copy of the Ted Harrison poster of the Robert Service School as a momento.

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Coming Together in Tough Times

by Dan Davidson


Mike McDougall is the president of the Klondike Placers Miners' Association. Photo by Dan Davidson

Mike McDougall has a theory about why 14th annual gold show was so successful and why so many members of his group, the Klondike Placer Miners Association, turned out for the KPMA's annual general meeting. Paradoxically, it has to do with hard times.

"The Gold Show is still a big draw," says the KPMA's president of five years. "I've found...as times toughen up we get a better turnout at our meetings.

"I think that's because miners, like everybody else, need to know that there's somebody else out there.

"As times toughen up the difference between profit and not-a-profit becomes much finer. You need to know more about what's out there, what surprises might be coming up. Contacts become more important. Cross pollination - discussions - between operators. Discussions between ourselves and the Alaskans - and we had a presentation today (Saturday) from the Alaskans, the state regulators, which is a very important distinction to make." "It's a breath of fresh air to know that large scale projects can be permitted in such a way."

So for the miners, sessions like "Mining and Cost Cutting Methods", 'Placer Dredging on the 40 Mile River, Alaska Side" and "Gold Mining in Guyana, South America" are presentations full of ideas and maybe even a little hope.

All that was good news for the Gold Show, which was expected to be down in numbers this year, but was holding its own with preregistration of around 175-190 delegates and guests as of opening time on Friday, May 21. Exact numbers won't be known until all the number are crunched sometime later this week, since it was still possible to register at the door.

Inside the arena, with about 15 more exhibitors than last year, things were busy. Friday is the big day for give-a-ways and many a school student trudged back to afternoon final examinations carrying loot bags from the Bonanza Centre.

Local organizations were out in full force: City of Dawson, Klondike Centennial Society, Dawson City Nursing Station. Government booths were heavy on the ground, both federal and territorial levels being represented in about 11 booths. The rest were a mixed bag of parts distributors, cycle sales and service, motor sports sales, various industrial services, transportation and a number of mining companies.

Al Kapty from Trans North took time out from rebuilding his company to come to the Gold Show. He says he'd love to run his whole company from Dawson if it were only technically feasible. Clay Perrault from Internet Yukon has promised him to show him a way he might just be able to do it.

As a sideline to the industry there was a large jewellers showcase and a panning competition set up by Guggieville Goldpanning.

The local Legion branch kept the concession stand well stocked and hungry youngsters happy for two days.

Plants are another big thing at the Gold Show, and there were large sales areas in the arena and in the parking lot across 4th Avenue. Whether you wanted flowers or vegetables, the vendors had something for you.

But mostly the weekend followed the theme of this year's show: Mining Means Business. It's a business that goes on all year in one form or another and the gold show committee plans to be here next year to see that it continues.

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KPMA Sees Need for "Speed Limit" Concept in Land Use Regulations

by Dan Davidson

While the weekend's debates at the Dawson International Gold Show were basically civil, it didn't take an expert to realize that the atmosphere began to thicken on Saturday afternoon during the discussion of the Yukon Mining and Land Use Reclamation regulations.

Suddenly the acronym R.I.P., intended to stand for Regulation Information Package, seemed to be more like Rest In Piece. The 4 hour meeting scheduled to deal with the YMLUR documents dragged out an extra hour and came to an unscheduled halt mid-way through the second page of the three page document called Schedule 1: Operating Conditions.

Sub-section 12 dealt with fuel storage and the when discussion on that slide alone took up about an hour it became clear that the agenda could not be completed. Federal officials had repeated numerous times during the meeting that it was important to come up with documents that both parties - the miners and the regulators - could agree with, and it seemed like some of the language in these papers was going to have to go back to the discussion tables.

This was certainly the hope of Mike McDougall the current president of the Klondike Placers Miners Association, certainly one of the most vocal and influential mining organizations in the territory.

According to McDougall, the subject of environmental reclamation regulations marks a most fundamental change in ground rules for placer mining.

"Previously the Placer Act gave us the right to mine the ground. The actual mining - how you went about doing your actual work - was your decision and reclamation was not required.

"Reclamation - the idea of obliterating the evidence of our existence - is a modern concept."

Before 1974, the Placer Act, a piece of federal legislation, controlled all placer mining activities. After 1974, changes came. There was the territorial lands act, which affected everything but placer claims; the Northern Inland Waters Act, which began to control sediment discharge and implemented the need for water licenses.

"In 1999, we are not only (doing these things) but also limiting the activities on (a) claim to those which have been permitted under the land use regulations and we are requiring land use reclamation."

The KPMA does not oppose land use regulations. McDougall says it was a KPMA request that got the Yukon Mining Advisory Committee started in 1988-89. It was their response to alteration in the Northern Inland Waters Act, which had become the Yukon Waters Act.

"We felt there was quite a bit of risk to placer miners ... and the only way to make substantive comment on it was to put together a committee formed of stakeholders: KPMA, three levels of government, and the Yukon Conservation Society."

While assembled originally to deal with water issues, the committee was instructed to consider land use regulations in its second phase in 1990. "The sky was falling at that time," McDougall says, "and we had to do it within two years." Subsequently the sky didn't fall and the sense of urgency faded away, but the work did get done eventually, by 1997. A lot of it involved the Territorial Lands Act, which McDougall says was really not designed to deal with the ongoing activity which placer mining represents. "We've been placer mining the hills around Dawson City for 100 years," he says, "while the land act was intended to deal with short term exploration. "We thought that the miners on the creeks probably had the best understanding of what would work for reclamation.

"This is a wonderful, vigorous country," McDougall says, gesturing at the surrounding hills. "We've got green leaves here on trees that were bare less than a week ago."

Perhaps more to the point, we have trees on hillsides which gold rush area photographs show to have been completely denuded 100 years ago. McDougall's point, as far as reclamation goes, is that the land will recover, given time and reasonable care. Placer miners, he contends, have always been willing to give that kind of care. They are not, he says, gesturing at the Peterson cartoon in the May 21 Whitehorse Star, dealing with the sort of harmful substances used in the Mount Nansen Mine near Carmacks.

"Basically, we're just hastening erosion," he says.

What the KPMA wants to see in the MLUR document is something like a set of speed limits, guidelines that are not absolute and allow for some flexibility within a season's work. McDougall sees it as reasonable that a miner should be able to meet certain conditions within a mining season, but unreasonable that a miner should have to meat them every day. There will be days when the operation is just over or just under the limits due to conditions on the site. The average performance is what the MLUR should address.

He sees this as a tough concept for government to address. One side of the federal and territorial mining departments is there to help miners meet their goals and do an effective job. They are enablers.

The other side is there to monitor breaches in regulations. They are the enforcers. It's easier for the enforcers if the rules are all down in black and white with no shades of grey and no need for judgment calls. It's easier, he says, but it's not realistic.

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A Good Night at the Follies

by Matthew Sell

The Palace Grand Theatre is taking visitors through time and history with its summer production the "Gaslight Follies." Brimming with Canadian talent, the production takes the audience on a journey to the Klondike's golden era. Through story and song, the origins of "The Palace Grand Theatre" are revealed, and a humorous picture painted of Dawson's characters of the time.

A near full house saw Krista Konkin put in a sterling performance as Sweet Tooth Fannie. With a mean hip wiggle and a sharp tongue she breathed life into the crowd participation, improvisation part of the show. Where two, at first reluctant Gentlemen were brought on stage, dressed up and told to "shake their vegetables," much to the delight of their wives.

Carley Bailey "Snake hips", blessed the audience with her pitch and volume and shone through as a schooled singer. While Joey Hollingsworth, writer director and actor, dazzled the crowd with his quick footedness in tap dancing, and made them laugh with his alternative recital from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". Nena Lazo, the "Wake-Up Kid" wore metal heels too, and tantalized the crowd with her dance with the dustbin. There were howls from the balconies and laughs from the back at "the man from Nova Scotia's" comic song about life up north. Kevin Ledding led a strong leading role as "Frozen Jaw" and Jason Campbell made a good "Arizona Charlie."

Music by pianist and banjo player, Allen Des Noyes, brought the theatre alive. While the quality of the costumes and set design added more to the appreciation of the clapping crowds.

At interval people stood outside and admired the theatre, commenting on the character of the ornate false wooden facade, and the gold rush glamour feeling of the building. On returning to their seats the audience were treated to the grand finale, which in the play is the opening night of Arizona Charlie Meadow's Palace Grand Theatre. With all the characters present on stage the audience was stepped up a gear. As the cast, singing and dancing, performed to the ragtime tunes of the piano.

A thoroughly entertaining show, we wish Lone Wolf Entertainment a prosperous summer, and thanks for keeping Dawson's theatre alive.

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Wheel on the Road

by Dan Davidson


When the wheel finally sat in place, it was so well greased and balanced that two men could spin it. Photo by Dan Davidson

Generally speaking, when you think of a wheel, you think of a road, of driving, and of motor vehicles. On June second the best score you could get for that combination was two out of three. There was a wheel and it was on a road - but it's destination was a boat, and that makes a whole world of difference.

This particular wheel has been languishing at Fort Herchmer, right next to the RCMP post jail, for the last six years, while the carefully planned rebuilding of the Keno has been under way.

Originally the wheel came off to allow better access to the outside hull of the ship so that a properly supportive foundation could be installed. Over the last several seasons the repairs have been making their slow but steady way from the bow to the stern. Last season the cantilever beams which supported the wheel were replaced, and now it was time for the wheel to make the trip back down Front Street to the Keno.

The process took half the morning, two hours and ten minutes, but proved that when something has been planned correctly you only have to do it once. About 8 a.m. shipwright Wayne Loiselle and his crew arrived at the site behind the Commissioner's Residence and began the operation. With straps and chains in place, the wheel was hoisted onto the flatbed truck by the same crane which had removed it in 1993. As if on cue, several trucks arrived from the Yukon Energy Corporation to handle the lifting of the power lines that blocked the convoy's access to Front Street by way of Fifth Avenue.

The procession was slow, but never at a complete halt from that time on. Once on Front Street, it was clear sailing all the way to the Keno, the procession disrupting Klondike National Historic Site tour groups as it breezed past the Residence and Saint Paul's Church. Downtown, people stopped what they were doing and stared as the massive orange contraption was carried to its resting place and, with a minimum of fuss, cradled on the beams which extended like arms to meet it as the crane and crew swung it into place.

Once set in its groves, the tonne and half wheel could quite easily be turned by two workers pushing on its paddles, so well did its original builders and the crew which has been working on it since 1995 do their work.

Pat Habiluk, project manager for the operation, says that the old ship has done through much since it was closed to tours at the beginning of a 10 year stabilization plan. Asbestos insulation was removed in 1992; the structural steel and pile foundation installed in 1993; a sprinkler system added in 1994.

Then the rebuilding began.

"The hull was in such poor shape, especially in the bow section, that collapse was imminent," Habiluk says in a press release. "It was reaching the point beyond which any salvage of the vessel hull would have been impossible."

Doing the nearly impossible is a slow process. In spite of the complaints of a certain short sighted politician during the summer of 1998, the current project is right on schedule, with the plan made nine years ago proving its worth in the field.

The end of this summer should see the end of this project. The Keno will come to resemble itself more and more as the summer wears on, as the rotted wooden blades come off the stern wheel and are replaced, as the protective tarps and barrier fences are removed. Finally the vessel will be repainted and the work site reseeded.

Next summer this time, all the Keno will need to worry about is the irresistible climbing urge that seems to be inspired in everyone which looks at the big wheel. Kids climbed it when it was on the ship. They climbed it while it was in storage. They will probably want to climb it again now that it's home. After all, Loiselle and company were climbing it on June 2, and they made it look like a lot of fun.

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Awards Day Ceremony at RSS

by Dan Davidson


The Honour Roll students at RSS take a well earned bow. Photo by Dan Davidson

The morning of May 28 was a busy time at Robert Service School. Teachers in the elementary division were busy giving out class awards and carrying out last minute special events. High School students were setting up the gymnasium and helping to strip the evidence of another year's work from the walls. Teachers were givig report cards and final check and making sure all the last minute paperwork was in order.

Official ceremonies got under way at 1:30 as Mrs. Davidson sounded the first chords of "O Canada" and the choir led the packed auditorium in the singing.

Retiring Principal John Reid welcomed the parents and students and the choir continued, with Miss Bell on Piano this time with a special presentation of "Hey, Look Me Over!", a youngster's plea to be considered as worthy of attention.

Mrs. Davidson finished her moment in the spotlight by handing out her choir awards to the 25 surviving members of the group.

They were: Stephanie Matchett, Sam Phelan-McCullough, Robyn Touchie, Russell Magee, Patricia McLeod, Nicole Cook, Natasha Burian, Monica Nordling, Monica Fras, Michael Davidson, Megan Gates, Laurie Van Bibber, Kyrie Nagano, Kylene Perry, Jessica Burian, Jenni Matchett, Heather Touchie, Gemma Gould, Casey Maguire, Bonnie Vogt, Ashley Bower, Ashley Graham, Anna Vogt, Amy Ball and Allison Komendy.

Michael Davidson had been the winner of a medallion award for voice at the Rotary Music Festival in April and he was presented with that as well. Miss Rowe presented Student Council Recognition certificates to the members who had remained active through the year: Katlyn Reynolds, Hannah Dewell, Danielle Mayes, Heather Mayes, Stephanie Matchett, Christina Brady, Jennifer Touchie, Michael Davidson, and Jodie McLaren.

At the Grade six level, two students had carried on with the recycling effort they had begun in grade 5. Mr. Hartwick called Riley Reed and Nicole Lamb to the front to announce that they were presenting a cheque for approximately $160.00 to the school towards the purchase of equipment for the Life Skills Program.

Individual classroom teachers presented Hard Worker awards to the following students, noting, as Mrs. Castelarin put it, that lots of students worked hard, but they these ones stood out. Recipients were: Gr. 4 - Brian Naef; Gr. 5 - Kevin Beets; Gr. 6 - John Vogt and Amy Ball; Resource Room - Sean Dominque.

Miss Vriend presnted the Caribou Management Board Art Award to Douglas Johnson, who won for both the Yukon and NWT.

Some students were successfully involved in the Youth Employment Program and coordinator Ms. Carol McBride presented certificates to Douglas Johnson, Jason Johnson, Adam Roberts, and Phillip Johnson.

Mr. Dragoman and Mrs. Dowdell worked with two students on photography projects and excellence awards were presented to David Algotsson and James Lilley.

Career and Personal Planning Awards for a Pilot Program Award were presented by Ms. Vijendren.

In the area of Subject Awards students must have maintained a minimum average of 75% to qualify. Vice-Principal Shirley Pennell presented certificates to the following students, whose names will also be recorded on a plaque.

English: Alex Hakonson (8), Katherine Maclver (12); Socials: Bonnie Vogt (9), Sid Schafrik (12), P.E.: Krystal Roberts (8), Rhiannon Juniper (10), Daniel Mason (9), Spruce Gerberding (11); Science: Bonnie Vogt (9), Spruce Gerberding (11), Math: Natasha Burian (7), Craig McCauley (11); Art: Carmen Roberts (8), Jennifer Russell (10); Home Ec.: Natasha Burian (7), Lisa Anderson & Cheryl Buyck (12); Shop: Hannah Dewell (7), Doug Fraser (11); Band: Natasha Burian (7); Craig McCauley (11); French: Jennifer Touchie (7), Jennifer Russell (10); Computers: Rhiannon Juniper (10); Music Theatre: David Fraser (8); Fine Arts: Jo-Anna Davidson (12).

Mr. Reid presented the Scholastic Honour Roll to students from Gr. 4-6 who had acheived an 80% average of the 5 academic subjects from all terms over the year. They were Charlie Brunner, Brian Naef, Ashley Bower, Ashley Graham from Grade 4; Kevin Beets, Alex Derry, Catlin Gammie, Laurie VanBibber from Grade 5; John Vogt and Amy Ball from Grade 6.

Academic Honour Roll standing for Grades 7 to 12-86% requires an average of 86% on the five core academic subjects. Mr. Reid presented awards to: Natasha Burian (7), Alex Hakonson (8), Bonnie Vogt (9), Rhiannon Juniper & Jennifer Russell (10) and Anna Vogt (11).

The Top Academic certificates, recognizing the highest overall average in each grade were presented by Mr. Reid to students in Gr. 4: Ashley Bower; Gr. 5: Alex Derry, Caitlin Gammie; Gr. 6: John Vogt; Gr. 7: Natasha Burian; Gr. 8: Alex Hakonson; Gr. 9: Bonnie Vogt; Gr. 10: Rhiannon Juniper; Gr. 11: Anna Vogt.

The Mary Gartside Award is given annaully to the top Gr. 12 male/female student who obtains a minimum overall average of 70% in the 4 core academic subjects. The award includes placing a name on the permanent plaque and a cheque for $200.00. It was shared this year by Sid Schafrik and Catherine MacIver.

Han instructor Angie Joseph-Rear presented Native Language Awards to students in the elementary grades.

Mrs. Helen McCullough presented the Top male and female Athletic awards to J. Jay Flynn and Rhiannon Juniper.

The Pioneer Women of the Yukon award is given annually to students at three levels who are not necessarily the top academic students , but work hard to obtain their goals. This year Mrs. Barber presented these to: Kyrie Nagano (4-6), Krystle Roberts (7-9) and Troy Blanchard (10-12).

The Robert Service Citizenship Award is given to students who have made a contribution to the school above and beyond the average expectations, including volunteer work with children, assistance at school functions, and work in the community outside of the school. Mr Davidson presented this award to Jessica Burian (4) and Jennifer Touchie (7).

The R.C.M.P. Appreciation Award has very similar conditions attached to it. Sgt. Steve Gleboff presented Jennifer Russell with this award.

In addition, students at R.S.S. took place in a number of events athat took them outside of the community. Miss Pennell called for the students who had participated in the Yukon Science Fair and Young Authors Conference in Whitehorse to stand for a round of applause. One of the latter group, Michael Davidson, was recognized for having won the Senior Fiction Award at the YAC.

A special program called "Tourism Careers for Youth, Entry Level Skills" was held outside of school hours this winter and students who took this course were also recognized.

The closing remarks from Mr. Reid were of special significance since he retires this year from 35 years in education, including the last five as the Principal of R.S.S.

"You have a good school here, and a fine staff," he said, as he thanked the community for the support he had received over the years and wished everyone well in the future.

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Dawson Grads Have a Grand Time

by Dan Davidson


The graduating class of 1999 takes the stage at the Palace Grand Theatre. Photo by Dan Davidson

Graduation is always a grand event, but somehow it's a little more so when you have to option of holding it in the Palace Grand Theatre. At the end of the Palace's first century, the last graduating class of this century met to celebrate the end of 13 years of public education, what several of the speakers at the morning event on May 29 called the first step towards the rest of their lives.

In recognition of the special event, Principal John Reid jokingly told the full house that they could forget all of Klondike National Historic Sites's usual warnings about recording devices and video cameras and take all the pictures they liked. And they did.

Helen Winton recited "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)", a mock graduation speech which has taken the world by storm over the last few years. It's main thrust is that most of the important advice you can give to young people at this time of their lives is stuff they won't understand until they're older, so you might as well be practical.

Deputy Mayor Aedes Scheer spoke to the grads on behalf of Mayor Glen Everitt, who was off at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM in his capacity as the president of the Association of Yukon Communities. She told the graduates they would always have a home in Dawson, no matter where they chose to travel in their futures, or what they chose to do for further education.

"You will be receiving a letter from the city stating that should you need a reference at any time you should feel welcome to call the city and have that reference letter drawn up for you. I know from my many listed jobs that a letter of reference is a really good idea."

Half a lifetime ago, Scheer noted that she had been her class valedictorian, and she would never have dreamed at the time of half the things she has done since.

Chief Steve Taylor of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation brought greeting to the graduates and was particularly happy to celebrate a class in which almost half of the 14 students were First Nations members.

"With over two thirds of first nations children from coast to coast not making it out of grade nine, this class defies national averages."

He was enthusiastic in his praise of all the students: "I honour you for having the ambition and the will to achieve this important milestone. I would also like to congratulate the parents for their hard work and dedication. Take pride in the fact that your investment in your child has brought us all here today ... to watch them receive their high school diploma."

He counselled the graduates that this diploma would prove to be a very valuable tool in their futures. "Use the knowledge that you have gained to further you along the path that will lead you to your hopes and dreams." MLA Peter Jenkins (Yukon Party - Klondike) brought greetings on behalf of the territorial government and his own party. It was, he noted, a real occasion to greet the last graduating class of the old millennium.

"The world doesn't owe you a living. You're going to find out that you have to go out their and earn it It's going to take a few tools, and the best tool you could ever have is an education."

Besides, Jenkins joked, it was essential that this generation did very well in their futures so that they would be able to pay lots of money to Revenue Canada and save the pension fund.

"Above all, what everyone wants to achieve is happiness. It's really the bottom line And a good career path ... is what will achieve that goal." Those sentiments tied in very well with the school choir's rousing rendition of "Hey, Look Me Over!"

This year's valedictorian was Katherine MacIver, who felt she was better able to speculate on the future than to celebrate the past.

"Each of us has potential and the power to make a difference in anything that we chose to do. We are the future and the future is ours. It is time to start thinking about how we will shape it."

She has words of thanks for parents, members of the community, her peers and the teachers.

"I believe that most students take for granted the care that you put into our lives every day, but as I am now graduating I can see what you have done for me and all of us. You, the teachers of Robert Service School, have been so helpful preparing us for post secondary school and for future jobs. We are all so thankful to you."

She also had special words for Mr. Reid, who had been their grad advisor through the year and for school secretary Bonnie Barber, who has assisted in making all the details come together.

Regional Superintendent Carol MacCauley took the podium to present Katherine with the Valedictorian's Award.

MacCauley commented on the community nature of this gathering, in a room filled with family, friends, former graduates and graduates yet to come. Aside from success in their academic futures, she hoped the students would excel in developing their skill in "interacting with other human beings, for I think that is where the work has to be done in the future towards building a better world."

A number of other awards were presented by Vice-Principal Shirley Pennell. The Audrey McLaughlin Scholarship went to Jo-Anna Davidson, and a new award from the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce went to Amberley Wolfe Presentation of grade 12 completion certificates wrapped up the major part of the ceremony. These are not diplomas, for all of these students have final territorial examinations yet to write and the final tale of their success will not be told until sometime in the middle of July when the marks come back.

The day continued with a massive picture taking session at the Commissioner's Residence, a banquet for family, friends and guests back at the school in the evening followed by a short graduates' dance.

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Tribute to Miners Planned

by Tara McCauley

Back in the winter of 1990-1991, the newly formed Klondyke Centennial Society set up a series of public meetings in order to generate ideas for celebrating the decade of approaching centennials. One of the several ideas thought up by the people of Dawson was a monument honouring the role of the miner: past, present, and future in the history of the Klondike.

A few years later the Klondyke Centennial Society (KCS) and the Klondike Placer Miner's Association (KPMA) formed two committees that would oversee the "Tribute to the Miner" project.

These committees are made up of several representatives from the community including members of the KCS, KPMA, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in and the City of Dawson. The role of the Steering Committee is to co-ordinate the technical aspects of the project while the Selection Committee selected the design for the monument that they felt justly represented the objectives of the project.

The artist whose design was selected is Halin de Repentigny, a well reputed local artist known for his oil painting, murals, and signs. The proposed monument, designed by Halin, is a seven foot bronze statue of a miner working a rocker-box on a pedestal of six feet. The pedestal of rock and concrete will carry marble plates with brass memorial plaques.

The project, which is projected to cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $75,000-$80,000, is being funded through the support of the KPMA and the KCS. So far over $10,000 has been raised and the KCS has been actively pursuing funding from other sources such as the Community Development Fund and the Millennium Arts Fund.

When more funds are secured the next step will be the creation of 100% scale plaster model. The model will then be shipped to a bronzing company in Alberta who will use the plaster model to make a rubber mould. Then the mould will be used to make the statue. The bronzing company will also assist in adjusting the proportions of the statue in relation to the pedestal in order to improve its perspective.

The location of the monument has not yet been finalized. At the present moment, the Klondyke Centennial Society is waiting for confirmation from the City of Dawson of an, as yet, undisclosed site.

If all goes according to plan the unveiling will take place next summer.

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