At 54, Josiah Flintabattey Flonatin sure knows how to throw a party.
On Sunday, Aug. 15, the community celebrated the city’s namesake and mascot with a family picnic at the Flin Flon Station Museum grounds, complete with free snacks for the crowd and kid-friendly activities such as geocaching, face-painting and bubble games.
The event coincided with the grand reopening of the museum after a period of renovations.
In a presentation to attendees, museum board vice-chairman Tom Heine applauded the work of volunteers who have upgraded the exhibits. He also urged residents to take part in the ongoing process of improving the museum.
“If you have stories around these artifacts, we need them,” he said.
“This is your resource, it belongs to you, and it needs your help.”
As Heine explained, several museum exhibits have been reorganized to be more cohesive and informative, and more explanatory material was added to the artifacts on display.
Heine also noted that visitors can now pick up a handheld guide to the museum’s exterior exhibit area, which includes numerous pieces of historic mine equipment, a mural created by Thompson artist Jasyn Lucas, and the Centennial Radisson canoe, which a Flin Flon crew paddled to victory in a crosscountry canoe race.
The birthday event included the presentation of a new monument marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Flin Flon ore body in 1915.
Richard Trudeau, director of operations for Hudbay, explained the company had commissioned two plaques, mounted on rock from the Trout Lake mine site, as “a permanent reminder of the anniversary of the discovery and the long, enduring links between Hudbay and northern Manitoba.”
Trudeau noted that the anniversary, celebrated in 2015, was an important opportunity to reflect on the story of the company and the history of Flin Flon.
Referring to a photo collection created by Hudbay to mark the occasion, Trudeau said the photos “remind you how much we’ve been through, how much we’ve overcome, how much we’re capable of during both bad times and good times. This is a town that emerged from the wildness, roared along through the 1920s, escaped the brunt of the Great Depression, and did its part during the Second World War.”
The new monument is located in front of the museum.
Sunday’s celebration also saw long-time local volunteer Dave Price added to the museum’s Wall of Honour. The Reminder will have more on Price’s induction Friday.