Back in Time: Recalling town father Steventon

Born in England Aug. 31, 1900, Cyril Steventon would come to Flin Flon in 1930 and begin to work in the mechanical department of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, having come from the Winnipeg office of the company.

In 1933, he joined the local Legion and served as its trustee, auditor and eventually as an executive. In 1934, four years after arriving, he married Margaret Pears, a registered nurse who lived at The Pas and the two lived in Flin Flon together.

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They raised a family of three, with daughter Doreen, and sons Jack and Ted.

Before long, Steventon would become involved in municipal affairs in the community and was elected to Flin Flon council in 1938. He would serve as a councillor for six years before filing to run for mayor of the community in 1943. He served as the mayor of Flin Flon for nine consecutive years, from 1944 to 1952.

His 15 years of service on council was a record he shared with three men at the time of his retirement.

During his time in office, he would have several successful ventures that helped Flin Flon prosper. He helped to organize the Northern Health Unit and he helped found the Manitoba Urban Association. Rather than pursue a “hold the line” philosophy as previous mayors had done, he chose to instead push for a progressive department.

In 1944, during his first term in office, he was able to obtain a grant from the mining company that would operate on an annual basis. The grant was for $25,000 and would help the town on a number of different avenues including road improvement. He also added the Birchview subdivision to the district at the same time.

Beginning in 1945, mayors in the community would serve for two terms rather than just one and in his first re-election campaign in 1945, he won by only 39 votes over Jack Freedman.

Through the coming years in his career as mayor, he would bring in revitalization for Flin Flon, install parking meters and help to bring a new federal building into the community in 1951.

The biggest project by far though was the extension of the sewer and water system, amounting to over $1 million and bringing service to 1,350 lots.

In 1952, after almost a decade serving the community, he finally lost to Jack Freedman by 82 votes.

He passed away suddenly on Nov. 8, 1967 while out shooting photographs, a passion of his.

Information comes from Flin Flon. E-mail Craig at crwbaird@gmail.com

Listen to Craig’s podcast Canadian History Ehx on all podcast platforms.

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