Churchill 2011

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(“Clergy Supply” in Churchill, Manitoba — Afterwords)

Churchill Trivia

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a comprehensive fact-sheet about Churchill.  Rather, it is a collection of odd little things that I learned through living there for 25 days.
Tony H-J

May 14, 2011

sea smokeThis is the name for a fog that rises over open water out on Hudson Bay.  It can obscure the entire horizon.
Hudson Bay is coldEven at the peak of summer, if you fall into the water, unless someone pulls you out within the minute, you’re dead.
to a polar bear...“Humans don’t smell like food.” – says Patricia Penwarden, who has lived in Churchill most of her adult life.
Of course, just because a polar bear is not planning to eat you doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous.
sled dogs...Don’t like to drink water.  They have to be tricked into drinking by having their kibble served to them immersed in large amounts of water.
running waterThe pipeline that delivers water to Churchill from its source about 40 km. upriver, has to be heated along its entire length.  Cold water pipes in the homes are also heated; so cold water often runs lukewarm.
hot sewage?The whole sewer system throughout the town must be heated.
garbageHousehold garbage must be shipped by train down to the town of The Pas (because, when there was a garbage dump in Churchill, polar bears were becoming dependent upon it).  A new high-tech – and bear proof – dump is being developed.
air raid sirenA siren goes off with a loud wail every night at 10:00 PM.  It’s a curfew for the young people.
your appearanceDon’t worry about it.  Dress for warmth.
As for your hair: a ‘tuque head’ is the norm.  Get used to it.  Most of the year, you don’t want to go outside with your head uncovered anyway.
hair stylingThere are no barber shops or hair salons in Churchill.  Some individuals cut hair for other people in their homes.  I don’t know if they charge for this, or if it is simply a personal favour.
got a late model vehicle?You’ll have to ship it by train to the city of Thompson just to get its routine tune up.  Mechanics in Churchill don’t have the sophisticated computerized diagnostic and tuning tools required to maintain cars and trucks built in the last ten years.
Thus there are a number of very old vehicles around town, that are kept in top shape.  It’s much more practical than buying new.
you won’t see this in the big city
  1. A man roaring down Main Street on a skidoo, with a rifle slung across his back.
  2. Dogs that shop.  There are treats for dogs in the Home Hardware store.  Owners bring their dogs right into the building to receive these treats.

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