Inco Triangle September 1971 p15
With two sons still working for Inco, full service pensioner Arvo Bontinen will maintain Company connections that started at the turn of the century when his father William worked with the Canadian Copper Company and later the Mond Nickel Company.
Arvo was born in Finland but came to Canada in 1909 at the age of three. He started work with the Company in 1923 and, with the exception of four years' service at Frood, he spent all his Inco years at Garson Mine where he worked as a driller and a powderman.
Married in 1936 in Sudbury to Grace Moreau, he is the father of five and the grandfather of 11. Mrs. Bontinen was born at St. Paul du Nord on the north shore of the St. Lawrence but grew up in the Chapleau area. Sons Richard and Albert are both Inco men; the former is a feeder boss in the Copper Cliff Smelter reverb department while the latter is a miner at Garson.
Looking back on his 48 years of mining Arvo feels the most im machines underground. "You know," he recalled, "we used to muck with the hand shovel and then push the ore cars by hand. Now load-haul-dump machines and the power locomotives make it easier for a man to do a lot more."
The Bontinens are considering a trip to Florida for this winter, but their home will remain at Vermilion Lake near Chelmsford.
Inco Triangle, January, 1954 p11
Gus Bontinen Takes Pension
A passenger on the stage from Sudbury to Copper Cliff one day in 1899 was little Gus Bontinen, 11 years old and full to the brim with excitement over arriving in Canada at last. With his mother and his brother Johnny he had come from Finland to join father who was employed by the Canadian Copper Co.
By the time he was 13 Gus had hustled himself a job picking rock at No. 2 Mine and from then until he retired on pension last month at the Copper Refinery, he was always on the go, always cheerful, and always popular. He drove a livery team for R. A. Waite, he helped pull stumps at the new smelter site, he was water boy on the night shift during construction of the smelter. He was a pipefitter for John Garrow, and he was a charge boy at the old Cobalt Plant.
He worked for Mond at Garson and Frood, and helped hand-drill the first hundred feet when they started sinking No. 1 Shaft at Levack, He went underground at Creighton for Jack Browm took a job in Leonard Bros. store at Victoria Mine, mined at Crean Hill. In 1920 he joined the Algoma Central Railway and was section foreman at Oba and Hawke Junction for nine years. Returning to the Nickel Belt he worked with Fraser-Brace on construction of the Ontario Refining Co. plant, liked the layout there, and signed on permanently. When pension time came around he was a 2nd class machinist, and everybody in the plant had a good word for him.
The Mechanical Department gave a retirement party for Gus at the Caruso Club, and it was a dandy. Bob Rodger, superintendent of the department, presented Gus with a fine gold watch as a memento from all his old pals, and reviewed his years of valuable service to the Company with special reference to his skill as a snow plow jockey.
Gus was married in 1910 to Alma Kinnunen, who passed to her last reward this year. They had a family of four: Arthur of Copper Cliff, Martha (Mrs. W. Maki) of Creighton, Esther (Mrs. Jack Morben) of Skead, and Eva (Mrs. J, Warren) of Vancouver.
Inco Triangle – June 1950
Mr. and Mrs. 0 . Kaattari (Garson Mine)
Lennard, 17, Raymond, 18, Helen, 15, Betty Ann, 4,1/2, and Ronald, 11.
There are more photos in the Gallery