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Banksland: 100 Years Ago with the CAE

posted September 2, 2014


Unloading the Mary Sachs, September 2, 1914. G.H. Wilkins

Unloading the Mary Sachs, September 2, 1914. G.H. Wilkins

Banks Island, September 2nd 1914

From the diary of George Hubert Wilkins:

“As the men were unloading the schooner [Mary Sachs] this morning, a bear made its appearance at the foot of a bluff a few hundred yards from the ship. Three of them went after it and shot it. After lunch Captain [Peter Bernard] and I went and hauled it out of the water with dogs and skinned it. I took pictures of this and also of the unloading with both cameras, but I am doubtful if they will be of much interest.”

Wilkins was wrong about the photos he took 100 years ago today! The movie footage of the CAE men unloading the schooner, Mary Sachs, is some of the most fascinating, and the most northern of the moving images he captured during the Expedition. The location is just west of the community of Sachs Harbour. We clearly see the name of the ship and the men working hard to unload and prepare for the coming winter. One of them, Natkusiak, later known as Billy Banksland, is a star in the documentary film we are creating on the CAE, using Wilkins’ images as a foundation.