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Bud Starrie and Walter Spillett – Comments on their Drowning

by Clark Starrie
Email 23 May 2001 to Linda Butler

Bud Starrie was my father.  We had gone to Walter Johnson’s cabin to spend the Victoria Day weekend.  The company in Snow Lake always had a big fireworks display on Victoria Day but we missed it this year as we were away.  However,  my father didn’t want to disappoint us and had purchased some fireworks for us.  The night before he drowned, we were sitting around a bonfire and he took a package of the little firecrackers and tied them into my shoe laces, but I didn’t realize what he was doing.  He then lit them and I did quite a dance trying to get away from them.  Everyone had a good laugh. 

The next morning he went with Walter Spillet to get some fish from his net to take home.  It was a cold day and it started to snow.  After an hour or so when they didn’t come back, my sister June and I went to the lakeshore to take a look but we couldn’t see them.  I wandered further around the bay and spotted the canoe washed up on shore.  My sister and I went back and told the others.  I don’t remember much after that.  I was almost six years old when we left Snow Lake.

Further email 29 May 2001 from Clark Starrie

The people who were dragging the lake for the bodies had been at it for a couple of days with no results.  Walter’s dogs would periodically get into the water and swim around for awhile.  After some time, one of the searchers realized that the dogs always swam around the same area.  They decided to drag right below where the dogs swam, and in a very short time they found both bodies.

Freda Starrie (Maxwell) was my mom and Dulcie Taylor (Maxwell) my aunt. My mom told me this story from Herb Lake. As a nurse she got a lot of requests to help people who were sick.  On one occasion, a trapper came to our house with his wife who was in labour.  My mom took the woman into our house, and the trapper insisted on staying outside.  After a few hours, the baby was born and my mother took the wrapped baby out for the trapper to see.  He held it for a few minutes and looked at it, then looked back to my mom and said:  “Freda, is it a boy or a girl, or can you tell at that age?”

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