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Lamps Forever Lit
Henry Melong September 21, 1929
Wright-Hargreaves Mine

Henry Melong

The Melong name is well-known in town today. The family members are descendants of Henry Melong who came here from Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Melong and his wife, the former Mary McGinnis (1884 - 1958), lived on Comfort Street with their nine children: Donald, Katherine, Mary, John, Sadie, Martha, Henry Jr., Theresa and Frank. Henry Sr. had been employed at Wright-Hargreaves since 1922. Before the accident, he had been working in the crusher house for eight months.

He died under mysterious circumstances on September 21. His partner, Iver Orbison, left the crusher house on his routine break, leaving Melong alone in charge of operations. Oberson came back after his break and found all systems running, but Melong was lying on the rolls with his head bumping on the hub of the wheel. Oberson immediately shut down the power and rescued Melong who was still conscious. He was bleeding from the head due to cuts on the scalp and a fractured skull. He was taken to Kirkland and District Hospital where he died the next day. Death was due to head injuries sustained in the accident.

Although there were no witnesses, the inquiry jury concluded that Melong had left everything running while he went to inspect the feed chute. He was wearing a new pair of boots at the time and the jury suspected he slipped while doing the inspection and fell backwards, striking his head on the hub of the revolving wheel. He was buried in the Kirkland Lake cemetery.

The personal details for this memorial account were given by Henry Melong's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Henry Jr. Melong. Grandson's David and Henry found a tiny photograph of their grandfather on a cuff link and made a concerted effort to have it reproduced for this book.