You are here

In the Shadow of the Pole

Accession number: 
Production Years: 


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
3707 (35mm)
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 35mm.
A record of the Canadian Government Arctic Expedition of 1928 on the 2,700-ton sealer Beothic. Footage includes: a group of Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables in front of the Beothic prior to starting on the 8000 mile trip; supplies being loaded aboard the Beothic in North Sydney Harbour, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia; RCMP and crewmen saying goodbye to their wives at the dockside; the Beothic at sea; personnel aboard, including ice pilot Captain L.D. Morin, RCMP Inspector A.H. Joy, government medical officer Dr. L.D. Livingstone, chief of the Division of Biology at the National Museum of Canada Dr. R.M. Anderson, and Captain E. Falk of the Beothic; crewmen boxing on ship; Godhavn harbour and townsite in Greenland where the Beothic stopped for a few hours; a Greenland Eskimo paddling a kayak; Danish and Eskimo settlers and their houses; two men delivering milk with a cart and dogteam; icebergs in the harbour; tea being served aboard the Beothic to Danish and Eskimo guests; Danish officials saying goodbye to the crew; the Beothic moving through the ice toward Baffin Island; a polar bear (known in Inuktitut as nanook) running over a stretch of sea ice; the establishment at Button Point; Inspector C.E. Wilcox of the RCMP rowing out to meet the Beothic and being greeted by expedition officer George P. Mackenzie; and Eskimos breaking camp, loading dogs and gear aboard the Beothic. The establishment at Pond Inlet; an Eskimo mother with her child; provisions being taken ashore by boat; the Beothic at anchor in the bay; an Eskimo mother sewing; a girl playing an accordion; men walking across sea ice; the Beothic approaching Dundas Harbour, Devon Island; a flag at half-mast at the RCMP post (RCMP Constable Maisonneuve accidently shot himself while hunting walrus); Richard Finnie undressing and diving into icy water for a swim; the government supply ship Arctic; Dr. R.M. Anderson catching a sculpin fish; hills and bays near "the pole"; walrus on the ice; Greenland Eskimo Nookapiungwah, a famous hunter, leading a walrus hunt in a kayak; a swamped whaleboat; dogs floating in the boat and being rescued by the crew; the Beothic in Fram Haven; the cairn and cross erected to explorer Dr. John N. Svendsen of the Sverdrup expedition, dated 11-6-99; the mountains at Fram Haven; Constables W.C. Beatty, N. McLean, and E. Anstead of the RCMP Fram Haven detachment; and the cross atop the mountain at Fram Haven. The Beothic starting her homeward journey. Footage of: the Beothic caught in a great mass of heavy ice; an Eskimo family being unloaded at Etah, North Greenland (they had been employed by the RCMP who considered Greenlanders more efficient than Canadian Eskimos); dogs on the beach; a man examining an ancient Eskimo dwelling in the rocks; the Beothic at anchor in the bay; Inspector A.H. Joy sitting in front of a skin tent; Richard Finnie saying goodbye to Eskimos; a baby kittiwake (which became the ship's mascot) being fed; gigantic icebergs; the ice-filled waters around Cape Sparbo, Devon Island; Greenland hunter Nookapiungwah leading the way through a pall of mist as the expedition goes looking for a herd of musk oxen; two musk oxen with a dog holding them at bay; Dr. Anderson photographing the animals; one musk ox charges. During the return trip the Beothic visits Beechey Island where the ill-fated Franklin expedition wintered nearly 90 years earlier (1838). Footage of: walrus swimming near the ship; the hill on Beechey Island; the remains of Northumberland House, built in 1854 by Captain Pullen; battered meat casks in the ruins; the cairn to Franklin, the tablet sent out by Lady Franklin and erected by Captain Sir Leopold McClintock in 1855; the script "To the Memory of Franklin, Crozier, Fitzjames and all their gallant brother officers...who suffered and perished...etc."; crewmen and officers examining remnants and cairn; the beached yacht Mary left by John Ross for the possible use of Franklin expedition survivors; an Eskimo woman, Mrs. Penniloo, paddles a skin boat towards the Beothic and, drawing alongside, thanks them for calling; the settlement at Pangnirtung; crew going ashore and being welcomed by Eskimos and RCMP; George Mackenzie, officer in charge of the expedition, handing out souvenirs; the house being built for Dr. Livingstone who is remaining at Pangnirtung to carry out medical work among the Eskimos; Dr. Livingstone driving a nail in for good luck; a whaleboat bobbing in rough water at Lake Harbour bringing an Eskimo pilot aboard to guide the Beothic through the maze of islets and reefs; the pilot shaking hands and talking with the crew; a scow loaded with supplies approaching; men unloading supplies; and a sign reading "Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Lake Harbour". The final port of call for the Beothic is Burwell, Cape Chidley. Footage of: whaleboats moving toward the shore; the freighter Canadian Raider, out of Montreal, stranded on the rocks after a heavy storm; an old Moravian mission house, now occupied by wireless engineers from the Department of Marine and Fisheries; the wireless tower atop a hill; a pig in a sling being swung over the ship's side into a scow; two men from the Beothic fishing for arctic char over the side; the Beothic in heavy seas with the crew securing moveable objects; an ocean liner passing the Beothic; RCMP officers lining the deck as they dock; men leaving the ship; and RCMP officers walking along Main Street, North Sydney, Nova Scotia.