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Body Found in Ravine at Local Lumber Camp

A body was found in the ravine outside the lumber camp in Nanaimo on the morning of 2nd July 1966. Matthew Gardner, a lumberjack, discovered the body at around 7 AM while going to work. The police were called to the scene and initiated an investigation. The body was identified as Moose Maddon, one of the lumberjacks working in the camp. Fellow workers were stunned by the incident but said they believe the death to be accidental.

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The ravine is located just outside of the lumber camp, and workers cross it via a tree trunk to get to the road leading to Camp Three. One of the Lumberjacks, Greg Anderson, commented, “Moose must have fallen, coming home drunk during the night” (Garner 43). The police identified the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the side of the head. Police detective Jason Star said that the injury was probably acquired as a result of the fall.

Matthew Gardner discovered the body as he was heading to his work site next to the ravine. He noticed the body and called other workers to pull Maddon out of the ravine. Gardner said that he checked Maddon for a pulse and called 911 immediately. The police arrived at the scene at 7:30 AM.

The workers were questioned by the police for more details. The last person to see Maddon was Lefèvre Donson. Donson said that Maddon went camping Three to “drink and play poker” at 8:00 PM on 1st July, and he has not seen him later that night (Gardner 43). Another witness, Greg Anderson, said that he heard Maddon coming back to the camp at about 2:00 AM, but Maddon never reached the bunkhouse.

Moose Maddon worked in the camp since 20th May alongside other lumberjacks to cut Douglas firs. Maddon came to Nanaimo from Vancouver to work during the summer. He had a wife and a 5-year-old son at home. The police stated that they would transport Maddon’s Body to Vancouver for the funeral next week. The family refused to provide any comments about the incident.

Maddon was well-liked by most of his coworkers. At work, Maddon was a strong and hardworking man. During his 15 years of service, Maddon had worked all around the country. He sent most of the money home to his wife and son and used the rest for entertainment. According to Gardner, he spent most of his free time playing poker with fellow lumberjacks. Gardner also stated that despite agreeing to a few beers on occasion, Maddon was not a heavy drinker. “He probably drank more last night, enough to trip and fall,” he added later.

Some of the lumberjacks remembered that Maddon had a perpetual conflict with a fellow worker Cecil Dawson, a 19-year-old student of the University of Vancouver. Cecil went to the camp to earn money during the summer break and was planning to return home next week. Anderson said that Maddon was taunting Cecil from his arrival, and the conflict has escalated recently. He reported that Maddon broke Cecil’s glasses and burned his hand with a heated saw. The police stated that they would consider comments about Maddon’s character during the investigation.

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Other lumberjacks confessed fearing to cross the ravine after Maddon’s death. Taking extra caution while walking on unstable surfaces in the forest can help to prevent accidents.

Work Cited

Garner, Hugh. “The Moose and the Sparrow.” Men and Women: Stories. Simon & Schuster, 1973, pp. 41-45.

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