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British Columbia Police Report Regarding Statement From CPR Locomotive Engineer Archibald Joseph Blaney


DIVISION: "B" File No. 35-A
DISTRICT: West Kootenay
DATE: 19-6-31

Unorganized Territory.


Re: DOUKHOBORS. (Farron Explosion).

In reply to Commissioner's letter dated May 30th. 1931, and foot note by The Officer Commanding "B" Division. Nelson, in connection with the fatal explosion which occurred at Farron, B.C. on October 29th, 1924, I beg to report that I obtained the following statement from one Archibald Joseph Blaney, C.P.R. Locomotive Engineer in connection with this matter:

Nelson, B.C. June 18th, 1931.
Statement of Archibald Joseph Blaney.

On the night of October 29th, 1924, I boarded the day coach of C.P.R. Passenger train No. 11 at Nelson for the purpose of proceeding to Farron, where I was to relieve another engineer who had become sick at that point. There were a number of persons in the car when I boarded same. When near Castlegar I first noticed Peter Verigin and a little girl sitting about three or four seats in front of me. There was a Member of Parliament, and several other people sitting near Mr. Verigin, but they were not at any time in conversation with him. While the train was stopped at Castlegar Station two Doukhobor men entered the day coach carrying two grips, or suitcases, which they placed close to Mr. Verigin. I am not sure whether they placed the grips just in front or just behind the seat occupied by Mr. Verigin and the little girl, these men then engaged in a short conversation with Mr. Verigin, then shook hands, wished him good luck and left the train, leaving the grips or suitcases in the car. I thought at the time that these men were merely carrying some of Mr. Verigin's baggage on board for him as this was customary amongst the Doukhobors. These two men were strangers to me and I would not recognize them now. I left the train on its arrival at Farron, and a little after train pulled out from Farron I heard a tremendous explosion. I then ran the engine which proceeded to the scene of the explosion and picked up cars which were damaged and hauled them back. In a conversation which I recently had with one William Elock, (A special operator of the B.C. Police) I mentioned the name of John Sherbinin as one likely to be able to supply information. I did so thinking that Sherbinin on account of being a high official amongst the Doukhobors might know something of the matter. I had no other reason for mentioning his name.

(Archibald Joseph Blaney)

Witness. Const. C.E. Davidson.
C.E. Davidson Const.
The N.C.O. In Charge (C.E. Davidson) Regt. No. 304,
West Kootenay District,Nelson Detachment.
B.C. Police,
Nelson, B.C.

Source: Library and Archives Canada, Access to Information Act Request A-2004-00120, HQ-750-1-1; RG:18; Vol. 3306, C.E. Davidson, British Columbia Police Crime Report Regarding Statement From CPR Locomotive Engineer Archibald Joseph Blaney, June 19, 1931.

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