The Solmundson Family

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
The Solmundson Family

I, Roy Solmundson, began fishing when I was 10. Afi and I would row out about 2 miles and set a few nets. In July, I accompanied my dad to George’s Island for the summer fishing season. In 1959, I started working on the Goldfield as a wheelsman and later as engineer. I spent about six years on the Goldfield and then began fishing with my dad. When the lake was closed to commercial fishing due to mercury contamination, I worked as a painter and later as a carpenter at Gillam, Island Lake and Kenora. When the lake reopened I went into partnership with my father. We fished at George’s Island on a Wooden whitefish boat for several years. We then had a steel boat built in 1972 and named it Eleanor after my mother. We continued fishing in partnership for many years. When illness forced my father to retire, I purchased a larger boat (Javlyn) in 1986 and continue fishing to the present time. My brother, Hope also fished for a few years until he retired due to illness.

Roy Solmundson
Roy Solmundson tying on nets, fall 1971


In 1961, I married Joan Kuslak. Joan is the daughter of Walter and Mary Kuslak formerly, of Finns. Walter also fished for many years on Lake Winnipeg and we shared countless tales of how the fishing industry has changed throughout the years.

Our children chose professions other than fishing.

Noreen (1962) is a medical laboratory technologist and works at the Johnson Memorial Hospital. She Lives in Gimli with her daughter Alexe Goodman (1987).

Kevin (1964) works as a civil engineering technologist in Vancouver where he lives with his daughters Erin (1991) and Maureen (1993).

Jennifer (1971) is a hairdresser at the Heritage Lodge in Winnipeg. She lives in Winnipeg with her husband, Wes McPherson.

From the time my lang afis and ammas came to Canada in 1875 and 1879 to the present day, almost 125 years ago, Lake Winnipeg and the fishing industry have been a part of our families’ lives.