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Baron Byng, Governor-General of Canada, was given a rousing welcome when he arrived here to open the annual plowing match. After the official ceremonies, he left at noon for Brandon.
On the same day; Portagers were horrified as they watched the 25-year-old Metcalfe mill burn to the ground.
Citizens read about these events in The Portage Daily Graphic, which published a newspaper six columns wide and about 21 inches deep.
On June 23rd, however, the format of The Graphic had drastical ly changed, and so had the city itself.
The next Graphic to come out was in handbill form - four columns wide, about 15 inches deep, and printed only on one side of one page. The headlines told the reason:,
"Devastation by cyclone and fire . . . . Portage la Prairie's
|baptism of destruction||Toll of life is one child killed and|
|minor injuries to others||Premier Milling Plant and Forsythe|
|Elevator destroyed by fire||Public institutions, churches, schools,|
business blocks and homes damaged . . . .. losses may total nearly a million dollars."
It was a time that Portagers would look back on and say, "1922 - that was the Year of the Cyclone."
The Daily Graphic printed its mini-paper for four days while it got its equipment back in working order, but the newspaper plant survived much better than many other establishments.
The storm arrived at 2.30 a.m., striking the city with a roar that was deafening. It snapped trees off as if their heavy trunks were pipe stems, chimneys were blown over, houses unroofed and buildings collapsed.
"With the wind there was hail and rain, with vivid lightning and thunder. It put the lighting system out of business and the entire city was in darkness."
Hardly had the cyclone struck when the western sky was bright ly illuminated, and it was found that the big Forsythe Elevator, west of the city, was in flames.
The Daily Graphic said: "The force of the wind can be realized when it is stated that some of the freight cars, in the elevator area, were blown right into the city, while cars in the C.P.R. yard were blown east of the city and toppled over."