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On July 1, 1922, the Portage line was subjected to wind of cyclonic proportion and some two and one-half miles failed to with­ stand the storm, service being interrupted for a period of about one week, the time required to build a temporary wooden line.

In 1926 while a number of applications were received by the Commission the only extension completed and placed in operation was the Portage la Prairie to High Bluff line. This line served the Village of High Bluff and a limited number of farmers en route.

The intensified Farm Electrification Program following World War II resulted in power being made available throughout the entire municipality.

Today Portage la Prairie is recognized throughout Canada as an outstanding example of well-lit thoroughfares providing safety for its residents and a warm welcome for visitors.

THE TELEPHONE IN PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE

A wonderful world of words with neighbors was made possible by the telephone. "Hello Central, give me ..... "

The party line, and the oft' used admonition, "Hush! I think someone is listening." How many remember? Probably many who

have a telephone. .

The first telephones arrived in the then thriv­ ing little community of Portage la Prairie in 1882, when the Bell Telephone Company established an exchange here under the supervision of Major H. J. Woodside. The office was located on the upper floor of the old Laffarty Block on Saskatch­ ewan Avenue one door east of where the Portage Hotel now stands. The exchange was of a primi­ tive nature and the service, no doubt, of the same standard.

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On the retiremen t of Mr. Woodside, the ex­ change was placed under the supervision of Mr. H. J. Foote. He in turn was succeeded by Mr. Norman Snider.

Mr. Snider held the position of Local Agent until about 1888 or 1889 at which date the town was rebuilt. Mr. V. G. O'Brien then took over the exchange, moving the equipment to his private residence on the corner of Campbell (now Royal Road) and Duke Streets.

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