Billy Beal Ice Fishing Derby

The Billy Beal Classic by the Valley Lions

is an ice fishing derby that has been run in March by the 3 clubs since 1997. All profits from the derby are deposited to the Swan Valley Medical Assistance fund to help defray the costs of medical treatment for people who need a little help. The fund has donated over


William Sylvester Alpheus “Billy” Beal {1874-1968)

One of the best documented black people to come to Manitoba is a man named Billy Beal. He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1874. Beal came up to work in a saw mill in the Swan River Valley in 1907, liked the people and stayed in the Big Woody region. Beal was a multi-talented guy. He worked as a steam engineer on saw mill operations. But he was also an electrician, a furniture maker and a photographer. He read Spinoza and could converse on philosophy, politics, medicine and law. He knew astronomy and built his own telescope. Some thought he had a medical degree. He assisted Doctor Edwin Bruce to give inoculations in the diphtheria scare of 1915. And later the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 and the smallpox of 1920. For more information go to the Manitoba Historical Society