In this case, “F” is for “Fraudster.”
Horatio Barber was a stock promoter in Cobalt in 1906 and then in 1907, he shifted his focus to Larder Lake. There he and his associates promoted the Larder Lake Proprietary Gold Fields Mine. First order of business was organizing a company.
Directors of a mining company, especially a wildcat*, were usually people of title or rank. Like a supermodel or sports legend endorsing a product, a recognizable name of some status attached to a mine will give the business a sense of legitimacy. The executives of Larder Lake Proprietary Gold Fields Mine were politicians, medical military officers, manufacturers, and real estate men.
Peter Kirkegaard was the only member of the board who had genuine experience in mining.
Before his involvement with Larder Lake, Peter Kirkegaard was Deloro’s mine manager when Canadian Goldfields Ltd. was working the property. According to the Marmora History blog, “he was a very serious researcher, with a good reputation with the universities and governments, and developed the process to refine white arsenic, the more profitable side of Deloro gold.”
Whether or not he was aware of the fraudulent nature of the stock promotion, we cannot say.
What we do know is that Horatio Barber was a fraudster, a reputation that he managed to suppress once he had returned to the UK to start work in aviation.
You can read more about Kirkegaard and the other men who worked at Deloro on the Marmora Historical Foundation site.
*Wildcat definition: a property that has the potential to be a producing mine, but work has not yet been done to prove it.
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Airy Somethings, the Extraordinary Life of the Aviation Pioneer, Horatio Barber by Terry Grace and Maggie Wilson is available to purchase online and at local booksellers.