Ron Anstey was born in Saskatoon, in 1936, where his father and mother, Percy and Edna Anstey, had established Anstey Electric Hatchery Ltd. in 1934.
Ron began his schooling at Wilson Elementary School until 1947 when his family, which now included his sister Marlene, moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. Although the Hatchery was prospering very well for the Anstey’s in Saskatchewan at that time, doctors recommended Ron move to the climate in the Okanagon, due to problems he was having with asthma.
The hatchery business was of smaller scale in Kelowna and realizing the demand on the prairies, the Anstey’s opened a branch in Lloydminster where Ron’s uncle, Bruce Anstey, was manager. Ron finished his elementary and high school with his grade 12 diploma in 1955, in Kelowna. During his high school years, he helped out at the hatchery as well as working part-time at a service station.
In the spring of 1956, Ron moved to Lloydminster to assist in the hatchery operations there. This began his knowledge of incubation and poultry. I guess you could say that this is where Ron learned which came first, “the chicken or the egg”. He had also realized his other niche, that of dealing with the public and learning the importance of good service. Edna Anstey often reflects on how Ron treated the cliental like they were all his good friends.
In 1956 his parents returned to Saskatoon and together, Ron and his dad consolidated the hatchery operations and located to 22nd Street and Avenue B. Ron’s asthma condition had improved and he decided to pursue a career in the hatchery business in Saskatoon. Ron’s dad, Percy, was office manager while Ron was foreman of the hatchery.
Ron married Joan Ritchie in 1962 and in 1964, their daughter Karen was born. In April of 1966, Ron’s father, Percy Anstey passed away suddenly. This was a very difficult time for the family; for not only was Ron left to manage the full operations in its peak time of year, but Ron and Joan were also expecting their second child. Their son Dale was born in June of that year.
From the time that Ron began managing Anstey Electric Hatchery Ltd. in 1966, he has been very active in various organizations pertaining to the poultry industry. He served as President of the Saskatchewan Hatchery Association, was Secretary-Treasurer, and was also a Director for many years. He was also a Director of the Canadian Hatchery Federation and represented the hatchery sector for the Saskatchewan Poultry Council for a number of years.
Music has always been a part of Ron’s interests. He has played saxophone and clarinet in the 23 Wing Air Force Band, the HMCS Unicorn Navy Band, the Saskatoon Concert Band and various dance bands.
He enjoys the outdoors, and together with his wife Joan, spends leisure time at their cabin at Anglin Lake; often with visits from family, including grandchildren and friends. They both stay active camping and water skiing in summer, and enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and down-hill skiing in the winter months. Their travels have taken them across Canada, to Hawaii, California and Alaska.
In 1987 Anstey Hatchery sold the property on 22nd Street and relocated to 51st Street in Saskatoon, where it is presently operating. The move not only provided a much larger building with newer and larger incubators and hatchers to increase capacity, but Ron was also proud to see his business expand into it’s third generation with his son Dale now being involved in hatchery operations.
Ron has seen many changes in the hatchery industry over the years. He recalls that in 1960 there were 60 hatcheries operating in the province of Saskatchewan, including 10 in Saskatoon. He was always believed in keeping a good working relationship with all segments of the poultry industry. Ron states that the core roots of longevity in the hatchery industry have, and always will be, quality product along with customer service and satisfaction.