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William Sharpe

I was born in the Carman district of Manitoba in 1901, received my education in Carman public and high schools. I left the farm during the summer of 1919.  It was nearly impossible to get work as the men were all returning from WWI, so you just took any job that would give you a few dollars.


In the spring of 1920 I ended up in Regina and got a job at Simpsons Mail Order shipping shoes and rubber footwear out to the country. When this finished I had different jobs in wholesale fruit houses where I ended up as city foreman. When this ran out I tried a wholesale shoe Co. and with my experience from Simpsons got the job. By next summer they were going broke and could not pay my wages so I went farming until I got such a bunch of body lice – then I quit farming for good.


In 1921 the Crescent Creamery from Winnipeg had just opened a poultry plant in Moose Jaw, so I got a job cleaning coops and shipping them out to customers, from that I got a promotion to the packing room for poultry. As the season went on I was changed from one job to another, until I was sent out buying dress poultry, then buying all plant poultry, to plant foreman until 1923. I then went with Burns on a contract to kill and pick all their poultry. That same year Gordon Ironsides and Fares took over the Crescent Creamery plant in Moose Jaw and they asked me to take over their Regina plant as Manager of their egg, poultry and cheese department. Near the end of 1924 Harris Abattoir took over Crescent Creamery.


During the winter of 1925 the Sask Egg Pool was formed and they wanted me to work for them as manager on one of their branches. I was sent to different branches during 1926, staying in Yorkton for two years before moving to Saskatoon, where we lived until 1934. 


An interesting task in the 1930’s was accompanying a boxcar load of live poultry to Montreal. The freight train stopped only for water so the person assigned to this job would take all his own food for the entire trip. He had to feed and water the poultry in batteries – when you were finished, it was time to start all over again, before it got dark. Reluctant buyers in Montreal made these trips even more trying.


On March 5, 1934, my wife, Norine and I went into the egg business, grading eggs in the basement premises of Mr. George Peacock Cold Storage on Osler Street in Regina. In the 30’s and 40’s country stores accepted eggs as payment for groceries so the bulk of the business came in by trucks from surrounding towns. An interesting point, egg producers delivered their eggs to customers in Regina, and what they couldn’t sell came to the grading stations. In the fall we would dress poultry bought in the country and packed and frozen at the main plant. In 1940 a Jamesway 2940 Incubator Hatcher was added to the business and a hatchery was formed. In 1942 we purchased the Minor Rubber Co. building on Broad Street in Regina. In 1956 an up-dated plant was built for the eviscerating of poultry. A new Robbins replaced the Jamesway in the hatchery.


During our years in business all the egg and poultry associations were formed.  I was chairman of the Sask Poultry Association in 1934, President of the Western Canada Association in 1949 and Chairman of the Canadian Produce Council in 1959. I received the “Award of Merit” in 1970 from the Western Canada Egg and Poultry Association. In 1973 for outstanding service to the Canadian Hatchery Industry I was presented with an “Honor Scroll” from the Canadian Hatchery Federation.


My wife and I were married in 1926. Our son, William, was born in 1929 and has presented us with two grandchildren. I retired in 1978 after 57 years in the egg and poultry business.

William Sharpe: Clients
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