Pioneer CO-OP

History - 1947 Con't


Also in early 1947, there was a motion on the books that Pioneer Co-op go on a cash basis as of April 1, 1947 with Western Savings and Credit Union to handle all credit for the business. The Annual Meeting of 1947 passed a motion to increase the share capital of the company from $20,000 to $200,000. In late 1947 there was talk about building a garage building for the company. 1948 - The Annual Meeting made a couple of decisions. First they amended the constitution of the company to go from six directors to nine directors and also made a decision that they would sell so called building bonds to raise funds to either build or to purchase a store building. In October 1948 there was a motion on the books hiring Guy Willy as Hardware Department Manager and as most of us know Guy was to retain that position of Hardware Department Manager from 1948 until his retirement in the early 1970's; a lengthy and meritorious period of service. Also, in October 1948, there was a motion on the books saying that the company would spend one-half of 1 percent of gross sales in order to hire an educational director. 1949 - Two items perhaps worthy of mention here. The financial records of the company show that in the period from 1936, the beginning of Pioneer Co-op, to 1949, total sales amounted to about $4.88 million with earnings of slightly over $298,000. Also in late 1949 Mr. George Baker was hired as the General Manager for Pioneer Co-op taking over from N.E. (Cy) Cowan. 1950 - The year of 1950 shows the beginning of a series of years in which there was an unprecedented amount of activity on the part of Pioneer Co-op in terms of expansion. For example during the year of 1950 there was talk of amalgamation or possible amalgamation with Neidpath Co-operative, Braddock Co-operative and with Rush Lake Co-operative. Of these three perhaps only the Braddock amalgamation was followed through. There was also continuing discussion about the need for space for expansion of the grocery store and hardware from the Rollefson building and in early 1950 there was continual and substantial negotiations with Hill Equipment to purchase the International building. The idea was that they would purchase this building and move the store operation into it. This negotiation eventually fell through and in June 1950 the decision was made by the board to construct a new building on the comer of Fourth N.W. and Chaplin. The Building Committee was authorized to okay the building start when the plans arrived. Also Western Savings & Credit Union was asked to move into this new building when it was opened. Western Savings & Credit Union made the decision not to move into the new building. There was also delay on the building plans as indicated in the meeting of August 25th, but they decided in late August to proceed with the building even though the plans were not totally finished and to go ahead on a cost plus basis to construct the building. Decisions were made also in late 1950 to upgrade Stewart Valley and Main Centre branches. During this year of 1950 there was considerable discussion on the activities of the educational region and this educational region was finally disbanded in late 1950. 1951- The new building at 4th West was completed in early January and the move from the Rollefson block to the new building completed in late January. Official opening was held back until spring. The new building initially sold groceries and hardware but there were plans to open as quickly as possible a cafeteria, clothing department, and small machinery department. Also discussion appeared in minutes in early 1951 of the possibility of forming a new Credit Union. Notice was given at the March meeting of 1951 that Saskatchewan Federated Co-operatives were going to open a branch warehouse using half of the Standard Motors basement. Also in March the coffee bar was opened at the new centre at 4th West. The clothing department opened on April 13th. Throughout 1951 there was considerable discussion on the part of the board regarding the contract with Canadian Co-operative Implements Limited. Problems regarding the handling of used equipment and so on and problems with the kind of contract that the company had with C.C.I.L. culminate in late 1952 with the decision to stop selling C.C.I.L. equipment as part of Pioneer operation. C.C.I.L. made the decision to open their own depot in Swift Current. Also in 1951 some more amalgamation talks: Cantuar mentioned and later on Antelope and Simmie were enquiring about amalgamation. Another very significant decision made in 1951 was to organize another Credit Union. The new Credit Union was to include the name Pioneer or the word Pioneer in its name. About mid 1951 the Annual Meeting approved the organization of what is now the Pioneer Co-operators' Credit Union. Of all the possible amalgamations that were talked about during 1951, the only one that came to fruition was the amal- gamation with the Antelope and Gull Lake Co-operatives, and that was completed on July 31, 1951. At the end of 1951, Pioneer Co-operative had branches at Stewart Valley, Main Centre, Gull Lake, and also had coal agencies at Leinan, Cantuar, St. Aldwyn, Beverly, Rush Lake, Neidpath, and Bracken. 1952 - An early board meeting in 1952 indicated the board was prepared to set up a superannuation plan with the employees. This is the first time that we see this possibility mentioned anywhere in the minutes of the company. In 1952, Pioneer was building a new store at Stewart Valley, and in May 1952, Neville Co-operative amalgamated and became a branch of Pioneer Co-operative. Also in 1952, the board was in the process of building an office building in association with the bulk plant and were talking of converting to center-of-the-yard loading at the bulk plant. There was also talk of constructing a service bay as part of the garage. In August 1952 there was the first mention of the possible purchase of the Service Station at the 4th West site as well as lumber shed with construction beginning in August. Remodelling was going on at the Neville branch with plans to introduce groceries in Neville. In late October a motion was made to proceed with negotiations to purchase the W.W. Cooper store. 1953 - After the better part of the year's negotiations with W.W. Cooper, the board called a shareholders meeting in early January of 1953 to approve the purchase of the W.W. Cooper Department Store and Pioneer Co-operative officially took over the operation of the store on February 2, 1953. At this time the minutes reported that the new service station on 4th West was almost complete and that we were in the process of renovating the old garage to serve as offices. The May meeting in 1953 makes the first mention of scholarships being provided by Pioneer Co-operatives to local high school students and those first scholarships were approved - two of them at $300.00 each payable to the successful student on the basis of $100.00 over each of three years. I might add that Pioneer Co-op has since expanded this scholarship program to include more than two students each year and also to include students from the rural area. The scholarships have been paid continuously since 1953. Also in May 1953 Federated Co-operatives agreed to build a Gull Lake Bulk Plant for Pioneer Co-op. Pioneer Co-op would pay for it over the next four years. This was made necessary because of the shortage of funds due to the purchase of the W.W. Cooper Store. There was talk at the May 1953 meeting of possible amalgamation with Tompkins Co-operative. The Tompkins amalgamation was approved in September 1953 and the official amalgamation was completed in early January 1954.




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