Pioneer CO-OP

History - Hodgeville


The Hodgeville Co-op began its organization in 1935. A provisional board was elected July 13, 1936 and appointed for 1937. President -Geo. Rambow Vice President - P.H. Gehl Directors - J.J. Jones, J. Rutherford, J.P. Grismer, J. Haubrich The first recorded minutes show that at a meeting held on January 15, 1939, in the Pool elevator office, the members had begun to plan building their own oil shed. At this time the Co-op had as its headquarters, an old cook car. On the 15 of April in 1939, the provisional board of that year resigned so that a new board could be elected. President - Geo. Rambow Vice President. - P.H. Gehl Directors - J.J. Jones, Joe Bochek, Wm. L. Senft, J.L. Gross. The Co-op at this time sold coal, wood, twine, and flour, as well as oil and petroleum. Oil tanks, oil sheds and an office were constructed in 1944 on the present Co-op site. This lot was first leased, and later purchased from Don Kaufman. The coal sheds were purchased for $150 from the Revelstoke Sawmill Co. Anton Mann was the first person hired to take care of sales. A grocery store was opened in 1944 in the rented Cameron and Hutt store building on Main Street. Some years later the building was purchased. Pete Gertz was the first grocery manager, followed by J. Hunter, L. Wessner, and Alfred Seibel. A lumber shed as well as a fuel truck were added. A house for the manager was purchased. It was replaced some years later with the construction of a new one. When the Mauer store became available in 1955, the Co-op purchased it. The grocery department operated out of this store for many years. A farm supply center and a new lumber operation were built in 1967 to replace the old bulk station. Ever increasing costs made running the Co-op more difficult. In 1970 the board of directors began to negotiate with Pioneer, requesting permission to amalgamate. This became a reality in 1974. Today our Co-op facilities are all located in one complex. The grocery store has been relocated into the Farm Supply Center. In 1985 the Hodgeville Co-op underwent extensive renovations. We now have a very modem grocery department. Our Co-op also offers farm supplies, hardware, feed, lumber, petroleum, and tire services. The present manager is Lennart Folk.

Cabri Co-operative Association became part of Pioneer Co-op May 27, 1985. Cabri Co-op came into existence July 2, 1931 with a capital stock of one hundred shares at five dollars per share. Interim directors signing the charter were Henry McLeod, Sven Sondrol, Axel Gummeson, James Dark, and George Culham. The biggest concern of farmers at the time was the high cost of fuel, which was selling for 19 cents per gallon. The Co-op could buy fuel from the states for 10 cents, which could be sold to farmers for 12 cents, leaving a margin for expenses and saving the farmers 7 cents per gallon, over a third of their fuel costs. In spite of many difficulties, the Co-op slowly grew and prospered. In 1941 the Coop pursued a policy of joining other co-operative organizations such as the Co-op Union of Canada and the Saskatchewan Co-op Wholesale. Surrounding Co-op's gradually amalgamated with Cabri Co-op over the years: Abbey in 1944, Rosery in 1951, and Clintworth (Sceptre) in 1966. These smaller Co-ops felt there were more savings to be made by being part of a large organization. Cabri Co-op was fairly successful over the years and was able to add additional services and facilities. It offered many employee benefits and was also a major taxpayer in every place it operated. From a humble beginning of five hundred dollars in share capital, the Co-op grew to an organization with assets of over two million dollars. The first fifty years saw total sales of over 43 million dollars, with savings of over 2 million dollars. There is no doubt the Co-op succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its founders. Current Managers are Carl Blackwell, Cabri Store; Elenor Coulter, Cabri Farm Centre,  Abbey,  Brian Shaw and Jenna Ternes-Lerner, Sceptre.

ABBEY SCEPTRE Free enterprise is the basis of all co-operative activity. Only free people can organize and operate co-operative enterprises, with open and voluntary membership. Only free men can practise democratic control. Let us have free enterprise, but let it be co-operative and not competitive. Let it be for the welfare of the many and not of the few.

The Morse Co-op Association saw its first light of existence in 1913. A group of men from south of Morse decided to ban together to save money on purchasing farm supplies by splitting car load lots. This association, called the Crocus Hill Grain Growers failed to succeed for more than a few years. In 1918 another group from north of town started again. The Rolling Hills Grain Growers was started. With help from the community, they were successful in signing a charter on August 3. A few years later the association changed its name to the Morse Co-op Association. The Co-op expanded through the years, acquiring their own property and a full-time manager. The Co-op had various petroleum arrangements until 1954 when they bought their own delivery unit which also transported fuel from Regina. In 1955 the Morse and Ernfold Co-ops amalgamated. In 1966 the Ernfold branch closed, and a branch in Chaplin was part of the association for six years. The Co-op operated over the years with the usual ups and downs that small towns experience. In 1992 the Morse Co-op started drawing its petroleum from the corporate bulk plant located on Highway 19. This resulted in the undertaking of the Saskatchewan Environmental clean-up plan of the old bulk facilities, which turned out to be the largest, most costly project that the Co-op had ever seen. While costs were covered by insurance, the environmental value of the project has to be questioned. In 1993 the Co-op celebrated 75 years of operation with a banquet and a dance in October. With discussions being held for years of the benefits of joining an even larger Coop, the directors decided to put the question to the membership. In the true democratic Co-op way, the membership voted in favor of amalgamating with Pioneer Coop. So in 1995 another new branch for the Pioneer Co-op was founded. Todd Gerbrandt is the present branch manager.

Amanda Hagel Tom Cator Memorial Joel Dokken Tom Cator Memorial

To be successful in any community, retail merchants should be good corporate citizens. Much of Pioneer Co-op's success is its contribution to community life. Many businesses main interest is the handling of product and profits. People to them are a by-product of the business. The Pioneer Co-op builds around people and the handling of profit is a by-product of the people starting with members and customers and employees. The world is made up of people. The nicer the people, the nicer the world. Your Pioneer contributes to all local worthwhile community projects. For example: - Grade 12 yearly Bursaries totalling $1200.00, - Yearly Teen Charm Course - 32 consecutive years, recognizing some 300 district girls 14-17. - Pioneer Co-op supports all minor sports - curling clubs, golf clubs, rodeos, 4H, Heart Fund, M.S. Society, Kinsmen Telethon, etc. - Pioneer Co-op is the major taxpayer in Swift Current and eleven rural branch locations. In six rural branches, your Co-op is the last and only retail business left, proof that your Co-op is interested in the welfare of people. Pioneer Co-op is proud of its record and expresses its appreciation to all the people over the past 60 years that have made it possible: Members, Board Members, Customers, Committee Members, and Employees. That's what it's all about. Co-ops are different, and we're proud of it!

WHEATLAND MALL -1150 Central Ave. N. This is a complete department store. Included is Head Office, Service Counter, Post Office, Food, Deli, Bakery, Drugs, Ladies Wear, Men's Wear, Footwear, Lumber, Plumbing and Heating, Hardware, & Service Station with Key Op, Propane, Etc. We have 199 employees at our Mall location. SOUTHSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE - 350 2nd Ave. S.E.

This is a complete Department Store, but on a smaller scale as compared to our Mall location. This year we celebrate our 35th Anniversary at the Southside. Services available include: Food, Drugs,Service Counter, Post Office, and Service Station. We have 41 employees at the Southside location.

AGRO CENTRE- Highway No. 1 West Available at this location is petroleum, propane, small line machinery, feed, farm chemicals, fertilizer, Kard Gard petroleum dispensing, etc.

No. 3 Service Station -Wheatland Mall

As a member, you share in the larger picture as Pioneer Co-op is a member of Federated Co-operatives Ltd., owned by some 300 retails in Western Canada. Federated Co-operatives Ltd. own lumber mills, a petro refinery in Regina, distribution centres in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, with Head Office in Saskatoon. Services for retails include: personnel, accounting, computer services, and all product department assistance.

The 19 districts each elect one director to the Federated Co-operative Board of Directors. At present, our vice-president represents South West Saskatchewan on the Board. Your Co-op participates in Federated Co-operatives Annual Meeting each year by sending five voting delegates. We received patronage refunds of 3.1 million from Federated Co-operatives in 1996 with 1/3 in cash. As of January 31,1996 we have an investment in excess of 12.5 million in Federated Co-op.

The only way the Co-op System can maintain resistance to foreign owned corporations and monopolistic control of our future is to stick together supporting the Co-op philosophies and doing this together.



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1150 Central Avenue North

Swift Current, SK

S9H 0G1



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