Dick Hunt's Blog

March 21, 2012

A Visit To Truro,Nova Scotia

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 6:15 pm

A Visit To Truro,Nova Scotia.
by Dick Hunt, March 6th, 2012.
After I retired, when Ruth and I were were living here in Maple Ridge, we decided to break loose and travel across Canada in our little Motor Home.  We left after having visited quite widely in Alberta, where we had both lived from birth to the age of 35 and where most of our immediate family still lived.  We had been expatriates  for some years, living in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  We made our leisurely way eastward seeing the historic areas through which we travelled, in early July, visiting some family in Regina Saskatchewan, then  visited with Bishop John and Doreen Conlin in Brandon Manitoba  (from my days in Theolological College).  We enjoyed seeing the Terry Fox memorials in the Thunder Bay region and a night of furious and briliant Lightning and Thunder there, with lashing rain.

On to Ottawa and a leisurely visit with prairie friends, Don Wright, whose father had been our Minister in Alberta for five years when I was still Ranching, and Ruth, his wife.  Don had been a Jet fighter pilot after the war and now had employment with the Federal Government in the emerging Computer Department. He showed us all over Ottawa and through the Parliament Buildings, the Museum of Flight  and the wider city.  We parked our Motor home in front of their home and enjoyed their great hospiatlity.
We spent a very happy few days in Port Carling in Muskoka where my Mother was born and lived before moving west with my only living grandparent, William Foreman who founded the village of Endiang, Alberta near where I was born and raised.  We travelled then to Montreal where I had spent six months during the war studying Radio Physics in the R.C.A.F.  The building we were in there was on Cote De Neige Road, right across from St. Josephs Shrine, the magnificent Roman Catholic Oratory with the many steps and the brilliant large Lighted Cross on top of the dome, which can be seen for many miles in all directions.  We were in time to drop in at the Anglican Cathedral to be present for  the coffee fellowship after the Eucharist. Looked around Notre Dame Cathedral which I had  last seen during the war.

We went on to Quebec City for a few days and soaked up the culture and history of that beautiful area.  We walked on the Plains of Abraham in the rain, relived the history of the area which we had studied in some detail through the years, shopped, visited the Government buildings, talked with many people and enjoyed every minute. We stopped briefly at La Chatteaux Montabello, the worlds largest log Building which Shaklee Corporation had reserved for a Convention, only to be bumped by Pierre Elliott Trudeau at the last minute, forcing Shaklee to make other plans.

On then to Edmundsen, New Brunswick where we filled our tanks at 38.9 cents a litre! On to Madawaska Weavers hand loom woolen place where a dozen weavers were plying their trade. Visited “La Musee’ de a Popes, pictures and paintings of 268 Popes.  To Acadie Village for a 4 hour walkthrough tour, most moving history.

But I want to tell you about our visit to Truro, Nova Scotia where we almost immediately saw a large, square, red brick building with “Stanfield Garments Factory” on the top. I went to the travel agency near at hand and asked if they knew whether tours of that facility were available to the public.  They phoned for me and then turned to me and said, who wants to know.  I told them who we were and they said they had never been asked for a tour before but if we could be in their parking lot at one PM they would show us around.  The man who met us was the Manager of the company and he gave us a very thorough tour of the entire operation, answered all our questions, introduced us to many of the employees (hundreds of them) and knew them all by  first names.

Then he told us that the entire staff were his family, that they all had opportunity to buy shares in the Company and most of them did so. They were all consulted on any matters which concerned them in their work. He also said that in the entire history of the company covering more than a hundred years, they had never had a strike of the workers, never asked for a union or lost a single hour of production.  I asked him what they did with “factory seconds” and he said any product that does not meet their very high standards of excellence, is recycled and the materials were re-manufactured.  Only top quality garments were sold.  I asked him if they were troubled by competitors who made and sold garments more cheaply and said. “Not at all, we have trouble filling our orders as the demand for our garments is very high. They were currently working on orders for the Winter Olympics in Calgary and were working flat out.

I have never, ever been disappointed with any Stanfield product. I have also been deeply impressed by my memories concerning Robert Stanfield, “the best Prime Minister Canada never had.” He was a prominent member of the Company that produced the products I have always been impressed with.

Ruth and I have always had a great interest in knowing how products are produced and that was one of our highlites on that trip.  Another one was a tour of a John Deere Harvesting Machinery factory in the midwestern States, when again, a senior member of the Management took us on a leisurely tour of the entire operation.  They were also very proud of their products, their record and their spirit of co-operation. Many other tours  impressed us and there remain other stories still to be written and shared.  There were many other most memorable experiences on that trip and I am glad that I kept a daily journal of the entire leisurely drive covering 12,0041/2 miles  and a very rewarding passage of time from June 29th to September 15th of 1987.

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