Centennial

Growing Strong Together, since 1914. And it's all because of you.

We were built in the days when all you needed was a handshake and a smile to know the deal was sealed. When a dedicated group of hard working people came together, knowing we wanted to build something bigger than ourselves.

We dug deep, and purchased shares with hard earned dollars. We openly embraced the power of the co-operative spirit.

We survived many a trial and tribulation. And through those formative years, we laid the foundation for both the principles we would stand for, and the growth that lay ahead.

Now, a century later, we're still growing strong together. And we've got you to thank.

How We Started

The following excerpts were taken from: “Reflections of 75 Years - Our Heritage - Lloydminster & District Co-operative Ltd 1914 - 1989” by Wilma Groenen, in addition to “The Lloydminster Story”, by Reverend David W. Paterson.  All credit goes to these authors for their wonderful research and writing of the Lloydminster Co-op’s first days.

1914…what a year! Little boys and teenage youths shot gophers and collected three cents a tail for each one. You could get a plowshare sharpened for 45 cents at Whitbred and Elkington, the local blacksmiths. Coal oil sold for $10.60 including the barrel. Pigs sold for five and ¾ cents a pound, and ten cents to have the pig weighed. A hired hand received $1.25 a day for his dawn-to-dusk labors.

In 1914, Lloydminster was still two communities. There was a Saskatchewan town and an Alberta village. Each organized its own municipal affairs, and each had its own fair. The lucky residents savored two summer fairs, the Saskatchewan side in August and the Alberta side in October.

Lloydminster was a typical small town. But the ceaseless prairie winds were blowing in more than just dust. Change was in the wind. The local Saskatchewan Grain Growers Association was interested in the district. “Pockets of socialism” existed in Greenwood and Blackfoot. There was a lot of produce on hand, but no cash in people’s pockets. All of these factors were leading toward change…

Friday, June 12, 1914! It was an historic day for the Lloydminster Co-operative Association. The day was warm and bright. The sun shone down to the Greenwood School as the yard filled with saddle horses, buggies and carts bringing farmers from the Greenwood and North Gully districts. W. G. Foote’s wagon was there too. His wagon brought the eight or ten representatives from Southminster, who travelled the fourteen-mile journey of two and a half hours to be part of the co-operative organizational meeting. Twenty-four people were there that day.

Stanley Rackham was elected chairman. The visionary Rackham was an appropriate choice. He had been the intellectual trust and the steering rudder behind this meeting and the co-operative movement as a whole in Greenwood. He could best articulate the needs for the benefits of a co-operative association. He could best describe the means to attain and then sustain the advantages of a local co-operative enterprise.

We can visualize the youthful Rackham addressing the audience, painting a picture of a limited railway facilities, poor livestock prices, and the shady scheming of drovers and the uncontrollable variables that faced and worked against the farmer. From the consumer aspect, Rackham was well acquainted with the poverty to the times, the insufficient availability of cash and the irregular sale of produce which made catastrophic demands upon farming folk. This meant that they couldn’t’ buy what they needed or wanted when they needed it, unless they bought on credit. If they waited until they sold their produce, they were faced with altered prices of the unavailability of goods.

We can imagine Stanley Rackham unfolding the blueprints, laying out the plan of a co-operative association, describing the advantages of exchanging cattle and hogs for food and clothing, envisioning an organization to handle and ship livestock and to buy and sell goods co-operatively.

Rackham didn’t have to do a hard sell on the benefits of co-operatives. At that first meeting, Mr. Pensom moved and Mr. Almond seconded that a Co-op Association be formed in Lloydminster and District under the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association Act with a capital of $5, 000. This would consist of 200 shares  of $25 each, $10 paid up, with powers to act under section 5 of the new Act. The motion was carried unanimously. That first day, thirty three shares were sold.

Six provisional directors were elected from the meeting to serve until the first annual meeting which was called for August 7. Those six men were J. Burgess, J. Almond, G. Pensom, S. Rackham, A.E. Burton, and H. W. Spronston.

On June 19, 1914, before Ernest Chidlow, the commissioner of oaths in and for the Province of Saskatchewan, A. E. Burton applied for, under oath, the “Right of Association” under the provisions of the Agriculture Co-operative Association Act. The stated objectives of the association were:

To purchase livestock, grain or any kind of farm products, to market the livestock and other farm products which the shareholders or others may produce, and to purchase farm supplies for shareholders or others upon the co-operative plan.

Thus the Lloydminster and District Agriculture Association Limited was formed, at only $3.55 for an incorporation fee. The first general meeting of the Association was held on August 7, with Stanley Rackham in the chair. Six directors were elected to serve in rotational terms, Jim Almond and George Pensom were elected for a three-year term, Stanley Rackham and Ernie Burton were elected for a two-year term and George Foote and Peter Sermucks for a one-year term. The directors met right after the general meeting and elected Stanley Rackham as the Co-op’s first president and George Pensom as the first vice-president.

W. Holland was appointed the first auditor of the Co-op. It was agreed that no dividends could be accumulated by a shareholder until all his shares were paid in full. The matter of patronage dividends for non-shareholders also arose. It was decided that their dividends be held until sufficient dividends had accumulated to equal the value of one share. Then a stock certificate was issued to them.

As times have changed, the Lloydminster & District Co-op and its operating ideals have been modified to reflect modern society. However, the key founding principles ring as true today as they did on that warm summer day in 1914, and will continue to lead the membership into a strong future.

Volunteer Centennial Committee

Our volunteer Centennial Committee is made up of former and current board members, management, and staff. Together, they've planned and prepared a spectacular year of special events.

Committee includes:

  • Bill Rekrutiak
  • Cathy Merkley
  • Dave Lever
  • Kirsten Wilkinson
  • Kristine Knourek
  • Leanne Hawes
  • Linda Gustavson
  • Mike Sidoryk

 

Centennial Events

There were 6 signature Centennial events planned for 2014, and the support of the membership was as strong as ever. Thank you to everyone who participated, attended, and sponsored.

Centennial Senior's Dinner- Was hosted Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre. This event was fully SOLD OUT.

Official Centennial Recognition event- Was hosted Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the Lloydminster Co-op Marketplace (3606-50 Avenue, Lloydminster, AB). Event included a  brief centennial presentation and special mural unveiling, followed by refreshments, prizes, and fellowship.

Co-op Kids' Centennial Day, in conjunction with the Colonial Days Fair- Was hosted Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Lloydminster Exhibition Fair Grounds. Kids and adults alike enjoyed Country Lane, and celebrated Lloyd Co-op's 100th birthday party! Kids enjoyed prizes, snacks, and special features from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (*Regular gate admission to Colonial Days Fair applied)

PRIZE WINNERS-

Prize #1- Ultimate Sports Pack- Connor F.

Prize #2- Pool Package- Winner: Taiya P.

Prize #3- Ride on tractor - Winner: Tatum E.

Prize #4- Outdoor Activity Pack- Liam S.

Co-op Centennial Charity Classic- Golf Tournament- Was hosted Thursday, July 31, 2014 at the Lloydminster Golf & Curling Centre. Funds raised were donated to the Barr Colony Heritage Society, Lloydminster Regional Archives, Midwest Family Connections, and a special ag initiative with a local producer and youth.  Over $16,000 was raised and donated to worthy charity groups.

Winning Team: R & D Plumbing and Heating- Selected Lloydminster Region Health Foundation as their charity of choice, and recipient of $5,000 grand prize donation.

Most Honest Team: Lloydminster Source- Selected Lloydminster and Area Brain Injury Society (LABIS) as their charity of choice, and recipient of $1,365 raised from the sale of mulligans and strings.

Charity Chipping Area- Run by Canine Action Project (CAP) and raised $400.

Co-op Harvest Supper- Hosted Thursday, October 23, 2014, in Neilburg, SK. 150 guests enjoyed a full roast beef supper, special centennial presentations, and a designated children's fun area. Plus, a $5,000 donation was made to the Neilburg Village Green Park! Thanks for celebrating with us, Neilburg.

Co-op Centennial Dinner Banquet- Hosted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at the Lloydminster Stockade Convention Centre. Featured a full prime rib dinner buffet, centennial presentations, and guests were treated to a performance by Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot. Thank you to our guests, dignitaries, membership, sponsors, and volunteers!

Centennial Partners

Centennial Booklet

Download a free copy of our Co-op centennial booklet, entitled "Growing Strong Together since 1914", here.

Something to Share?

Do you have a vintage piece of Lloydminster Co-op memorabilia that you'd be willing to share with the Centennial Committee?

We're looking for the following items:

  • photographs
  • old promotional items
  • past Annual General Meeting (AGM) reports
  • vintage Co-op uniforms, from all locations
  • anything you think may be of interest to our membership!

Please call 306-825-8125 or email marketing@lloydminstercoop.com with your information.

We thank you for your support!

Hours of Operation

Neilburg
Mon - Sat 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Phone 306-823-4393
Fax 306-823-4393
Marketplace
Mon - Fri 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sat 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Sun 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Phone 780-808-8338
Fax 780-808-8323