Our Story:

Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company (SMI) takes pride in its grass roots origin. The history of SMI dates back to 1908 with the founding of the Saskatoon Mutual Fire Insurance Company by a group of local farmers. In 1950 the company obtained its Dominion Charter and in 1951 adopted its present name – Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company. Over the years SMI has written business in the four western provinces, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Today [2004] SMI does business in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and is Canada’s largest mutual property and casualty insurance company with headquarters in Saskatchewan.

SMI got its start at a time when insurance was not easily accessible. A group of farmers decided to take matters into their own hands and set up an insurance company to help protect themselves and their friends and neighbours against losses from fire, specifically livestock and building losses. The first meeting to formally establish the company was held on January 30, 1908 when about eleven people put up $56, approximately $5 each, to pay for supplies and the $2 cost of renting the hall for the meeting. They all contributed a small amount of money for someone to go to Portage la Prairie and Wawanesa, Manitoba to study how mutual fire insurance was run.

Less than two weeks later, at a meeting in a church hall, the company became a reality. Thirty-two farmers signed guarantees totaling $43,000 and elected a thirteen-member board of directors to officially launch the new “Saskatoon Mutual Fire Insurance Co.”

Back cover of 1929 annual report Year: 1929

Back cover of 1929 annual report
Year: 1929

The whole idea behind the mutual company was to operate on a break-even basis, much like a co-operative. They had no cash in the bank to start with. Business was based on the premium note concept where an insured signed a promissory note and paid later. At the end of the year, based on losses incurred, the company assessed how much everyone had to pay and farmers would pay their premiums after they sold their crops.

During the depression years many were unable to pay the premium levied and in 1931 the company was able to collect only 65% of the levy for that year.

In 1932 the Premium Note Plan changed, requiring every new applicant to pay 25% of the note in advance and receive a full year’s protection with subsequent assessments due each anniversary. This change was less costly to the company because they could handle assessments throughout the year rather than issuing them in one specific month. It also improved cash flow. Later it became possible to pay cash for insurance and in April 1966 the premium note concept was discontinued.

SMI is still owned by its policyholders and offers home, farm and commercial property coverages, as well as automobile insurance. Written premiums from all provinces in 2003 totalled approximately $25 million.

The company has remained successful over the years and has never lost sight of its primary objective set out in 1908 – to provide the best possible service for its policyholders.



1908 Located at the Chubb block

1909 Office was located at 208 Drinkle Bldg. at the corner of 21st St. and 2nd Avenue [Henderson Directory]

1912 Office location was 810 Broadway Ave. S.

1913 Office located at 813 Broadway Ave. S.

1918 Office located at 612 – 613 Canada Building


1919 Change of company name

1923 Office located at London Building, 254 Third Ave. South

1927 Office located at 310 – 312 MacMillan Building, on 2nd Ave.

1927 Business expanded into Alberta

1930 Reinsurance through Lloyds of London is arranged for the first time


1936 Company name changed

1936 Company registered to do business in B.C.

1938 The company was the largest writer of private passenger car insurance in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, and was well up amongst the leaders in B.C.

1939 Company began writing business in Manitoba & Expanded to 304 – 312 MacMillan Building. Office space was enlarged and new furniture and equipment purchased


1951 Company now federally licensed

951 Change of company name

951 Office moved to 142 2nd Ave. North on Dec. 15

1952 Retirement of R.J. Harper, President from 1933 to 1952. Replaced by J.H. Evans. There were two official officers in the company, the Managing-Director and the Secretary-Treasurer. At that time the President was like current Chairman of the Board.

1952 Mr. H.R. Earl, Manager, retires

1952 Mr. J.B. Hammill becomes Managing-Director

1952 The Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company Pension Plan begins

1953 Business now written in the province of Ontario

1954 Second storey built over the 142 Second Ave. North premises.

1968 Moved to 279 3rd Ave. North, Saskatoon

1968 Ceased writing business in Ontario

1971 Ceased writing automobile business in Manitoba

1974 Began to write business in the Maritimes – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island using Angus Miller as general agent.

1977 Mr. Robson retires after thirty-five years

1978 Mr. J.B. Hammill retires

1978 Mr. Ted Statham appointed Managing-Director (or General Manager)

1978 Excess profit of $1,280,000 for 1977 was distributed to the policyholders by cheque in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the Anti-Inflation Board

1983 Mr. Ted Statham retires. Mr. B.H. Bays appointed as General Manager

1983 Mr. R.W. Trost becomes Secretary-Treasurer

1983 Mr. R.F. Simmer becomes Assistant Manager

1984 Company purchases first computers

1986 Company ceases doing business in the Maritimes

1986 Company reorganized

1986 G.B. Nelson, Chairman of the Board

1986 W.N. Robson becomes Vice-Chairman

1986 B.H. Bays is appointed President & C.E.O.

1988 SMI obtains first fax machine and laser printer

1988 Total number of brokers – 650

1989 The worst year on record

1990 SMI withdraws from Alberta auto

1991 Mr. B.H. Bays retires

1991 R.W. Trost becomes President & C.E.O.

1991 R.F. Simmer becomes Vice President

1991 Commenced writing auto business in Manitoba

1998 90th anniversary of company

1998 Most profitable year to date with net profit of $2,866,000

1999 Service Awards introduced beginning with the 25th anniversary of Dennis Zatrepalek’s employment with SMI

1999 Email capabilities available at head office

2001 Withdrew from writing business in B.C.

2003 Underwriter Tanya Bergen killed by drunk driver

2004 Total number of brokers – 220, not including branches of these brokerages.

2005 R.F. Simmer, Vice President, retires in December 2005

2006 Laura Wiebe, C.A., already a member of the Board of Directors, joins staff as Executive Vice President


From 1912 – 1917 the company headquarters were in the 800 block of Broadway Avenue South. The office was moved to 612 – 613 Canada Building in 1918. In 1923 the office was located at the London building, which Ann Patrick (nee Phillips) remembered as being extremely cramped and miserable.

Fire at Eston Rink Year: circa 1951 Place Name: Eston

Fire at Eston Rink
Year: circa 1951
Place Name: Eston

The company moved in 1927 to 310 – 312 MacMillan Building on 2nd Ave. South, a facility Ann described as beautiful. In 1939 the company took over more of the space at the MacMillan Building. Mrs. Pryor remembered the grand reception that took place when the company first moved into the MacMillan Building. Dressed in a long dress, Mrs. Evans was the hostess of a come-and-go tea on this occasion. Some of the wives of company officials assisted her.

When the annual exhibition parade took place each summer employees would take all their children to the roof of the adjacent building (to the south) where they had an excellent view. This was an exciting time.

The move to 142 2nd Ave. North occurred in 1951 with a second storey being added to the building in 1954. The last move took place in 1968 when the company purchased and moved to 279 3rd Ave. North, its present location. Before they moved in, many wondered how the building that looked so much like a warehouse could serve the unique needs of the company. But changes were made and staff felt the building was very suitable.

Major remodeling commenced in the early nineties. Tile floors were replaced by carpet; orange circles on walls were painted warm neutral colours and were trimmed with attractive tones of blue-green. Even the bathrooms were redecorated. Silk plants and framed art work were positioned throughout the building, including the cafeteria on the main floor, and glass tiles created a border beside the stairwell near the executive areas on the second storey of the building.

Interview and conference rooms were completed on the main floor of the building in 2002. These rooms were adjacent to the cafeteria, making it convenient to serve lunch to individuals meeting in the conference room.


In the early years claims were reviewed and payments authorized by directors. The claims were also printed on the annual reports. Examples from the 1916 annual report follow:

-Kenaston, insurance on contents of dwelling caused by overheated stove for a claim of $30.78

-Dundurn, insurance on barn caused by windstorm for a total of $47.50

-Meota, insurance on one calf destroyed by lightning for a claim of $13.35

-In 1917 the claim for a school and contents lost to fire was $900.00

-In 1922 almost half of claims involved stoves and stovepipes or chimneys.


1955 Surplus over $1,000,000 for the first time

1970 $1,420,605

1980 $4,545,080

1984 $9,877,456

1985 $11,137,000

1986 $10,318,000

1990 $5,202,000

1995 $7,986,000

1999 $12,315,000

2003 $13,839,000

2004 $19,363,000

2005 $19,497,000


In 1908 the salaries for the manager and treasurer were $75.00 per month. In 1912 the total for staff salaries was $3,934.50. This rose to $15,951.75 in 1924 and to $33,537.38 in 1940. Ten percent raises were granted in 1965, 1968 and 1974. In 1968, the 60th anniversary of the company was celebrated by the giving of a gift of one week’s salary to permanent employees of the company. This was presented just prior to Christmas 1967 in lieu of the usual Christmas gift.

Board of Directors Year: 1916 Board of Directors Standing L-R: S.I. Lee, Hanley, Jas. Moffatt, Marcelin; W.A. Kirkpatrick, Saskatoon; P.L. Sommerfeld, Hon. Pres., Saskatoon; 2nd Row L-R: Murdo Cameron, Floral; Jno. Evans, President, Floral; A.E. Fisher, Superintendent of Insurance, Regina; C.O. Kemmish, Vice-President, Saskatoon; W. Kershaw, Saskatoon; Front Row L-R: S.J. Caught, Secretary-Manager, Saskatoon; OH.. Ingberg, Saskatoon

Board of Directors
Year: 1916
Board of Directors Standing L-R: S.I. Lee, Hanley, Jas. Moffatt, Marcelin; W.A. Kirkpatrick, Saskatoon; P.L. Sommerfeld, Hon. Pres., Saskatoon; 2nd Row L-R: Murdo Cameron, Floral; Jno. Evans, President, Floral; A.E. Fisher, Superintendent of Insurance, Regina; C.O. Kemmish, Vice-President, Saskatoon; W. Kershaw, Saskatoon; Front Row L-R: S.J. Caught, Secretary-Manager, Saskatoon; OH.. Ingberg, Saskatoon

Salaries were considered to be above average, even excellent for many early years. For some time [between 1923 and 1932] Ann Patrick’s salary was $120 per month, which was more than some teachers and lawyers were receiving. Later, however, during the early thirties when the depression hit, there was a 10% reduction in salaries for a time.

One retired employee remembered that his starting salary in 1948 as a mail room clerk was $80 per month. Another employee worked as an inspector during the 1950s remembers that his salary was $250 per month, which he felt was an adequate but not excessive amount.


In 1908 directors’ fees were $2.00 per day and 10¢ per mile each way; fees were raised to $5.00 per day and 10¢ per mile one way in 1912. In 1926 fees were raised to $10.00 per meeting and in 1937 fees were raised to $15.00 per meeting.


1941 – 23 employees

1977 – 98 employees, including 64 new staff. 49 employees left that year.

1984 – 90 employees, including 37 new staff. 37 employees left that year.

1998 – Total number of employees – 47, including six new staff

2004 – 50 employees, including one new employee. Three employees left during the year. Two employees live in Calgary, one in Regina and one in Winnipeg.



In the earliest years, office hours were 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Later the hours were changed to 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the work week no longer extended to Saturday mornings.

A part of the job was to work evenings a week or two a year, with no overtime paid, but with a stipend of fifty cents for supper each evening worked. People just accepted this as part of the job. At such times files would be cleaned out. During another such overtime period at a specific time of year assessment notices for policies would be prepared. This meant pressing finely sharpened pencils very hard through two or three copies in preparation for the bookkeeping machine’s final handling.

In the earliest years the break was one hour and twenty minutes long. People usually took the bus or walked to and from the office to their homes at lunch time. Most had their main meal of the day at this time. For many years individuals worked 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Later the work week was 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with one hour for lunch, except Wednesdays when the lunch break was only thirty minutes. The shortened lunch on Wednesdays enabled staff to leave on Fridays at 4:00 p.m.

Company sign used 1913 - 1933

Company sign used 1913 – 1933

In April 1992 Randy Trost, President and CEO and Ray Simmer, Vice President, introduced earned days off (EDOs). Simply stated, employees worked thirty minutes longer each day so that by the end of fourteen days they had earned a day off. Staff EDOs were staggered over each of the weeks so that not everyone had an EDO at the same time.


The time clock was used for years until approximately 1984. Hours worked had to be calculated and manually recorded in a book. Bells also rang at the beginning and closing of the work day, plus at 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. for the lunch hour.

To the delight of staff, Mr. Bays removed the time clock system.


In the 1920s and 1930s female staff wore blouses and skirts, the men suits and ties. Sometimes staff wore flowered smocks. These had buttons down the front and they had collars. They were similar to housecoats of the 1990s.

Business casual dress for the office was accepted in 1999 when a written dress code was developed. Staff members continued to wear traditional business attire when visitors came to the office or when they were attending meetings elsewhere.


There was no coffee break time at all. In the 1920s and 30s three male employees, Mr. Alex Cuthbert, Mr. Diggle and Mr. Earl usually went out for tea everyday. At that time someone was often delegated to go out to get things like chocolate bars or other snacks. Management knew about this but overlooked it.

When coffee breaks were finally introduced, bells rang to announce them.

For many years the company provided employees, through the cafeteria manager, with coffee and tea. Employees paid a small amount for flavoured, regular, and decaf coffee. In addition, Sharon Honke, who originally came to SMI in 1989, made special meals, including Caesar salad with cheese biscuits, lasagna, beef dip, burgers, farmer sausage, cabbage rolls, etc., soup and sandwiches. Her fresh cookies, pies, butter tarts and cakes were much enjoyed by everyone.


Rent was $40.00 per month in 1911.


There was no pension plan in the early days. The Retirement Fund of the years 1936 to 1951 was replaced in 1951 by the Pension Plan. Over the years the company managed the pension fund wisely as is shown by the very favourable position the fund had achieved by 2004.


In early years there was no official sick leave. People just stayed home when they were sick. They were never docked pay.


Holidays were of two weeks duration per year in the early years.

In 2004 employees earn three weeks vacation after a full year and after eight years employees begin to earn four weeks of vacation.


In the 1930s all the staff attended. Then, as staff size increased around the late 1940s and 1950s, only the senior staff and those who had been at SMI the longest attended. In those days quite a few policyholders attended as did many retired employees. The meeting was usually held in the Bessborough Hotel. A noon luncheon was followed by the annual meeting and then a meeting of the Board of Directors with senior staff. During the latter meeting, the wife of the President of Saskatchewan Farmers Mutual Insurance Company would hostess a tea for the wives of board members and senior staff, plus female staff members. This would take place at a suite of rooms rented in the Bessborough for the day.

After the tea or business meeting, individuals went home and changed into fine clothing, tuxedos for men and formal gowns for women. They then returned to the Bessborough to have a wonderful dinner and dance. At such gatherings Mr. Earl was likely to call on anyone present to make a speech. There was no mention of people minding this. These were known as wonderful parties.

Later, between the years 1970 and 1984, the meeting was held between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the coffee room on the main floor of the head office building. After the formalities everyone enjoyed a catered lunch, with dainties and assorted hors d’oeuvres. They were very nice occasions.


In 1951 a Christmas gift of one day’s pay for each month of service was given to employees to a maximum of $10.00.

For years during the mid-part of the twentieth century the company gave a box of Pot of Gold chocolates and a ham to every employee at Christmas time. Sometimes there was a Christmas bonus of $50 or $100 with a Christmas card. This did not happen when business was poor. Beginning in the 1990s, staff members have received a gift of $100 from the company at Christmas. The first time this was done, in 1993, the staff was excited and delighted. It was still very much appreciated years later.

Since 1990 staff members have enjoyed a decorated Christmas tree in the main floor cafeteria. In addition, a small tree brightens up the receptionist’s counter.

Beginning in 2002 the Board of Directors joined the entire staff at a festive luncheon in the brightly decorated cafeteria. The luncheon followed a board meeting.


For many years, e.g., in the 1970s, people had to turn in an old pencil or pen in order to get a new one.


Typewriters were very important tools over the years. During the years 1970 to 1984 there were between twelve and fourteen typists. All typewriters were electric by 1980. As of the end of 1999, typewriters were still being used to type commercial policies and carbon paper was still used to make copies. The most deluxe typewriter SMI ever purchased arrived in 1991 and was used by Deb Hales. It had memory and allowed the storage of phrases or the ability to type a single line before printing. During 2004 the only typewriter in operation was seldom used, no extra parts were available to fix it, and supplies were difficult to obtain.


Printing was done in the basement and was discontinued sometime in the 1970s. Master stencils were often metal. Some of these were still in use during 1988 but disappeared soon thereafter. Originals were often sent to printers to be printed and were then returned, filed, and later reused. With the advent of the computer most print jobs were sent to printers by email.

The first laser printer was an HP LaserJet II, purchased in 1988 at a cost of $3,000. Printers of 2004 had many more features and cost much less. At that time the SMI office had more than twenty inkjet and laser printers.

In the late 1990s a Xerox 4235 printer was used to print policy Dec. pages, claims cheques, letters and all kinds of forms, including direct bill notices. In November 2002 SMI tried to give it away, in good working order, but nobody wanted it.

As of 2006, SMI had two Xerox 4110 printers and one Xerox WorkCentre Pro 232, all of which could scan and email documents in almost the same time as printing single copies could be done in the past. They used various sizes and weights of paper.


Keith Douglas remembers hand writing endorsements and giving them to typists. Later he used the first Dictaphone machines. Wires stored the spoken word on what looked like large spools. The wires often broke and then had to be manually spliced together. Dictation was later done using wide bands of plastic. Between 1988 and 1999 Sony transcription machines costing approximately $600 each were used. As at 2004 dictation was seldom needed.

Around 1988, most underwriters dictated stacks of letters to be sent to insureds and brokers. Gradually the underwriters began to use the computer system to generate specific letters. This trend continued over time.


In the early- to mid-1970s there were very few calculators. People did all their calculations manually. Then the company got a few manual calculators; on these a handle had to be pulled after each number was entered. Reta Hart continued, for a time, to visually check the adding machine results; she was exceedingly accurate. It was noted that accuracy did not improve with the advent of calculators.


Policy premiums, etc., were entered on key punch machines prior to the computer age. If a mistake were made the card would have to be pulled out and the data reentered. New IBM keypunch work stations were purchased around 1978 and data entry time was cut in half. The data was used to tabulate reports.


The first computer, an IBM 286 with a 20MB hard drive, was purchased in 1984. It was the first AT hard drive in the city. People gasped; they said “you’ll never fill that up in a lifetime.” It had a 10-inch CGA colour monitor and cost $8,500.

In late 2004 there were more than forty-five computers at individual workstations. All employees had access to the Internet, and had the ability to fax from their computers. Online banking and email correspondence were handled daily by the staff and an SMI website was also maintained for use by the public and brokers alike. In addition, marketing representatives had laptops so they had computer access even while in brokers’ offices.

In 2006 many individuals were able to send and receive faxes at their computers.


The 1928 Annual Report talked about an “entirely new hazard,” the burning of the stubble and straw left by use of the combine which had to be burned off before the land could be cultivated.

During the years 1941 – 1951, once a year the superintendents of insurance of the four western provinces would converge at the same time on Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company. They were entertained by senior management while an underling did the major inspecting. Mr. Cuthbert was good at telling entertaining stories. Whenever there were items he did not want the superintendents to see he would tell an interesting story and turn the page.

SMI Building 2004

SMI Building 2004

In 1944 the company purchased a site for a new head office building to be erected when economical to do so. Mr. Robson stated that the property consisted of several small frame buildings rented to Klassen Jewellery Shop, Schultz Real Estate and Bill’s Taxi. The Empire Hotel was across 2nd Avenue. The company never did build on this land which was sold in 1950.

In the midst of the war years there was a sharp drop in auto premiums due to forced curtailment of private car travel in wartime.

During the latter years of WWII it became difficult to get paper and office supplies.

Charter director, Mr. W. Kershaw, retired from business at over 90 years of age.

SMI sponsored a team in a local bonspiel in the 1950s. Mr. Robson was a member of this team and had the official crest from this event.

In 1950 the by-laws allowed a policyholder one vote per vehicle insured to a maximum of three votes. This was changed in 1973 so that only one vote was allowed per policyholder.

A limited long-term disability plan was first introduced in 1967.

Keith Douglas remembers that you could buy fire and theft insurance on your standard auto for $5.00. This was when SMI was a primary insurer.

To mark the company’s 60th anniversary in 1968 playing cards were purchased and distributed.

Smoking was allowed in the work place until early 1988. The workplace was often filled with a cloud of smoke. There were big ashtrays on many desks as a greater percentage of people smoked in those days. Under Mr. Bays’ leadership smoking was no longer allowed upstairs. Smoking was allowed in the cafeteria until approximately 1993 when the building became smoke-free.


Mrs. Ann Patrick, Executive Secretary

Mrs. Ann Patrick was interviewed in April 1993. She had been an employee of the company from 1923 to 1932 when she married George Patrick, auditor of the company. At that time married women didn’t work outside the home so Ann was forced to quit her job. To celebrate the marriage the staff arranged a big party for the newlyweds, decorating the whole office. Mr. Earl gave them a gift of $100 and the staff gave them assorted china.

Over the years friends of the Patricks included Jack Hammill, Norm Robson, and many directors. This was partly because George Patrick continued to be company auditor even though Ann was no longer employed there. Her involvement with the company therefore spanned many decades. The Patricks always joined in at Christmas parties and annual meetings.

Mr. Harry Earl

Ann Patrick pointed out that he was a man who used perfect English both in the written and spoken word. In 1952 H.R. Earl retired. During his last years as Managing Director he lived in B.C.

Mr. J.B. Hammill

In 1951 Mr. Hammill replaced Mr. Earl as Managing Director. Mr. Hammill was Managing Director from 1952 until late 1978. It was under Mr. Hammill’s leadership that the present company pension plan was initiated.

Mr. Ted Statham was Managing Director from 1978 until 1983.

Mr. B.H. Bays

Mr. Bays became Managing Director in 1983. He retired as President & C.E.O. in 1991 and ceased to be a board member in 2003.

Mr. Randy Trost, C.A., became President & C.E.O. in 1991.

Mr. W.A. Pryor

Mr. W.A. Pryor joined the company in the mid-1920s and retired in 1951. He was Claims Manager at the end of his career.

Mr. J.F. Coghlan

Jack joined the company in 1951 and retired in 1983. He was Claims Manager at the end of his career.

Mr. R.O. Broste

Mr. Broste retired December 31, 1961 at the age of 72, having been given yearly extensions allowing him to work past the age of 65. He died fourteen years later.

Ted Hearn

Ted was in charge of auto underwriting. He had a great outlook on life, enjoying every day with a very positive attitude.

Keith Douglas

Worked at SMI from 1948 to 1989. After working with Ted Hearn, Keith worked with Ted Statham, Chief Underwriter, in personal lines. In 1953 Keith began working in the Claims Dept. His jobs over the years included Claims Examiner, Claims Supervisor, and ultimately, Assistant Claims Manager.

Norm Robson
W.N. Robson was appointed Secretary-Treasurer by the board in 1951. At a special executive meeting in the fall of 1970, Mr. W.N. Robson was appointed Acting Manager while Mr. Hammill was sick. He was officially appointed to the Board of Directors in 1981.

Mr. Alec Ross

Mr. Ross was a member of the Board of Directors. During WWII the Wartime Prices and Traces Board regulated salaries. When Mr. Ross wanted to give someone a raise, he had to write letters to Regina and take trips there to state his case. This effort was required for even a small raise.

Walter Oppenheimer

Walter worked for the company from 1950 to 1985. His first position was inspector from his location in Calgary, Alberta. In 1955 he moved to Winnipeg to take charge of Somerset Agencies, SMI’s general agency located there. There were approximately thirteen individuals on staff at Somerset Agencies; most were originally employees of Stratton Whitaker. Accounting, claims adjusting and underwriting were all carried out from this office. All commissions from these specialty markets went to Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company. Eventually the company separated itself from these specialty markets completely.
When M.P.I.C. began operation around 1972, the $750,000 of Manitoba auto insurance written by Sask. Mutual was wiped out. The number of staff in Manitoba went from approximately eleven to two or three, and then to one, Walter Oppenheimer.


When a particular employee was first hired in the late 1960s she made less than $90 net every two-week pay cheque. She had “presumed that when Ted Statham gave me a call to come in for an 8:15 a.m. appointment it was for an interview. I had slept in and was running late, so I threw my long maxi coat, which went down to my ankles, over my pajamas, and ran out to catch the bus.” She didn’t expect to be starting that morning. To her surprise, Mr. Statham said “I’ll take you over to Jim Page, and you can start work this morning.” She explained she couldn’t start that morning, but would be able to start the next day—and she did.


The date of acknowledgement of the anniversary follows the name:

Mr. H.R. Earl – 1951

Mr. W.A. Pryor – January 1955

Mr. Ted Statham – November 1963

Mr. Ted Hearn – November 1966

Mr. J. B. Hammill – December 1966

Mr. W. N. Robson – December 1966

Katie Grant – February 1967

Helen Bitz – April 1972

Keith Douglas – April 1973

Hilda Leier – April 1974

Dorothy Walter – April 1974

Walter Oppenheimer – April 1975

Jack Coghlan – April 1976

Wally Reeve – November 1984

Ed Kurtenbach – April 1991

Dennis Zatrepalek – November 1999

Marilyn Stobbe – March 2000

Cindy King – June 2001

Sharon Bichel – August 2001

Dale Schlosser – March 2003

Kathy Kishchuk – July 2003

Ray Simmer – October 2004

Wendy Hamm – February 2005

Randy Trost – December 2006


H.A. Mann, who had a GM dealership

J.L. Robertson, a lawyer

O.L. (Oliver) Symes, Professor of Agricultural Engineering, and

C.R. Wheaton – was an uncle of R.R. Wheaton and owned Wheaton Electric. He often dropped into the office and took a very active interest in the company.

G. Blair Nelson – served on the board from 1958 to 1999 and was Chairman of the Board for fourteen of those years.

The following board members were active prior to 1952 and were farmers by profession:

Mr. Harper

Mr. James Moffatt, Marcelin

O.C. Lawson – he farmed in the area of the present Lawson Heights, a subdivision in the north of Saskatoon.

The following board members were active in 1952:

Mr. Moxon – Dean of Law, U of S. Excellent Board member

McKee was from McKee Moving & Storage

C.R. Wheaton

Elmer Bell – Druggist

The following board members were active in 1971:

Mr. Scissons who had an auto dealership

H.A. Mann, who had SMP, a GM dealership

J.L. Robertson, a lawyer

O.L. (Oliver) Symes, Professor of Agricultural Engineering

Alex Ross – Hazen Twist Stationers

A.W. Caswell – Lawyer

J.A. McDonald, C.A.

The company has remained successful over the years and has never lost sight of its primary objective as set out in 1908–to provide the best possible service for its policyholders.


Shelley Forbister

279 – 3rd Avenue North

Saskatoon SK S7K 2H8