Fonds - British Columbia Packers Ltd fonds

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British Columbia Packers Ltd fonds

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    Date(s)

    • 1949- 1976 (Creation)
      Creator
      British Columbia Packers

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    10 cm textual records
    1 photograph

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    Name of creator

    (1928 - 1996)

    Administrative history

    British Columbia Packers Limited was created in 1928, following a series of amalgamations in the North American fish packing industry that had begun in the late 19th century. These amalgamations had included, in 1902, the creation of the British Columbia Packers Association of New Jersey by a group of American and Canadian investors, and their subsequent purchase of forty-two canneries and two cold storage plants. Led by Canadian businessmen Aemilius Jarvis of Toronto and Henry Doyle of Vancouver, it was the first successful attempt to amalgamate the canneries of the Fraser River. In 1910, to avoid the payment of New Jersey corporate tax, the company was registered in British Columbia through an act of the provincial legislature. In 1914, the principals of British Columbia Packers Association incorporated a new company under charter of the Dominion of Canada. Initially a holding company, in 1921 the British Columbia Fishing and Packing Company Limited became the operating company for the assets of British Columbia Packers Association.

    In 1928, having undergone a major expansion of its operations through the acquisition of Wallace Fisheries Limited, British Columbia Fishing and Packing merged with Gosse Packing Company Limited to create British Columbia Packers Limited. In 1934, all of the subsidiary companies holding the assets controlled and operated by British Columbia Packers Limited were liquidated, and the assets transferred to the latter.

    The company evolved into a horizontally and vertically integrated entity that featured a world-wide marketing and distribution network. At the peak of its growth, British Columbia Packers controlled assets by direct ownership or through wholly-owned subsidiary companies that included fishing stations, fish and fruit canneries, fresh fish branches, fish-curing establishments, cold storage plants, reduction plants, food testing laboratories, whaling stations, general stores, and shipyards. These included, at various times, the following:

    Operational Sites in British Columbia:
    Alert Bay Cannery
    Bella Bella Cannery
    Bella Coola Cannery (fishing station)
    Boswell Cannery (fishing station)
    Brunswick Cannery (fishing station)
    Celtic Shipyards
    Claxton Cannery
    Currie McWilliams Cannery
    Delta Plant
    Ecoole Reduction Plant
    Hecate Reduction Plant
    Imperial Cannery
    Imperial Plant (and fishing stations)
    Kildonan Cannery
    Kimsquit Cannery (fishing station)
    Klemtu
    Ladner Cannery
    Lowe Inlet Cannery (fishing station)
    Mill Bay Cannery (store)
    Namu Cannery (reduction plant)
    New Westminster Cannery
    Pacofi Cannery (reduction plant)
    Paramount Cannery
    Port Edward Cannery
    Quathiaski Plant
    Richmond Plant
    Saanich Cannery
    St. Mungo Cannery
    Seal Cove Plant
    Shannon Bay Cannery
    Sunnyside Cannery
    Terra Nova Cannery
    Victoria Cold Storage Plant
    Wadham’s (cannery, general store)

    Related Companies:
    Allied Pacfic Processors
    Bay Point Oyster Farms (U.S.A)
    Brunswick Development Corporation Limited
    Canadian Fish and Cold Storage Company Limited
    Canadian Packing Company Limited
    Coast Oyster Company (U.S.A.)
    Coast Oyster Company of California (U.S.A.)
    Connors Bros. Limited
    Edmunds and Walker Limited
    Humboldt Oyster Company (U.S.A.)
    Mar Seafoods (Fishing Company Incorporated)
    McCallum Sales Limited
    Nelbro Holding Company (U.S.A.)
    Nelbro Packing Company (U.S.A.)
    Nelson Brothers Fisheries Limited (Queensborough Shipyard)
    North American Testing Limited
    Port Edward Marine Services Limited
    Queen Charlotte Canners Limited
    Rupert Fish Company Incorporated (U.S.A.)
    Rupert’s Certi-Fresh Foods, Incorporated (U.S.A.)
    Rupert’s International Sales Corporation (U.S.A.)
    Sea Breeze, Incorporated (U.S.A.)
    J.H. Todd and Sons Limited
    Western Canada Whaling Company Limited
    Willapa Oyster Farms (U.S.A.)

    Much of British Columbia Packers expansion outside of British Columbia took place after the Second World War. It began to acquire sales offices and production facilities in the United States in the late 1940’s, and this continued in the following decade. For example, the company acquired Freeman’s Certi-Fresh Foods of Los Angeles, California, in 1954, and Coast Oyster Company, with assets in California and Washington, in 1956. In 1957, it acquired interests in fishing operations in Peru. In 1967, British Columbia Packers began a joint venture with Nelson Brothers Fisheries Limited in herring meal and oil production at Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland. In the late 1970’s, British Columbia Packers acquired a 30 percent interest in Mar Fishing Company, Inc., which produced tuna out of a plant in Mindanao, Philippines.

    In 1968, R.I. Nelson of Nelson Brothers Fisheries Limited became President and Chief Executive Officer of British Columbia Packers, marking the integration of this company and British Columbia Packers Limited. Also during this decade, British Columbia Packers was itself acquired by the Weston group of companies.

    British Columbia Packers appears to have struggled in the early 1980’s, and with the fishing industry as a whole, began a period of change and restructuring. Its operations were dissolved in 1996 and 1997 through merger with Canadian Fisheries Company Limited; a successor company, BCPL Limited, owned by George Weston Limited, undertook the disposition of British Columbia Packers real property and other assets. (The bulk of British Columbia Packers executive and legal records have apparently been transferred to George Weston Limited, and did not form part of Accession 2001-34.)

    British Columbia Packers appears to have been administered out of head offices in Vancouver until 1968, and thereafter in Steveston. At the company’s peak of size and scope in the late 1970’s, eight Vice-Presidents were responsible for the following functional or operational designations: finance, planning, marketing, Pacific operations, production/British Columbia operations, Philippine operations, United States operations, and industrial relations.

    The chief executive officers of British Columbia Packers and its immediate predecessors were as follows:
    British Columbia Packers’ Association (of New Jersey)
    Alexander Ewen, President, 1902-1907
    William Henry Barker, President, 1907-1914
    British Columbia Fishing and Packing Company Limited
    William Henry Barker, President, 1914-1926
    Aemilius Jarvis, President, 1926-1928
    British Columbia Packers Limited
    Aemilius Jarvis, President, 1928-1930; Chairman, 1930-1932
    Stanley Burke, President, 1930-1933
    H.R. Macmillan, President, 1933-1946; Chairman, 1946-1956
    J.M. Buchanan, President, 1946-1956, 1958-1964; Chairman, 1956-1958
    R.E. Walker, President, 1956-1958
    J.N. Hyland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 1964-1967
    K.F. Fraser, President, 1964-1967
    R.I. Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer, 1969-1974; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 1975-
    G.E. Creber, Chairman, 1969-
    J.B. Buchanan, President and Chief Operating Officer, 1979-1982 (Vice-Chairman 1983-
    Donald A. McLean, President, 1983-

    Custodial history

    Susan Gerard, an artist working at North Pacific Cannery, came into possession of the documents and passed them on to Phylis Bowman who donated them to the Archives on September 9, 1998. Bill Bishop donated records on March 20, 2012 that he rescued from Sunnyside before they burned it down in 1986.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of textual records from business transactions at BC Packers Sunnyside Cannery between 1949 and 1976. These include receipts, coupon books from BC Packers Ltd., Nelson Bros. Fisheries Ltd., and J.H. Todd & Sons Ltd. Also includes packer sheets, fishermen's weekly statements, journal vouchers, invoices, forms, and correspondence of various fishermen at Sunnyside.

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        1998-035; P982-001; 2012-013

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        Created on May 13, 2014

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