Still going strong: Manitoba Century Business Awards.
In 2013, the provincial government presented its Century Award, recognizing firms that have operated for 100 years or more, to three Manitoba businesses: Reesor's Jewellery Ltd. in Brandon, Pringle's Men's Wear in Boissevain, and Brown and Rutherford Co. Ltd. in Winnipeg. All three had previously received the MHS Centennial Business Award.
Reesor's Jewellery was the first jewellery store to open its doors in Brandon way back in 1882. Owned by David Anson Reesor and descendants until 1958, the jewellery store was purchased by the Duffield Family, who own and operate it to this day. Although the store relocated to the Brandon Shoppers Mall some years ago, the 100-year-old Reesor clock still rests on its pedestal as a landmark and meeting place outside at the comer of Ninth Street and Rosser Avenue in downtown Brandon.
Pringle's Men's Wear of Boissevain has thrived in southern Manitoba where other smaller clothing stores faltered. Opened in 1894 as Welch's Men's Furnishings, the retailer filled the need for work shoes and repairs. Purchased from Mr. Welch by its present owner Wayne Pringle in 1963, the store is staffed by three generations of the Pringle family. Work and dress clothes, shoes, sports equipment and skate sharpening have kept the now-expanded retailer vibrant and supported by the broader community. High shelves around the newer shop display old clothing and accessories from eras past, to the delight of modern shoppers.
Brown and Rutherford of Winnipeg is a legend in the supply of woods to the trade and also to anyone who cares to source lumber and mill work from a working mill. Conspicuously hidden on Sutherland Avenue in the Point Douglas district in Winnipeg, Brown and Rutherford began as a frontier sawmill in 1872, the first of its kind in Western Canada. Owners Alexander Brown and Thomas Rutherford were carpenters who started with building four houses in the settlement of Red River, and soon opened a sawmill and lumber yard. The mill expanded to its present site in 1911 and eventually grew to become one of the country's leading secondary producers of Canadian softwoods, with products marketed throughout Canada and the US. A visit to Brown and Rutherford's mill is a trip through time, where you can see the mill at work, smell the heady scent of fresh-cut wood and order nearly any mill product imaginable. As with the other Century Award winners, this family-owned business has staff whose fathers and grandfathers worked in the mill.