Walham Grocers Ltd. fonds. — 1963-1972. — 3 cm of textual records.
In the spring of 1964, Harry Schneider and Volodymyr (Wally) Protsack were attracted to a grocery operation called “Geralds” for sale. They bought lots 29 and 30 in block 47, located on 10004-93 Ave. in Grande Prairie along with the grocery store and business owned by Gerald and Myrtle Mounce. After some arm twisting and repeated attempts to get financing, they finally got Ken Quinn to take a chance on the venture. By the fall of 1964 they formed Walham Grocers Ltd. with three shareholders: Wally and his brother Martin and Harry Schneider. Wally then managed the new “Wally’s” store until the spring of 1965. The company then considered getting into a supermarket business and had heard that the wholesaler Horne and Pitfield were considering several new locations. When Wally contacted them, he was told because of a lack of experience, they would not be considered. A call from Harry Quinn led to them applying for an IGA franchise and they concluded an agreement with Walham Grocers to be the operator. Plans went ahead for constructing a store in Rocky Mountain House and Carla and Wally moved there .
The store opened in November, 1965, and Harry took over the management of Wally’s. During Harry’s tenure, the old Wally’s was demolished and replaced onsite with the new store. During this time, the Esso service station was constructed and a new company was formed and Bob ? was hired as owner/manager. He did not have any interest in Walham Grocers Ltd. as share ownership of Walham remained the same. In late 1967-68 Walham entered into an agreement to own and operate an IGA franchise in a shopping center being built in Drayton Valley. They took in Dale Gaehring as a partner although he never became a shareholder in Walham. That grocery opened in 1968 and the partnership with Dale ended in 1970. During this time Harry Schneider and Bill Bowes wound up a full brokerage business which they incorporated as Carrington-O’Brien Foods Ltd. which purchased Walham as an accounting benefit. This signalled the end of Walham Grocers Ltd. When Walham Grocers was purchased by Carrington O’Brien Foods, the share structure in Walham and COBF was apportioned among Harry, Wally, Martin and Bill. Lawrence Kirby was invited into the company a few months later as a minority shareholder.
The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Patricia Schneider, wife of Harry, in 2008.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records of the company’s formation and annual reports (1963-1972), the articles of association and minurtes (1964-1972, legal agreements and shareholders cerificates (1968-1972), and financial statements (1965-1966).