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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 10, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 30 'HE liTHWUBGE HEW.LD V.'idnsulay. February 10, IT7! Edmonton art gallery makes variety pay off AND THEN THERE WERE 11 When these 12 youngsters decided to form a train to slide down an icy hill in Toronto a? Riverdale Park, Bill Latouc found it wasn't as easy as it seems. He was left behind as the rest of the train chugged down the hill. Large companies create problems for the little guy Small businesses facing tough struggle EDMONTON (CP) Small family businesses are finding it tougher to keep going be- cause of the economic strug- gles they face, says C. (Bud) Congdon, president of a van and storage company started by his grandfather 59 years ago. "It's getting increasingly difficult for the small man to finance his operation and to stay in business in opposi- tion to large he said in an interview. Ite moving business, in this case Congdon Van and Stor- age (Edmonton) Ltd., is no exception. The costs of doing business are high and the company has to be careful about expenses, in these days of in- flation, be said. "Any time we get an in- crease in fuel, tire or truck costs we've either got to pass them on or absorb them. It's getting more difficult to pass An example is a recent one-cent-a-gallon increase in the price of gasoline. "You don't realize what that Beans to a truck until you start thinking about three and four miles to a gallon." Cong- don has 27 vehicles, including eight tractor-trailers which travel up to miles a Bud, 43, says household moving companies are having a difficult time showing a de- cent rate of return. "The av- erage profit of the average nraving company is less than five per cent." Things weren't always tough. The "dray-type" opera- tion started by Bud's grand- father is 1311 showed a tidy profit under the guidance of Charles Congdon Sr. Bud came into the business in the 1940s. "We started with general cartage, hauling gravel in the summer and ice in the winter. Furniture-moving was a spe- cialty, but gradually we went out of all other kinds of car- tage." A disastrous fire in 1M5 al- most wiped out the firm, leav- ing it with just two trucks. Computer system for railways CALGARY (CP) A large computer bank which would keep track of every freight car on Canadian and U.S. railways is likely within the next few years, says Dan T. McDonald, vice-president of GoBad Oil and Gas Co. of Calgary. He said in an interview the American Railway Association hopes such a computer centre can be set up in Washington D.C. within four or five years. The system on a regional scale already is in operation in both countries. CP Rail has a computer in Winnipeg which can locate a freight car within seconds. Goliad Oil and Gas transports liquid propane in bulk, mostly by tank cars across the coun try and would benefit by such a computer system. Flee volcano in Nicaragua MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AD Ashes and dust spewing from the Cerro Negro volcano have caused million in damage to the city of Leon and cotton crops since the volcano became active last week, authorities said Tuesday. The government planned to declare a state of emergency in the Leon area. No deaths were reported, though thousands have fled their homes. Bud had to quy high school to help. He did odd jobs, driving trucks and streetcars, and put in a stint as a trainman with Canadian National Railways. In 1950 he came back to Congdon. "There was just dad, mother and myself in the office then. Now there are 13 people." Although only 23, be bad al- ready put in a few thousand miles on trucks. GRANTED EXTENSION "I had? my first driver's lic- ence when I was 14. The war was on and we were hauling gravel and things to build the Edmonton airport, which was supplying the Canoil pipeline project in the North and the Alaska Highway. Men. and drivers were scarce and I was granted an extension of my fafer's licence." In the 1940s Congdon was using VA-sai two-ton trucks. Today the company uses six- seven-or eight-ton trucks with 46-foot-long trailers capable of holding 20 rooms of furniture four average house- holds. They cost about each. Congdon first moved into rn- terprovincial traffic on rails, mostly because roads were "awful." "We would crate the furni- ture in our warehouse and pack it into a boxcar. "But in 1950 we were doing so much business that we couldn't keep up with it, so we tried to run a van from here to Toronto." The trip, almost entirely on gravel, was "a nightmare of problems." The truck couldn't get under an underpass in southern Sas- katchewan. "We had to let the air out of the tires and crawl on flat tires to the next town a mile away." TRAVELLED ON DAM To get across a river at Smooth Rock Falls, Ont., the truck had to travel on the top of a dam. "There were ex- tremely sharp turns on and off the dam. We had to jack the truck around to make the tuins." "It took a long time to make the trip. Now a truck with two drivers can leave Thursday and be in Toronto for Monday or Tuesday." Until a few years ago Mr. Congdon was a vice-president of North American Van Lines Ltd., a partnership of moving firms which was formed in 1952. Ccngdon Van and Stor- age was one of the original founding companies of North American, which now has 110 member firms. "Like most van lines, North American was started in the United States. "When we decided that we wanted a van line in Canada it was advantageous for us to ap- proach an American carrier which was established, giving us an across-the-board connec- tion. "They had spent millions of dollars on perfecting certain techniques which we could simply adopt. "We formed a separate Ca- nadian company which was, until a couple of years ago, ent'-ely Canadian-owned. "But in 1968, when eco- nomic conditions weren't the best, the North American par- ent company in the U.S. bought the outstanding shares of the Canadian company. They put more money into the thing to make it work better." AFFILIATION The affiliation with North American has helped keep moving costs down by control- ling the movement of ship- ments. "In a country as wide and as sparsely populated as ours, we have a unique situation. Trucks can't operate ope-way. The van-line connection en- sures that they won't. "If we had to adjust our prices to reflect a one-way haul they'd be much higher than they now are." Mr. Congdon admits that the cost to customers of household moving is high, but says the customers are still getting a good deal. "You get a truck and two men for about an hour that's not too high com- pared with the costs of otter particularly when it costs a .year to li- cense one truck so it can op- erate from the Atlantic to the Pacific. By GUSNNIS Z1LM EDMONTON (CP) The art gallery, now more than a year has moved from the obscure to one of toe best known in Canada. "We stuck our necks out and it has paid said Bill Kirby, its 28-year-old director. Working on the premise that all shows can't appeal to all people, the gallery has tried to provide a wide range of exhibitions. Mr. Kirby said he wants to see "young swingers" in the gallery along with staid older groups. He wants mill work- ers and housewives as well as art patrons and socially prom- inent people. So far he thinks the gallery has been successful in this way. "In many cities, showings attract only a small, select group. Herei regardless of the show we do, there is a vari- ety." Exhibitions in the first year ranged from Baroque Paint- ings, a show of the rich and complex 16th and 37th century styles, to AH- Art, a modern environment of kinetic sculp- ture presenting avant-garde activities of the 1960s. PUT IT ON MAP A controversial exhibit, Place and Process, helped put the young opened in April. 1969, hi a mil- lion the interna- tional art map. During the show, one of the artists scattered 250 boxes of corn flakes around the dty square in front of the gallery. A British art magarinf said of the exhibition: "The Edmonton Art Gallery has been a pioneer in its spon- soring of special projects and is rapidly becoming a major international art institution." Another show, Ten Washing- ton Artists, had only Cana- dian exposure in Edmonton. Such as exhibit helps a gal- lery build its reputation, Mr. Kirby said. The next major project she-aid be an acquisition find, he said, because like the other 20 major public galleries in Canada, the Edmonton gal- lery is facing the perennial crisis of finding sufficient funds. The gallery's annual budget of does not allow much for acquisitions. About is provided by ths Can- ada Council and goes toward exhibitions. The city's contri- bution of is for the physical operation, heat, light and maintenance. ASK FOR INCREASE Mr. Kirby says the educa- tional programs run by the gallery are almost as impor- tant as the exhibition pro- grams. About 850 children and 150 adults take part in art classes and lecture programs run by the gallery. The gallery says the provin- cial government will be asked to increase its grant of last year "particularly... to support the educational pro- grams." Because the gallery make "the community t bet- ter place to live Mr. Kirby would prefer that then be no admission charge, "il- though it may come to that." But budgets are already to tight that buying programs mav have to be curtailed. He said be hopes the tine levels of government win m greater contributions to art galleries as part of their re- sponsibility to urban environ- ments. He thinks, too, that in- dustry should take a greater interest in supporting the aria. Kill or cure BRISBANE, Australia CReu- cr) Researchers are tooting for a human guinea pig to be stung by a killer sea lethal type of jellyfish which plagues beaches. Dr. J. H. Barnes said the volunteer would be used to prove a new- ly developed antidote really works. "If the vaccine works, the sting wouldn't hurt he said. OUT AGAIN LONDON (AP) Old Moore's Almanac, published since 1697, is out again with its forecasts. Amid ads extolling treatments for rupture and acne, it predicts: "It it likely that during the 1970e the Chris- tian churches will decline.'' SHIRTS SAVE 50% Hundreds of styles, patterns and colours. Dress brand names in plains and stripes. .All sizes. Sport fitting styles, full sleeves, large collars, traditionals. Checks, stripes... Reg. to SPORT COATS SAVE A great buy! Choose from a large selection of Scottish tweeds, worsteds, Shetlands, stripes, plaids and checks. 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